REVIEW OF Bodwell High School BY Alum, Oleg Pak
- Date of Review
November 27, 2023
- Grades (year)
Gr. 10 - Gr. 12 (2011 - 2013)
- University (major)
University of Calgary (Marketing)
Digital marketing director
(4) Overall Experience
From the very first time I entered Bodwell High School and saw the glowing diverse faces of the students buzzing around and welcoming staff, I knew this was a turning point in my life altogether. At first, I was not sure if it was going to be the better or for the worse, and of course that was anxiety speaking. During orientation, which by the way was very helpful for first-time students as we got to get well accustomed before school started so as to know my way around and get some school basics, the welcome was incredible and befitting. Overall I got to make some really good friends who have been there for me when I needed them and even went to university with some of them furthermore worked with them. You then see that it was no coincidence going there at the end of the day, but I was to make life-long relationships.
(4.5) School Leadership
At Bodwell High School all leadership excels, i.e., the Student Parliament and Administration leadership. Because of the lower number of students, there was always someone ready to assist anyone with anything. There were more than enough staff members to help. Respect is one of the values highly thought of at Bodwell. There were never any cases of bullying during my time there. We had a few cases of misconduct among students which is almost common anywhere with teens but the admin would handle it accordingly, nothing too unfair or damaging but rather would help guide the offender to realize they had to do better.
The teachers at Bodwell are very accommodating and explain really well in an interactive manner and would make sure no one got left behind. Most classes would offer after-school help to those struggling in certain classes. We often had group work and group discussions to encourage peer-to-peer interaction and it also made it easier to understand and it can be easily relatable especially when giving examples. I always loved Calculus with Mr. Hallis, he always had jokes and would look forward to math, which was new for me in my life since I met that man. Learning math while relaxed is best. Respect among teachers and students was mutual. I would say the teaching staff is just too caring and sweet in their own unique way, like family.
At Bodwell, we had a house system that was named after all the greatest people in the world. I was in Gandhi. I remember we would get rewarded points for excelling in whatever. One time I got points for doing well in my calculus and it would motivate me and others to keep excelling. At the end of the week, the student with the most points would get rewarded accordingly. Education became like the Olympics and it made it more interesting and fun positively as it would keep the grade point average high. You wouldn’t feel the stress or pain of studying instead you would strive to do better each week to get that prize. I took AP calculus and that helped so much when I was in university. I maintained my studying habits from high school and of course, improved a bit but they never really changed because of the academic atmosphere I had been exposed to while I was at Bodwell.
Bodwell has a lot of extracurricular activities open to students. I was in the swimming and volleyball team. We would travel around the region and it was refreshing and it was also a bonding moment for me and my colleagues which will forever hold in our memories. Sometimes we would compete as houses against each other. Some nights we had school dances like on Halloween. I reminisce that during lunch break we would play a little bit of lawn mini soccer just to free the mind before going in for other classes. I also had to do Physical Education as a class for credit. The basketball team and the soccer team would always go for the provincials, the teams were doing well.
When I got to Bodwell I think we were less than 500 but a year later we were above 500 showing potential growth for the student body. Being a school with almost a quarter of the students from other surrounding areas meant at Bodwell we had to be closer and stronger in order to achieve similar or more energy than our opponents. That did happen. In 2012 we shot a lip dub which then became a trend. We were all from different countries and backgrounds but the whole school agreed and came together to shoot the one-take video without rehearsal. This to me was a symbol of unity, love and respect. We all wanted to become a community and represent the same values of equality and love. Going to Bodwell requires an open heart and an open mind. Be ready to learn as there is a lot to learn from.
(4) School Life
The overall quality of student life at Bodwell was comfortable. Vancouver has lots to offer in terms of activities to do so whenever we had free time the school would organize events such as trips to Whistler and trips to the aquarium, it was so refreshing and destressing. Most Dorm students would participate as opposed to Homestay students as Homestay students had other plans already set either with families or outside friends. Only now and then would you find some students homesick incorporating some of the activities that would help them remember home would help more such as culture days where students got to do something that resembles where they came from such as food, dance and song. Students were barely stressed as the school load was manageable and assistance was being offered
The community at Bodwell is very inclusive and bonded. Sometimes the sports team would go for team building away from the court or field and get the feel of community. I find most of the alumni want to be involved with the school after leaving. You find old sports people coming in to coach the new teams and some even coming for games to support. Seeing your senior idol come to see you play is definitely a highlight for the season. Parents were welcome to visit as most of the students were international students. Whenever they would visit would get a tour of and around the school, and we were able to share a meal in the school cafeteria for them. I guess it was a day in their child’s life. I personally went to the same university as 6 other guys in Alberta. We all lived in Residence first year but second year I moved in with 2 other guys, we were still close to 1 year into university
(4) School Location
The school is located close to all transit possible. It is just by the shore but there is a specific bus that gets you right by the door. There is a mall close by and a dog park that surrounds the school. Most of the homestays are in North Vancouver. There is a really nice bubble tea and coffee shop that is actually famous for its chocolate among tourists.
The application procedure for me was manageable. I was doing it from Kazakhstan but I had the admissions officer and a counselor contacting me offering help if I needed any. The forms were straightforward and I had to make sure my transcripts and certificates were in place. My credits were transferred nicely. A slight hiccup was with the Visa. The admissions did their job perfectly and gave me my admissions letter in time. The only problem is I applied a little late closer to the opening of schools. Visa processing might delay the process but if everything is in order it goes by quickly. Having to apply well in advance super early can help better prepare for the move but that can only happen after the visa is issued.
(4) University placement and counselling
There was a wide variety of counsellors adding up to 4 at the time who were readily available and accessible. We had a waiting room full of up-to-date brochures for various North American universities with vast information that was for student consumption. There were regular visits from university representatives who would come assist us and guide us be it we had any questions. We would have a small university fair. Some days we had career guidance sessions to help map one’s distinct road to success. When starting the actual application, with the help of a personal counsellor one would upload documents and apply to the school and program of choice with guidance and assistance. It was a system in place before us so we all would apply early to our desired universities. It was quite thorough.