J. L. Crowe Secondary School’s 2014 graduating class said farewell to high school Friday night with an emotional send off.

J. L. Crowe Secondary School’s 2014 graduating class said farewell to high school Friday night with an emotional send off.

Crowe graduates ready for next challenge

“You have the capacity and the character to move forward and to achieve your goals; we’ve seen it in you.” - David DeRosa



The future looks bright for nearly 170 graduates who proudly received their diplomas and tossed their caps high above a crowd of approximately 800 people this past weekend.

A sea of blue took over the Cominco Arena Friday night when J. L. Crowe Secondary grads reflected on the past five years at the Trail high school and looked forward to their next chapter with departing words from comrades, special guests and staff.

“As a group, adversity has challenged you directly or indirectly on several occasions this year and there will be more ahead,” said principal David DeRosa. “You have the capacity and the character to move forward and to achieve your goals; we’ve seen it in you.”

DeRosa often knew he was in trouble when a Beaver Valley Nitehawk, a high school debate champion, a young man with more film production credits than Martin Scorsese or a young lady, who five years ago spoke no English, approached his office with yet another idea.

“No appointments; no heads up; usually smiles; never enough Timbits,” he laughed. “There were days that I just didn’t stand a chance.”

Leadership was not something that this class lacked, he said, a constant message shared throughout the ceremony that was further highlighted when a total of 176 awards and prizes equaling $132,000 were doled out to 91 deserving students.

At this pinnacle moment, the class was reminded how far they’ve come from entering the school as “bright-eyed and innocent eighth-graders” by valedictorian Eric Matteucci.

“As frightened Grade 8s we walked down the halls, careful not to get in the way of any Grade 12 students,” he recalled.

“It almost seemed like they could smell our fear, and at any moment we could be ambushed and would get to test out the interior of the shiny, new teal lockers that lined the halls.”

But this frightful first impression quickly faded and over the years friendships were made and with that a strength formed. This continued into the group’s final year when Crowe welcomed former Rossland Secondary senior students into their community, with some finishing their final year at the school.

“RSS set itself a part from other schools with highly acclaimed art, drama and band programs as well as incredible pride for their school sports teams,” said Matteucci. “This year we unified under the same roof and went from being the Grade12s from Rossland and Crowe to being the graduating class of 2014.”

It was in the final months of high school that this tight-knit class, and community for that matter, suffered from a major loss. But fallen classmate Nolan Handley was not missing in spirit during the ceremony, where many paid tribute to him.

“In our struggle, we found hope and comfort in our families at home and also our families here at the Crowe,” said Matteucci. “We, the grads of 2014, have shown our resiliency and our abilility to persevere when it felt like we could not go on and that is something that we should be proud of.”

Pressing on was the same message voiced by guest speaker John Boateng, a former Crowe graduate who shared his “dandy” of a failure list, which highlighted throwing up during a watermelon eating competition at Montrose Family Fun Days to a failed basketball dunk that turned into a YouTube sensation. But, he said, these epic failures along the way only built him up for success and he is now the founder of Dream Hoops Academy, a writer and a financial broker.

The athlete didn’t get a chance to attend his graduation ceremony because he was off chasing his basketball career and was quick to savour his participation Friday with a quick photo of the class on his cell phone, which put the emotional crowd in stitches.

Tears of laughter and sorrow were wiped with Matteucci’s parting, honest words that reminded the graduates that they’re in control of their future, which will be full of difficult decisions that will define their character and in a sense their life.

“We must remember to contemplate our actions and know how they will affect us and those around us,” he said. “That is what these five years have prepared us for and it is something we must never forget on our journey through the rest of our lives.”

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

Gentle draft horses are bred and raised in feedlots in Canada to be exported for slaughter. Since 2013, more than 40,000 horses have been exported out of Canada. Photo: Canadian Horse Defense Coalition
Ban the shipping of Canadian horses overseas for slaughter

Since 2013, over 40,000 horses have been exported out of Canada.

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read