Cultivating Deep Relationships with Our Campus
Research findings demonstrated that even our youngest students could articulate a deeper connection to the campus, a need to steward it, and that the spaces themselves could be known and understood through different perspectives. It is probably no surprise that teachers and students alike reported increased levels of wellness during these experiences as well.
The Gifts of Speech
Speech taught me how to harness my natural “motor mouth,” but most importantly, speech afforded me the ability to connect with older students who I knew would support me. Because of speech, I learned to be comfortable in my own skin, “motor mouth” and all. I learned how to deal with difficult social situations, how to approach teachers and adults, how to manage co-curriculars and school work, how to win, and most importantly how to lose. Many of these lessons came from my coaches, peers, and older students whom I looked up too, which makes these memories very special. Even now as I graduate, I am still in contact with those older students whom I formed connections with and I still find myself turning to them for advice about the transition to post-secondary school.
On Wellbeing and Resilience
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) places the wellbeing needs of students at the center — and it begins with teachers. Walk into any Kindergarten to Grade 12 classroom and you will notice authentic and meaningful connections established between students and teachers. Why? Because at its core, every educational encounter is a relational one that is anchored in trust-building. STS teachers understand the critical role they assume in providing a safe space for students to take well-supported risks in the classroom and on the field. Raising a hand to ask a question in calculus class and trying out for a new co-curricular activity are made possible when students trust the adult overseeing the experience cares about their learning experience.
Learning with Saa'Kokoto | STS's First Nation Elder-in-Residence
A teacher, historian, storyteller, and visual artist - Saa’kokoto is providing STS students with a deep understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture. His lessons carry a wealth of first hand experience, drawn both from his years as a business leader in his community and as an ambassador of his culture. “I learned a lot about the people, the land. I come from the largest First Nation in Canada which is Kainai west of Lethbridge, and we have two elementary schools, a middle school and high school, and our own college. In my last term in office, I taught a course there at the college and it was accredited through the University of Lethbridge. It was on governance - (a concept) that I could share.”
Fearless Outside My Comfort Zone
In the Speech program there are many different categories of public speaking but the category that challenges even the most seasoned of public speakers is probably Impromptu Speaking. The Impromptu category is completely unprepared. After you are given a topic you’ve never seen before with only two minutes to prepare, you deliver a speech for up to five minutes that is essentially created as you perform it. As a young public speaker, this category terrified me, and I avoided it at all costs. However, encouraged by my dad and my coaches, I worked at the skill, and naturally, it improved over time. The differences between me at the beginning of my STS journey, and who I am now are many.
Deep Learning in Action
In Grade 10, their final year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP), students explore an area of significant personal interest over an extended period of time as part of their appropriately named Personal Project. STS MYP students develop and demonstrate key 21st century learning skills they will need later in their education and in life beyond the classroom. Through this highly personalized undertaking, students also develop confidence and strengthen their abilities as principled, life-long learners.
STS Swiss Sumer School
In July, twenty STS students headed off to Geneva to attend Swiss Summer School in the picturesque mountain town of Gstaad. After landing in Geneva, the group wasted no time and headed from the airport to the waterfront to see the Jet d’Eau. Then they strolled over to the old town to visit St. Pierre Cathedral and tour the downtown district.
English Collaboration Across Divisions
One of the best parts of being in a K-12 school is having our older and younger kids build friendships that are rooted in storytelling and inter-grade literacy.
Middle and Senior School Partner in Support of the One Million Beehives Initiative
"What drew us in was the global application of the project. Since we have honeybee farms so close to our campus, learning that they could also be found in South Africa, and that they faced similar issues was very interesting. In other preliminary research, learning about the economic benefits and support honey farming could provide for strengthening quality of life was something that drew us in. Knowing that the premises of this project could be seen only a few kilometers away, and the initiative supporting not only the environment but also people’s wellbeing was key in our choice to take on this project."
Middle and Senior School Speech Students Enjoy Great Success!
STS Middle and Senior School Speech students have been enjoying great success this year, winning various medals, trophies, and awards including placing second in Impromptu Speaking at the World's Debating and Public Speaking Championships on April 17.
Model United Nations
On Friday, April 22, Grade 9 students participated in Model United Nations and had the opportunity to engage in discourse with one another to discuss international issues. This year the topic was the ongoing Ukraine refugee crisis. In the morning they were joined via Zoom by retired Canadian Forces Major-General David Fraser who served as a NATO operations commander in Afghanistan. He spoke with the students about NATO and how militaries work with refugees abroad.
"STS in Perspective" A 50th Anniversary Art Tribute
Creating this art piece was truly eye opening for me. It was a remarkable hands-on experience, with many opportunities to reflect on the beauty of our campus and School buildings. It helped me visualize the School with a new perspective, and I hope it will help the STS community gain a new perspective of the School as well; hence the name “STS in Perspective”.
Editorial Cartoons: The "Art" of Persuasion
Everyone loves cartoons, whether it be a cartoon strip like Calvin and Hobbes, a television show like the Simpsons, or even a new Disney/Pixar feature film, but what is the process of making a cartoon, and what goes on in the mind of the cartoonist as they are creating their cartoons? On Thursday, February 17, our Grade 9 students were joined by professional Editorial Cartoonist Fred Curatolo to find out.
She Governs: Participating in Municipal Leadership
Mayor Jyoti Gondek and local female councillors emerged in my sight, and as I gradually acknowledged their difficulties, obstacles, efforts, and excellence in leadership, it carried over to my determination to become one of the 15 student councillors selected in the “She Governs” event.
Recognize Black Voices
As many of you may know, February is Black History Month! This month is all about recognizing, amplifying, and celebrating Black voices both in the past and the present. Three Grade 11 students, Bolu K. ’23, Anaya T. ’23, and Tanusri B. ’23, have created a working group to share some of the messages and themes of Black History Month with the school community.
Black History Month 2022
The theme this year is “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day.” I find this a very valuable statement. Take the time to learn about the many accomplishments and important stories of the Black people of Canada. The Government of Canada website includes lots of information to get started with. After discovering these, keep them in your heart not only during this month but remember them every day!
Students are Cranking, Crimping, and Throwing on STS's New Climbing Boulder
The new STS climbing boulder and climbing wall mats are getting a workout as are the students and faculty who are using them. Mr. Straub has continued his creative route setting, building an expanding range of climbing and bouldering routes that engage climbers regardless of age or ability, now on an increased number of surfaces.
Junior B Girls Volleyball - League Champions
The Junior B Girls volleyball team had a very successful season. With league starting late this year, they competed in two tournaments prior to starting regular season. They learned a lot about their own individual skills and game play, but even more so about how they connect as a team, finishing the regular season undefeated! Coach Baird and I were so impressed with the girls play, effort, teamwork, and grit all season.
Junior A Girls Volleyball - League and Zone Champions
Our Grade 9 volleyball season was a straight hill climb with coach Rathwell leading the way. We all stayed together and worked as a team to bring the banner to STS. We competed in two out of town tournaments. Our first one was in Strathmore and it was early in the season so we were able to practice our new court rotation. We then competed in Three Hills and overtook Hanna in the final to win the tournament with some outstanding serving. Our team went undefeated in the regular league season.
No Stone Left Alone Remembrance Day Ceremony
On November 5, Grade 7 students took part in a special No Stone Left Alone ceremony to honour the sacrifice and service of Canada's military. Students placed poppies on headstones in the Field of Honour at the Okotoks Cemetery. Through this experience, students became deeply aware of the selflessness and bravery of those who served to defend our country and gave the ultimate sacrifice.