“A special school for special people.”
Those are the words Stettler Outreach School principal Roe Desrosiers used last Friday at the school’s graduation and awards ceremony.
About 50 people attended the event at the Stettler Legion’s Dieppe Room, with Stephen Chittick as the MC.
The ceremony honoured three Grade 12 graduates and multiple award recipients.
The Outreach program is designed to meet the needs of young people pursuing an education in many ways that the public system cannot.
“It provides hope and opportunity, helping provide a future for young people,” said John Bailey, superintendent of the Clearview school division.
“I enjoy all the graduations I attend in Clearview, but I especially enjoy this one.”
The graduates honoured were Chase Reichert, Tara Little and Mackenzie Ryan.
Reichert completed his Grade 12 program in January and was unable to attend Friday’s ceremony.
For Little, it was her first year at the Outreach school. The school allowed her to pursue her education, despite having a baby girl in April. By combining classes with correspondence, she was able to complete her Grade 12.
“Otherwise, I would have had to drop out of school,” Little said.
She found the school to be “very accepting” and “not like a regular school — you could be yourself — and not be pressured to fit into cliques,” Little said.
“I have not one bad thing to say about the Outreach school. I enjoyed the staff and could work at my own pace — it was fun.”
Ryan also had a positive experience in her first year as an Outreach student.
“I found the environment to be caring and loving,” she said. “I got better marks and the teachers care so much.”
Ryan plans to pursue a career in social work.
The recipient of the Stettler Shining Star Award for youth volunteerism was Grade 9 student Riel Kirkness, recognized for her involvement with Breakfast for Learning and also for painting at Superfluity.
“There are always people there to help you and you can work at your own pace,” Kirkness said. “I will be staying at Outreach.”
The Larry Ambury “Jump Start” awards went to Tara Little and Nicole Van Tighem.
Shaylan Connon and Brittany Morris were recognized with awards for showing the most potential for success.
Awards for excellence, effort and achievement in blended programming went to Braden Fleischhacker, Skye Sweeting, Stephen Teasdale and Ciana Zweifel.
Excellence, effort and achievement in personal growth and leadership awards were presented to Ben Lindstrom, Koltyn Parsons and Lacey McKee.
Melissa Rankin, Pamela Salmon and Nicole Van Tighem were recognized with awards in excellence, effort and achievement in lifelong learning.
Eunbi Kim rounded out the awards for excellence, effort and achievement in course completions and cross-cultural enrichment.