St. Thomas Aquinas’ Clareynze Ceria is hoping to lead by example, when it comes to trying to learn new skills throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ceria is the Valedictorian of 2020’s Saints, and as part of her prepared speech to her fellow students, she’s encouraging students as well as all community members to use our newly-found free time to develop new skills and to keep learning.

“During this challenging time, I’m focusing more on myself and I’m trying to make the most of it. The pandemic has given me the opportunity to reflect on my actions, and I’ve tried to do different things like trying to learn guitar, how to paint and I’ve started gardening.”

“I know it’s a challenging time for all of us, but let’s try to make the best of it. Keep yourself busy. Learn new things. Read some books. Don’t spend all of your time behind a screen. Do something new that will make you happy, and that will help you grow as a person.”

Ceria will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Seven Generations Education Institute in September. She says she’s looking forward to her post-secondary education, as she has a passion for helping people. Ceria currently works as a Dietary Aid at Pinecrest.

"Ever since I was young, I've always wanted to become a nurse. I look highly to the nurses and doctors and I like taking care of people. I want to do something that could make a difference in other people's lives. I think nursing is one of the most rewarding professions there is because you can help save lives, bring smiles and provide help and care to others."

As well as receiving her graduating class’ Valedictorian honours, Ceria served as the KCDSB’s Student Trustee for the board between 2018 and 2020. In her final report, she thanked Trustees for the opportunity.

“This being my last report, I want to thank the Trustees, Board members and my fellow students for giving me the opportunity of being the voice of students. It’s an honour to work and grow closer with each and every one of you, and I will miss all of your smiling faces.”

The KCDSB says Student Trustees serve an essential role by being Catholic role-models and representing students in decisions about education. They are responsible for keeping students informed and leading student-focused initiatives for the Kenora Catholic District School Board.

For more information:
New Student Trustee for the KCDSB