This year the Seven Summits Centre for Learning graduated nine students.
The school held its celebration and graduation ceremony last Wednesday at Red Mountain Resort, and this year the celebration included a special guest — Navigate principal Jeff Stewart.
Seven Summits partnered with Navigate — a distributed learning school operated out of School District 71 in Courtney, B.C. — at the beginning of the school year.
“Today we celebrate the first group of Seven Summits/Navigate graduates,” said Stewart. “The world is changing: you can now go to school in Rossland and graduate from Courtney.”
The principal wished the Rossland graduates the best for their future and sent them off with his best Rocky impersonation: “I don’t care if it’s you, me or anybody, ain’t nobody going to hit you as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you get hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and get up and keep moving forward.”
Riffing off Rocky, he advised the graduates to know their worth and to shape their own destinies.
“Know your worth. Above all else don’t let others dictate how worthy you are. Only you can control that,” he said, before ceding the stage to Seven Summits’ administrators and teachers, who spoke about each graduate in turn.
“You know when Jane’s in the centre, because you can feel her presence. Her smile radiates and is infectious. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to feel the positive vibes you projected,” said Sue McBride, lead administrator.
Scholarships and bursaries won: Klister Club Award, Better Life Scholarship, Nelson and District Credit Union and Navigate PAC Bursary.
“As a teacher, one of the greatest things is to meet students who really challenge you and Aven’s that student. She’s really challenged my ideas and my philosophies, and made me reflect on my own role as a global citizen. And she’s one of the most amazing graduates I’ve had the opportunity to teach,” said Jennifer Boutilier, teacher.
Scholarships and bursaries won: Rossland Golden City Lions Club Scholarship, Courtenay Lions Club Award, Girl Guides of Canada Kootenay Award and Columbia District Award and District Dogwood Award (cannot officially be presented until the end of August, but student is on track to receive this award).
“One of the things I love about Bronwyn is that she walks through life to the beat of her own drum and if you don’t like her drum beat, she doesn’t care. She does everything with such a fierceness and whatever she’s doing, she does it well,” said Boutilier.
Scholarships and bursaries won: Goldrush Bookstore scholarship (money was raised from a percentage of the sales of books donated by the community).
“She just rises to the occasion and always comes through and works really hard for what she wants to achieve in the world. And I know she’ll continue to do that as she moves through the world in whatever she chooses to do,” said Ann Quarterman, operations manager at Seven Summits and someone who has known McLean “pretty much her whole life.”
Scholarships and bursaries won: Boxing Day Classic.
“You’ve taught me more as a teacher than any one degree possibly could. You validated that education is not something to be categorized or streamlined, that it is about, and should always be about the person first and learning about their experiences and their passions,” Andre Pierce, teacher, told Ropas while trying to fight back tears.
Scholarships and bursaries won: Alpine Grind Bursary.
“He’s a dedicated, high-level skier, so he excels. He … doesn’t [just] compete, he’s at the top of the game. And that work ethic for training is also apparent in his studies,” said D’Arcy Ziprick, teacher.
Scholarships and bursaries won: District Dogwood Award (cannot officially be presented until the end of August, but student is on track to receive this award) and Seven Summits Faculty Award of Distinction.
“It is so admirable to see a young man that is so well-liked by his peers and see somebody taking life so seriously, and to be close to his family and friends,” said Jonny Colehill, teacher.
Scholarships and bursaries won: City of Rossland Scholarship and CDTA Bursary.
“It’s been amazing to watch this fun and confident individual grow into a young man and prepare himself for the jump off into the real world. I was always so impressed with your musical and performance abilities,” Colehill told Stewart, shortly before challenging him to one final test — a light-saber battle.
Scholarships and bursaries won: Ferraro Foods Scholarship.
“I have it on good authority that at one point he was bored on the weekends and was actually happy when Mondays came around so he could come back to school and hang out with friends and play guitar. He’s good-natured, always friendly and has a good attitude,” said Ziprick.
Scholarships and bursaries won: Visions for Small Schools Bursary, Navigate PAC Bursary and BCTF Scholarship.