SPRINGHILL - The road to graduation is one not without frustration, anxiety and even failure. But failure, says SHS alum and businessman James Surrette, is a key to success he hopes the graduating class of 2009 will learn to exploit. .
"I did receive an 'F-bomb' on the transcript, in English, in my first year," Surrette told the class of '09 of Springhill High.
"I was gutted and forced to repeat English. So what? I continued to believe I just wasn't inclined and moved on only to find out the written word is pretty darn important in corporate life."
Working hard to improve on what he considered his weakness, when the time came for Surrette to enter grad school, his superior math skills came up shoddy compared to his English skills.
"Maybe, just maybe, that 'F' in first year wasn't such a bad thing," Surrette says.
Forty-four students said goodbye to the halls of Springhill High School on Friday, entering life's next big adventure as high school graduates.
Family and friends filled the seating of Richard Calder Arena to celebrate the accomplishments of SHS's newest alumni, who have fretted over exams, tests and years of academia to set the stage for graduation.
Helping them set their bearing for the road ahead, area-businessman Surrette brought a message of pride for the students in their achievement.
"I believe we all make extra efforts when we are proud of the work at hand," Surrette said.
"So, if you are not proud of the path you are taking, choose another path. You have the time."
Echoing Surrette's sentiments and speaking for the class of 2009, valedictorian Matthew Ellis applauded his fellow graduates.
"The future holds many possibilities for all the class of 2009. Nothing comes without hard work," Ellis said.
"As long as we work towards our goals I see no reason as to why we cannot achieve them."