Recent Albert College graduate Kurtis Schmidt began his Albert College journey beginning in Junior Kindergarten. Now, 14 years later, Schmidt is what AC Grad call a “Lifer”. A “Lifer” is a student who has attended Albert College for more than five consecutive years. In Schmidt’s case, he is an expert “Lifer”. He has experienced being a student in the Early Primary Learning Centre (known as the EPLC), The Parrott Junior School, The Albert College Middle School and Senior School.
Schmidt was the Valedictorian of the Class of 2020. In his speech, Schmidt observes the impact his teachers had on his development. “The teachers at Albert College see your potential and believe in you, sometimes before you even believe in yourself.” Schmidt acknowledges his teachers as having given him a strong foundation in knowledge. “My teachers helped me to achieve a deeper level of thinking, which has allowed me to be productive in high school and has prepared me for post-secondary." Schmidt credits the learning skills marking system, the practice of self-reflection, the ability to collaborate with fellow students effectively and learning how to take initiative as giving him a sense of security. “I feel prepared for life after high school,” says Schmidt.
At Albert College, students are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone. Students are given the opportunity to become involved in over 70 co-curricular sports, clubs and activities. The student body is diverse and made up of students from 20 different nations. Of those who attend the Albert College Middle and Senior School, 53 % are international boarding students. Schmidt describes the journey at Albert College for any student as a direct path for building confidence and finding oneself. “At Albert College, the one thing that you can expect to get is, perspective. With students attending this school from all around the world, we learn a lot outside of the classroom. I have made many friendships with students from China, Germany and Mexico. Albert College has provided me with a place to form these bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime.” Schmidt cherishes his friendships and recognizes the importance of being globally aware. “Going into the world with cultural knowledge is something that you can expect after you graduate from Albert.”
However bittersweet graduating from Albert College may be for Schmidt, he reassures his fellow graduates that there is nothing to be afraid of. “Don’t be afraid to take the next step and challenge yourself. We have been given the tools to achieve whatever we want in life.”
Kurtis Schmidt ’20 was the co-recipient of the Albert College Marsh Award, the recipient of the Rotary Club of Belleville’s "Service Above Self” Award as well as the recipient of the Albert College Adventure Award. Kurtis was the Adventure Prefect in his graduating year and had been active in the Adventure Program achieving his silver level Duke of Edinburgh award and plans to continue working towards the gold level. Kurtis is going on to pursue a Bachelor of Computing degree at Queen’s University in Kingston in the fall.
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