CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin Nanaimo Christian School’s Maria Clemotte shares her time-management strategies with a YouTube audience. She’ll be heading to Vancouver Island University in the fall.

BEST & BRIGHTEST: Well-organized grad sets example for fellow students

Nanaimo Christian School graduate Maria Clemotte lends expertise

Maria Clemotte is not only taking note of how to make school fun for herself, she’s sharing what she learns with others.

When people see Clemotte, a Grade 12 student at Nanaimo Christian School, studying and pulling together notes, they always ask how she does it.

“I’m like, ‘well you know, it’s actually not that hard, you just have to find a way to make it fun for yourself,’” said Clemotte, who first discovered the power of notes when she was trying to keep her grades up at 15 and started to study note-taking and do research online.

Now the 18-year-old shares tips on productivity, time management and organization on her You Tube channel, Maria Grace.

“That kind of motivates me to make videos because I want people to just enjoy learning and do what they are passionate about and work effectively,” she said.

Clemotte isn’t just interested in the mechanics of learning, she also enjoys communication and public speaking. She’s been an active member of the Cedar 4H Club since she was eight, won the provincial public speaking competition last year and went on to place second at nationals in Toronto. It was one of the accomplishments she said she feels most proud of in her life and was an “incredible life-changing experience.”

She’s also pursued music for most of her life, including piano, and was the female lead in the school production of the Pirates of Penzance.

Teacher Paul Henderson calls Clemotte energetic, unfailingly positive but known to rebuke people who need to be rebuked. In a school where sometimes kids can disappear, he also said she’s made a point to get in touch with those people and ask how they’re doing.

“With that YouTube it surprised me for one second and then I thought, that sounds like her,” he said. “She wants to get a message out there I guess just of positivity but through more or less…self maintenance and bringing out the best in yourself.”

Clemotte is valedictorian of her graduation class and has won one of Vancouver Island University’s four-year President’s Entrance Scholarships.

She plans to study psychology and politics with a minor in digital media. While Clemotte is still figuring out what her career will be, she says she wants to learn about the psychology of how people learn and use the information to speak to people, create a business and perhaps, write books about learning. She also likes the idea of engaging people in politics through independent journalism.

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