My years at STS formed a foundation that has enabled me to achieve much more than I could have imagined, both in my career and on a personal level. Thank you for the years of mentoring, learning and guidance that have shaped me into the person I am today. - Shannon Bowen-Smed '82, President and CEO, Bowen Workplace Solutions
Well-being, academic success, and discovering your personal best is our priority at STS. Student Services supports learning, social and emotional needs, and educational planning.
It starts in the classroom with teachers committed to supporting diverse learning styles to ensure students reach their full academic potential. Personal attention is the norm; because there are small class sizes at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir.
Beginning in Middle School, students meet with their dedicated advisor every week in addition to a five minute advisor period every morning. Together, they set goals and work on self-management skills. This continues in Grade 10 with a dedicated period for student/advisor interaction. And, all Senior School students have devoted time to seek help in any subject.
Beyond the classroom, student support is highly collaborative. Teachers meet weekly with our learning strategists to track the progress of students. They identify targeted support where needed, which could include:
- Weekly meetings between a student and a learning strategist.
- Involvement of parents for added support.
Our learning strategists work with the entire school community to provide the right support at the right time.
When needed, our learning strategists develop a program that could include:
- An academic profile for consistency for the entire team;
- Essential learning skill development including organization, study habits, planning, and time management;
- Communication coordination with parents and faculty.
Together, we make sure every student achieves their personal best.
What should I do after high school?
Choosing a path to university studies can be a bit overwhelming. Students at STS work with our university counsellor to plan post-secondary studies. In Grades 11 and 12, University Planning is a regular course.
Uncovering each student’s motivations and priorities mark the beginning of the journey to university. We use the Strong Interest Inventory assessment and student reflection to help students determine possible future career paths, and in turn, choose their high school courses. They’ll learn about different careers from invited guests, and attend our large university fair. Two university tours round out their introduction to post-secondary options.
To foster academic excellence, leadership and character is our mission at STS. We strive to continue that development into the future.
The Student Services Team
Ms. Lori Gonzalez
Director of Student Services
Ms. Gonzalez’s primary role is to provide social-emotional support to students across the three divisions of the school, Grades 5-12. She provides one-on-one counseling and her open-door policy allows students to walk through her door whenever they need support. Additionally, she coordinates referrals to the team and acts as a liaison between parents and teachers.
Mrs. Elaine Chotowetz
Elementary School Learning Strategist
Mrs. Chotowetz collaborates with students, teachers and parents to provide support, resources and strategies for our Grades 3 to 6 students. She coordinates ongoing benchmark assessments and facilitates accommodations.
Early Literacy Teacher
Mrs. Taryn O'Toole works with students from Kindergarten to Grade 2. She works with students, teachers and parents to provide literacy support, strategies and early literacy resources. Mrs. O'Toole also administers the benchmark assessments in these grades.
Mrs. Lisa Roth
Middle School Learning Strategist (Grades 7 to 9)
Mrs. Roth works with students in Grades 7 to 9 and helps teachers plan in-class learning, coordinate accommodations for assessments, and provide resources and strategies for all members of a student’s learning team. Mrs. Roth works closely with Mr. Clark to provide a holistic level of support for our Middle School students.
Dr. Gina Cherkowski
Senior School Learning Strategist
Dr. Gina Cherkowski is a Social-Justice Learning Scientist who believes all students have the capacity to learn and achieve at high levels. Dr. Cherkowski has worked as a high school math teacher, a special education teacher as well as a university professor and researcher. Dr. Cherkowski enjoys working with students and helping them understand how they best learn and supporting them as they develop the skills, habits, and mindsets they need to thrive in school and beyond.
Ms. Jana-Lynn Caines
Ms. Caines delivers regularly scheduled university planning workshops for Grades 11 and 12 students, and is available to work with any Senior School student in choosing their current courses to support their preferred post-secondary path. Ms. Caines also offers workshops for parents interested in learning more about post-secondary education for their children. If Senior School students or their parents have any questions regarding post-secondary planning, please contact Ms. Caines.