Benno Jooste gets high fives on the way back to his seat after receiving an award. Jooste said he plans to become a Red Seal chef. (Jensen Edwards/ Boundary Creek Times)

BCSS graduates off to new adventures

The BCSS Class of 2019 is the 50th cohort of Grade 12s from the school

If the Boundary Central Secondary School grads’ statements come true, it sounds like the food scene in the region may be getting spiced up a bit, as many of the 28 graduates expressed interest in becoming Red Seal chefs.

At the cohort’s convocation ceremony last Saturday, principal Bo MacFarlane read out each student’s favourite memories from their time at the school and their hopes for the future. Ever the educator, MacFarlane also took the opportunity to make edits on the fly, swapping words like “party” for “study session,” in a nod and a wink to the school’s graduates.

“Wherever next year’s adventures take you,” the principal told his students, “you will always have a home here.

“So go out into the great big world and leave your mark. […] Whichever path you choose, remember to work hard, enjoy the rest of your days, and finally, remember that nice matters.”

Despite MacFarlane’s assurance to everyone in attendance that the ceremony would be “two hours, tops,” it stretched well past the estimate and towards his joke promise that “it shouldn’t take more than five.” The reason being that each student was given the time to be personally recognized and celebrated by the crowd. For good measure, self-described “Grad mom” Rose Zitko had taped candy to the underside of the grads seats to keep them happy during the event.

“The theme for graduation of course has to be joy,” MacFarlane said in his address. “Because this is a huge milestone in our kids’ lives.”

The grad class of 2019 is itself a milestone for the Boundary, as it is the fiftieth cohort of Grade 12s to attend the school. Midway mayor Martin Fromme, however, pointed out that the grads of 2019 are only the forty-ninth group to graduate, as the province didn’t allow that for the school’s first students. Fromme was a rookie teacher at BCSS when the school opened in 1969.

Looking back on the memories created together, Sarah MacDonald, one of the class’s valedictorians, swapped a “you” for a “we” in a classic Dr. Seuss text, remarking to her peers, “Oh, the places we’ll go!” Meanwhile, valedictorian Gavin Whitworth advised thoughtfulness in his classmates, using a story of Buddha to illustrate how being patient in life can ultimately bring about gratification.

For graduate Rosemary Steele, it’s off to UBC in Vancouver to study arts, part in thanks to a hefty $80,000 scholarship from the university. For classmate Rene Meijdam, it’s back to his home country in The Netherlands, where he plans on serving in the military. Several other students said they plan on staying in the Boundary, working on family ranches, or at the local grocery store, some saving up to see where adventures take them next.


Two by two, BCSS grads paraded into the Midway Arena to celebrate completing Grade 12 in front of friends and family. (Jensen Edwards/Boundary Creek Times)

BCSS grad Mikayla Klumpp passes the torch to a one-day BCSS grad. (Andrew Tripp/Submitted)

After crossing the stage and receiving their diplomas, BCSS grads shed their gowns to reveal their suits and ballgowns and offered candles to younger students as a symbol of continuity and support for the next generation of learners. (Andrew Tripp/Submitted)

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