Calgary, AB | Grades 7 - 12 | Shortlist
My time at West Island College (WIC) was incredibly memorable and has been influential in shaping me into the professionally satisfied, emotionally balanced, and driven person I am today. The time in the classroom was interactive and engaging. Teachers going above and beyond was a standard. Although I am in no way engaged in biology today, I can still remember the way my biology teacher (who is still teaching there) described peptide bonds and the "specificity of protein binding sites". My physics classroom was filled with things to play with that really showcase motion and statics. Our language programs were interactive with different media and lots of opportunities to participate in debate, and prose presentations outside of class. Every single teacher would enthusiastically meet with me before or after school for extra help if or when I needed it. Academically, I felt amazingly prepared for university. I could tell I was well prepared by WIC because test writing was a breeze, studying was always effective, and I was able to really succeed in university academically with very little stress. The way my high school teachers treated me as an equal and with respect made it easy to interact with university profs, where many of my university peers felt nervous. What stands out even more than the classroom experience for me is the extracurricular and travel program. There were so many opportunities for leadership and participation in the community. The teaching staff was again very engaged in life outside the classroom, and I had lots of opportunities to gain a balanced worldview of events and people by travelling to Nepal, Tibet, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos islands. Every trip had cultural learning deeply embedded and a volunteer project we would take on that helped us give to the communities we visited and to meet local people. WIC provided me with a very balanced set of opportunities that helped me thrive academically in university, easily taking leadership positions in clubs and extracurriculars that has since led to a similar approach in my professional life. WIC put me on a path of success and opportunity that I am forever grateful for.
We have two sons in WIC, both of whom started from grade seven. My older son is graduating in June 2020 and my younger son is in grade 10. We think what they appreciate the most is the faculty and staff, which is the heart and soul of any school. Every year, my children would meet mostly new teachers, but their feelings of being inspired and supported are exactly the same, thanks to the combination of a high academic caliber and a well-developed culture of professionalism. During the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the faculty are facing their own challenges in life, they have been responding promptly to all my children's questions. My children really don't feel that their learning has been hindered in any way. With the help of technology, they even receive feedback and quiz results quicker than usual. Over the last five years, my children have received a great deal of attention and support for their individual needs, at every stage of their school life. All of those moments where they go the "extra mile" are especially appreciated.