Giving with Gratitude
By: Suzanne Bowness, contributing Optimum Magazine writer
As a parent, it’s a great moment when you realize you’ve found the right place for your child to thrive. For Shu Kun (Katherine) Hu, mother of Grade 8 student Alison Yang '25, a conversation with her daughter was the affirmation she was looking for after a period of searching and settling in. “I think I made the right decision for her, and she also confirmed my feelings about it. After a few months, she said, ‘oh mom, you should have sent me here earlier,’” recalls Hu.
Arriving in Canada from China in 2012 when Alison was entering Grade 1, Hu had enrolled her daughter in Catholic school. Later, she began looking for a school that would be more inspirational, and could also meet some of Alison’s special learning needs. Alison joined STS in Grade 7.
" This school fits her better. She has more options here, and there are smaller class sizes," says Hu.
Hu says that the top reasons she chose STS were for its history and the quality of education. Alison is already getting a lot out of her classes, including her favourite subjects, math and history. Plus, she is engaged in sports, currently in Track and Field with a passion for short-distance running.
Hu is impressed with her daughter’s commitment to her own education, noting that because their family lives close to downtown Calgary Alison must catch a bus each morning at 7:20 a.m. and doesn’t return until 5:20 p.m. “I’m very proud of her, it’s not easy,” says Hu.
Hu says that the extra support the school has provided has also been helpful. The Enrollment Office helped her navigate everything from the registration process to course selection, and she’s always been able to meet regularly with Alison’s teachers. Alison was assigned a buddy to help her settle in at the school. And STS even arranged for Alison to have a standing/sitting desk as she needs more movement. “I feel extremely grateful,” says Hu.
That sense of community is also evident through Hu’s involvement as a parent. She now sits on the Advancement Committee, attends the Elementary School Maker Market, and has become a regular donor. Each time, she directs her gift towards Teaching Excellence at STS, because she believes it’s integral to the school’s success to help attract, develop, and retain great teachers.
Hu was motivated to give to STS because of the care and attention her daughter receives at STS which helps Alison excel and be the best she can be. “To me, donating is a way to support the faculty that give so much to our children, so I support and give to Teaching Excellence.
I believe our children’s education and success is a partnership between parents and the school.” Hu believes that parents should do what they can, when they can. “I am capable of giving, I feel empowered to do so,” says Hu.
Giving comes naturally to Hu and she’s always felt drawn to giving back to communities that she’s involved with. “As parents, we all need to do our part,” says Hu about her support. “It is something we ought to do.”