Distinguished Alumna | Dr. Dana Lougheed ’90
"From her first day at STS to the present, Dana has been a guiding light for the entire Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School family, and she perfectly exemplifies the vast potential for excellence that exists within every member of the STS community."
— Carol Grant-Watt, Head of School
The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) community is proud to celebrate Dr. Dana Lougheed ’90 as the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award —the highest honour bestowed by STS upon its alumni.
This award, established in 2003 to recognize eminent alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to our School, is given in recognition of a former student who has stimulated new ideas or developments, shown exceptional dedication, creativity, or leadership, and who truly represents the spirit of STS — Nil nisi optimum.
“I must say that I am humbled,” Dr. Lougheed expressed upon receiving the award at the 13th annual Alumni Dinner at Gasoline Alley in Heritage Park. “Given the exceptional alumni who have been named before me and all of the talented alumni who work hard, living the STS mission of Nil nisi optimum. You inspire me.”
Following her graduation from STS in 1990, Dana pursued a highly successful career in the fields of health and wellness. She received degrees in Physical and Health Education and a Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University before attaining her Doctor of Chiropractic at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. She is an advocate for healthy living for all age groups, with a particular focus on prenatal and pediatric care.
Dana recalled the foundational learning environment STS provided in her formative years in her acceptance speech. “When thinking about the relevance of STS, of driving for an hour each way to be at a school that rises amidst a bunch of farm fields…it can be a challenge to understand the logic. And yet, for those in this room who have graced the hallways as a student or a teacher, it is so clearly obvious.”
“In the young life of an STS student in the 80s, with busy entrepreneurial parents, STS gave me solid footing as I grew up,” She continued. “I know it did the same for many of you, who hail from a time when all our parents’ more ‘hands-off’ philosophy also meant (that) we truly appreciated the extra guidance in our lives. We were the bus kids whose learning started as we walked up those black steps and sauntered to our pleather seat, belt-less bus seat, hopeful we could bump along the road beside our friends!”
She noted that her STS experience didn’t end with her graduation but blossomed in the following years. “The secret sauce of STS grows and develops after you leave; the relationships with your peers and your teachers, through the common experience of hard work, community and fun, create a kinship like no other. It provides a base of support for life and an inspiration to do better. This community knows you, accepts you, and encourages you.”
In addition to serving as Alumni President from 2016-2018, Dana has been an enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Alumni Association, an active member on the Board of Governors, and a volunteer with the Strategic Review committee. Her time as an athlete with the STS volleyball team has inspired her to share her talents by volunteering and setting up clinics for skill development, maintaining our School’s high athletic standards while ensuring it remains inclusive and enjoyable. She is also a dedicated fan and can often be found cheering the Spartans to victory from the stands.
“She has personified the spirit prevalent at STS in giving back,” says Dana's father, John Mendham, shared, "As a student firstly from Grade 3 to Grade 12, then as an active alumnus, and as a parent of Taylor ’22 and Tatum ’24 and a member of the Board, her positivity, cheerfulness, and great skills have surely been an inspiration. It’s certainly been a very important part of her life.”
She took a moment to recognize the stewards of today who continue to uphold that legacy. “The STS of today is one of which we can all be proud. Under the innovative leadership of Carol Grant-Watt, our School is preparing its students for the rapidly changing world of work through our bold strategic plan, Flourish 2031. And yet, parallel to the innovation, Spartan Athletics is still turning out athletes for life; Speech Day is still a key fixture in the calendar; and the teachers continue their stalwart commitment to supporting the students.”
As a true ambassador for the importance of philanthropy and fundraising in realizing our School’s overall mission and vision, Dana once again addressed her fellow former STS attendees: “To all alumni in our community, I encourage you to stay connected; to give back in whatever way you can. I assure you that STS will give more back to you.”
Published in the 2023 edition of Optimum Magazine