Students at work at the Seven Summits Centre for Learning.

What it means to mentor

Two Seven Summits for Learning Centre students write about their new mentors for the school year: Jonny Coleshill and Melanie Boothe.

  • Oct. 5, 2013 7:00 p.m.

By Hannah Klemmensen and Jane Andeson

An exciting new education opportunity has opened up in Rossland at the Seven Summits Centre for Learning.

The education program provided by SelfDesign at Seven Summits offers youth an alternative method of learning.

The goal of the Learning Centre is to provide individualized learning for the youth in our community. This form of education provides learners with an opportunity to pursue their interests while still receiving an education recognized by the Canadian government.

The youth learn the B.C. curriculum, required for provincial exams and high school diplomas through online courses, but their learning plans are much more flexible and individualized.

Jonny Coleshill is the full time mentor for the learners at Seven Summits Learning Centre. His academic specialties are English and social studies. Like most Rossland citizens, he is an outdoor enthusiast who loves spending his time on hiking trails, or out on the slopes skiing.

Jonny has travelled quite a lot and has had many cool teaching experiences in the places he’s visited. He taught international development and literacy programs in Africa and Costa Rica. He also spent one year as a teacher in the Middle East, but he’s spent most of his time teaching much closer to home. He’s taught eight years in North American public schools.

Jonny has mentored online courses like the ones offered through SelfDesign High.

“I feel very confident in online programs because they give young people an alternative option in their education and provide individualized learning,” said Jonny.

“SelfDesign encourages young people to learn about what they want, and focus on their interests.”

This year Jonny hopes to see lots of community involvement with the Centre. He anticipates Seven Summits will grow in popularity and expand more and more with each coming year.

His biggest goal for this year is to see the learners become truly passionate about what they are learning and take charge in their education.

Melanie Boothe, our new math and science mentor, decided the exciting opportunity would be an interesting change from a traditional school system. Melanie has taught in Manitoba, where she got her degree, as well as British Columbia.

It is her first year teaching in a learning environment such as SelfDesign.

“The work put into individualized learning will create learners who are passionate and driven,” said Melanie “Just getting to watch teens grow, and discover who they are, is a gift in itself.”

She is excited to share her passion for sciences, and for those continuing in French as it is her first language. She has worked in French Immersion and English speaking schools, teaching math and science, along with basic French, textiles and planning, all at the high school level.

Melanie’s first degree was in Environmental Sciences, which helped her understand the importance of hands on, outdoor learning. Other ways she connects to the outdoors is through activities like gardening and outdoor sports. She also enjoys cooking, creative endeavours, and spending time with her two young boys.

Both mentors are aware that many people in Rossland and the surrounding communities are very curious about this learning method. They want everyone to know that visitors are welcome at any time to check out the Centre and see what we’re all about.

Hannah Klemmensen (Grade 8) and Jane Andeson (Grade 9) are students at the Seven Summits Centre for Learning.


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