The Middle School Closing Ceremonies provide an opportunity not only for students to look forward to summer break but also to reflect on the year that was. Students from each grade spoke about their experiences during the 2016-2017 school year. Below are excerpts from a few of their speeches.
by Ethan W.
One of the humanities projects this year was the poverty project. This project was a highlight for us because we learned about the poverty line in Canada and other countries and we also learned that some people in the world are living on under a dollar a day. This helped us become more aware about poverty and people’s needs.
One of the last projects that we did in humanities was the City 20/20 project. This project was definitely the best project that we did all year because we got to redesign Centennial Square. We got to design housing units and we used a 2D mapping tool called Inkscape. Even though some classes didn’t do the City 20/20 project for Centennial Square, they did do a project where they designed a sustainable version of the new school. They enjoyed that a lot.
by Owen V. and Cassidy C.
As I am a new student at SMUS I couldn’t resist talking about my first day. OK I’ll admit it, my first day at SMUS was a terrifying one, I didn’t know anyone, and everything looked so big. That was until I was greeted by a friendly, happy, enthusiastic Grade 8. From that point on, I knew that this would be like no other school I had ever been to. I mean the learning resources and opportunities were endless, with things like “exploratory” where we could learn about almost anything that interested us. For example, woodworking, where we would, you guessed it, learn how to make things with wood, or the Greek exploratory where we learned about ancient Greek civilizations and mythologies.
However, in the end, the school is what it is because of the passionate and dedicated teachers and staff. For example, A certain science teacher with his classroom yoga poses (which I still can’t do) and his incredible willingness to help you out with nearly anything you need a hand with; or a certain choir teacher’s hilarious snobby teenager impressions; along with Ms. Toller’s understanding of the various complex reasons to be late, like when my mom forgot that I was in the back of the car and still needed to go to school. But hey, she still got me there in time to hear Mr Abrioux’s famous “Good morning everybody!”. I mean, what a terrific way to start an early Monday morning – am I right?
Moving on to my personal favorite trip of the year. I’m sure all of you know that less than a week ago, all but a few Grade 6’s and 7’s went on a trip to Camp Thunderbird. This gave us an amazing opportunity to experience some of the harder things in an out-trip, for example, the seemingly endless walking, or the cold sleepless nights. But like most things in life it was worth it.
In the end I just can’t believe that the school year is coming to an end after meeting so many great supportive friends and teachers. However odd this sounds, seeing as it is the end of a busy school year, I can’t wait to come back in September.
by Robson S. and Tori F.
Robson: This year began with the realization that we, the Grade 8s were now the official leaders of the Middle School and with being leaders came far more responsibility but what came also, were many incredible leadership opportunities. These opportunities helped us to learn, to grow and to challenge ourselves in various ways.
Tori: One of my most favourite events this year was the SMUS Grade 8 Leadership Conference where as a group of students, we organized and planned a special day for Grade 8s from several middle schools to visit our school to learn and be inspired by many influential guest speakers. Model UN and the CAIS Leadership Conference were two other very rewarding events that students had an opportunity to be involved with this year.
Robson: One of my favorite things from the Grade 8 year was out trips. There were six choices: island sampler, surfing, rock climbing, Sooke eco-adventure, sea kayaking and hiking the Juan de Fuca trail. I was in surfing, we left last Friday and drove up to Tofino, we camped in the beautiful Bella Pacifica campground right on Mackenzie Beach, and we surfed at South Chesterman Beach and Cox Bay. This trip was definitely my favorite out trip of Middle School. It pushed my boundaries and improved my social and leadership skills.
Tori: Other highlights from my Grade 8 year were the Strings and Choir concerts and, of course, being involved in the production of Willy Wonka. During the process of putting on this show, it was likely that everyone was pushed a little bit out of their comfort zones and in being pushed, we were fortunate to have had this amazing experience to learn new skills and possibly discover more about ourselves. It was a fantastic opportunity.
Robson: Personally, without a doubt, Grade 8 has been my favourite year at SMUS. It was a year of personal growth, a year of embracing individuality and diversity, and a year filled with excellent opportunities.
With the next four years ahead of us, and as we move on to Grade 9, we will always remember the wonderful experiences and opportunities that helped us realize who we are as individuals and also helped us discover our aspirations.
Tori: And last, but not least, On behalf of the Grade 8s, it is our honour to give a very special thank you to the amazing Middle School faculty and to our parents for providing us with endless encouragement, support and a fabulous learning environment.
You have made a significant impact in our Grade 8 year and we will never forget our time here.
View all of the photos from the Middle School Closing Ceremonies on the SMUS Photo Gallery.
(photos by Kent Leahy-Trill)