News & Events
From the Blog
Rick Weissenborn ’88 and Linda LeBourveau ’84 have achieved what most would consider a rare form of success — they’ve been able to blend their shared love of skiing, design, and advertising to build an award-winning, industry-leading company with a global customer base.
“I would call Rick a serial inventor,” Linda laughs. “I usually get to work a little after Rick — I get in and he says ‘I just came up with an idea’. I’m like, ‘What? Another one?’ It’s ongoing.”
Claire Hanna’s journey is a testament to the power of the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) motto: Nil nisi optimum — Nothing but our best. Following her graduation from STS in 2004, she earned a BA in Political Science with International Relations and a Masters of Management from the University of British Columbia, as well as an esteemed place in the UBC Thunderbirds Sports Hall of Fame for her sporting achievements. She retired as a member of Team Canada with a stunning total of three USports National Volleyball championship titles and took on an entirely new challenge — that of sports journalist.
We started a wonderful Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) tradition a few years ago of giving every new student their first STS school tie as a welcome gift. The gifts are beautifully wrapped, and hand-delivered by employees and parents to each new student’s home. Not only is this our way of showing our appreciation for new students choosing STS, but also the tie symbolizes STS’s rich history and a common bond that literally ‘ties’ all STS family members – past, present, and future – together.
Heard. Smith. Ditchburn. Cross. Atkinson. Waterous. Chernoff. Rose. Kirker. Anderson. Buchan. Burns. Dover. Howard…
These names will no doubt be very familiar to every student, parent or guardian, teacher and staff member of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS). In fact, it would not be an overstatement to say that the buildings, facilities, and traditions by which we honour these individuals and families have provided our literal foundations, and shaped our legacy, for over 50 years. As we celebrate our golden anniversary, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the lasting impact that these momentous contributions have made on our School.
Renowned coercive interrogation expert, Brian Leslie, has always known where his path would lead. “...ever since I was ten years old I wanted to be a cop. There was no doubt in my mind that’s what I wanted to do.”
With a decades-spanning career that includes a term as Chief of Police, a role working with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) courts of the United States Military, and being retained on some of the highest-profile cases in U.S. history, it’s safe to say that Brian has more than achieved his goals. Now, as founder of Criminal Case Consultants and author of such books as Deception of a Witness and Visual Liar, he is using his unique insight to determine who, precisely, is telling the truth in an investigation.
The STS community came together on Saturday, September 17, 2022, for the Homecoming Celebration and Family Fall Fair which took place outside in our beautiful courtyard. This STS tradition, put on in partnership with the STS Alumni Association and POSTS, brought together alumni, alumni parents, and alumni staff and their families, along with our STS families.
After the end of a grueling series of IB exams several weeks ago, sixteen Grade 12 students and three teacher supervisors (Mr. Bennett, Mr. Boulianne, and Ms. Grant-Watt) flew off to New York City to cram as much culture into a two-and-a-half-day period as possible. We saw the MET, an off-Broadway comedy called The Play That Goes Wrong, the New York Stock Exchange, the UN headquarters, the 9/11 memorial, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, Time Square, Fifth Avenue, and more. All the while taking breaks to eat at some of the most amazing food I have ever tasted, no matter if it was pasta in Little Italy or Texas-style family barbeque. It was a hectic rollercoaster, but even if our abused feet would say differently, none of us would have traded a single moment.
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.
Don’s admiration for the School and especially the teaching excellence has grown over the years since Anders joined in Grade 5, and through his giving he supports Head’s Initiatives, Outdoor Learning Projects, and Scholarships and Bursaries. [. . .] Don adds that he also donates because he’s a strong believer in the transformative power of education, “I think that's where society advances. With education, our kids and grandkids can have a better quality of life. And hopefully it can help them think critically, become wiser, and also more tolerant.”
Navigating the backcountry, much like ﬁnding our way through life, school and social interactions, can be full of challenge, discovery, and wonder. The wayﬁnding process can also be ﬁlled with anxiety, dread, and exhaustion. Sometimes a single day, or even a single hour, can elicit all of these emotions and states.
One of the words that I believe most describes STS is community. The close-ties and overarching feeling of community at STS can be described as nothing short of extraordinary. Although there are many amazing things from my time at STS so far, the things I will remember the most are the people I have met.
Each year recent STS graduates come together to share their stories about the rewards, surprises, and challenges of university life with our Grade 12 students. This year ten young alumni from around the world were brought together virtually for STS’s Tales from Undergrad Years session on February 17, 2022. Grade 12 students filled the C.A. Smith Arts Centre to listen to each alumna/alumnus guest speaker share their unique and varied experiences as freshman.
Last week our Grade 11 and 12 students had the pleasure of hearing from 17 alumni at our annual “Spartan Talk” sessions. Held in a virtual format, students had the opportunity to attend one of four alumni panels; Allied Health, STEM, Fine Arts and Humanities, and Law, Finance and Business. Alumni shared with students their journey from STS into their current roles.
At Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS), we seek to create an environment that encourages engaging and empowered learning, while prioritizing future-ready skills for our students. Through transformative spaces such as DaVinci Studios, Maker Spaces, and Innovations Studios, we can create programming that achieves this goal across all three divisions at STS.