FLVS Student Succeeds Online and On the Ice

This article was originally written and published in the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.

Cailey WeaverAt FLVS, teachers and staff often act like proud parents, sharing the stories of exceptional students who take online courses.

Without a doubt, Cailey Weaver is one of those students. She is a talented and dedicated figure skater, who has already won numerous medals and awards in the United States — and she’s only a high school senior.

Weaver began skating at the age of two, when her mother put her into the sport. As the years went on, she enjoyed the creative aspect of figure skating, and with some help from her coach, eventually convinced her mom to let her compete.

“I didn’t fall in love with skating as much as I fell in love with performing,” Weaver said about her early years. “I love being in front of people, and figure skating lets me tell a story while showing the audience all of the hard work I’d done. It is a unique sport that combines artistry with athletic ability, emotion and storytelling – a little bit of everything that I love.”

For Weaver, FLVS provided her with the opportunity to pursue her passion while getting the education she needed.

“FLVS allowed me to train at the rink everyday while still getting my schoolwork done, without the stress of having to attend classes,” she said. She took FLVS courses from middle school to junior year, and she appreciates the flexibility that they gave her.

For her senior year, Weaver chose to dual enroll at St. Petersburg College. She will be attending Nova Southeastern University in the fall, and majoring in marine biology. But to those wondering what will happen with her skating, “I intend to continue my competitive skating career in college,” she said.

And naturally, with more skating comes more responsibility to excel in performances and competitions. As Weaver put it, “The hard part in skating is not messing up.” Just like any athlete, she has had her own mishaps while competing, but even when she has experienced a setback, she has always been resilient and continued on.

“I remember one show that I did that I fell on a really simple move in front of over three hundred people,” she said. “I was super embarrassed but I simply smiled, grabbed a handful of ice, threw it in the air, and kept going. Stuff happens, you mess up, you get over it. That’s the way it goes in skating.”

Recently, Weaver received an award from U.S. Figure Skating, the national governing body for the sport in the United States. The award is part of the organization’s Graduating Seniors Program, which is given to graduating high school seniors who have reached certain achievements in their skating careers. About the award, Weaver said, “[It’s] special to me because it reminds me of how far I’ve come and how long I’ve been in this sport.”

Weaver’s long-term dream is to be a part of Team USA and represent the country internationally, at events like the World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games. And just like any other goal she has strived for, she will tackle it with determination.

“The most important lesson figure skating has taught me is to never let go of your dreams… no matter how hard things get,” she said. “There will be obstacles every step of the way, but if you face them head on, nothing can stop you from reaching your goals.”

To other students relentlessly pursuing their dreams, Weaver offered a valuable piece of advice:

“There’s always going to be someone telling you that you ‘can’t’, you ‘won’t’, you’ll ‘never’. Don’t listen to them. Find people who are positive and encouraging and surround yourself with the positive energy you need to keep pushing. Even if it seems the world is against you, change the current until it is helping you along.”

This post was written by Tamar Lilienthal and originally published by the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.

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