STS is in our DNA
By Lara Unsworth '95, Director of Enrollment and Communications, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
As an STS alumna, and the Mom of a soon-to-be STS Kindergarten student, it is my absolute privilege to work with families on their important journey to choose the right school for their children.
I understand first-hand that this is a big decision. In Calgary we are blessed with an abundance of fantastic school choices. That said, I truly believe there is something in our school’s DNA, that started at our inception 114 years ago and simply can’t be duplicated – a trailblazing, curious, confident, tenacious, cheerful, community-centred spirit that is alive and well today.
This DNA has led to our school always braving new frontiers, whether by moving out to the country in 1970 when everyone thought we were mad, or by sending our students on amazing and life-changing outdoor education trips, or making the Agencies program a requirement for every Grade 11 student, or by starting a vibrant and active Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) before many schools did, or by embracing the maker-space and creative-thinking movements and building an arts and innovation centre. No matter the challenge or opportunity – STS does what is best for its students, stays ahead of the curve and makes bold moves.
We, the “already converted”, believe that this DNA is in our students too. They also have the courage to try new things and find their passions, give back to their communities and stand up for what is right, seek out a life of purpose, and strive for excellence in all that they do.
Through our Fall Open House, monthly coffee mornings and personal tours, visiting families see for themselves that STS is a unique place – students are happy, articulate, confident, kind, and enjoy unique and meaningful experiences each and every day. They have strong and supportive peer groups. They know and adore their teachers. And to top it off, they get to play and learn on our beautiful 220-acre campus and in state-of-the-art facilities. Its an exciting, innovative, and positive place where students are excited to learn and feel full of possibility.
Alumni should be very proud of this DNA which is coursing through all of our veins too. You come from an amazing school. Educators and families from around the world comment that they haven’t seen another school like it. On tours I constantly hear, “it just feels so good here”, “the children look so interested and genuinely like being here”, “the teachers seem to love what they do”, and “we’ve never seen a school like this”. Those observations capture the intangible aspects that make STS so special, and that we as alumni know to be true.
Looking to the future, having the opportunity to show my fellow alumni the school as it is today, is a special full-circle experience. I see glimmers of memories on their faces as they walk the halls, but now they are also looking at the school through the eyes of being parents, and wanting the best for their own children. They see how much things have changed and evolved, but also how much has stayed the same.
I understand that alumni may have hesitations due to the cost of tuition or the distance to the school or wanting their children to interact with a diverse community, but through a robust scholarship and bursary program, city-wide bussing, and students joining us from across the globe, STS is more accessible and diverse than ever. I’m very proud of our school’s history, of the school we have become, and what we will be in the future.
But don’t take my word for it, come check it out for yourselves! I invite my fellow alumni to visit the school and take a walk down memory lane, while seeing what is possible for your own children. I’m willing to bet that STS spirit is in their DNA too.
Did you know?
Did you know? STS’ most popular entry year is now Kindergarten.
Did you know? There are 81 children of alumni enrolled at STS
Did you know? There are 5 staff and faculty who are STS alumni.
Did you know? STS provided more than $380,000 in financial assistance through scholarships and bursaries this year, ensuring that all amazing students who want to attend STS can, without financial barriers.
Did you know? STS hosts an interactive Open House for new families and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 the same day as Homecoming each fall – don’t miss it!Next year’s Open House is: Saturday, September 21, 2019. RSVP here