It seems like there are a lot of reasons to celebrate in our community. For some, it’s because the days are getting longer and the sun is shining. However, for most, it’s because either they or a family member or friend are walking across the stage to signal the end of an education journey.
Over the past month and through to the end of June, we have and will see members of the class of 2017 walk across the stage at the University of Northern British Columbia, the top small university in Canada according to Maclean’s magazine, and the College of New Caledonia. These two institutions provide an affordable quality post-secondary education. I highly recommend you check out these schools if you’re looking for a college or university. In addition to graduates, we also have students graduating from eight high schools and various alternate programs throughout the school district.
For me, it’s my son Ryan. He’s completing preschool and getting ready to start kindergarten in September. It’s amazing how fast time flies. I can’t believe he starts school in September and is getting ready to start his 13-year journey through the public education system. Don’t get me wrong, we’re also celebrating the nice weather and have already spent a lot of time soaking up the sun, but I’ll focus on the education piece for now
I could write multiple blogs about how Prince George is truly an education destination. However, since I only have so much room to write, today I’m going to focus on our strong K-12 public education system.
School District 57 (Prince George) has the vision of inspiring learning anywhere and each of the 40 schools within the district strives to provide a strong education for students. A strong education system is the foundation of a strong community. Our district has a lot of offer. For those looking for a bit of choice, our district has a wide array of choice programs and schools including French Immersion (Lac Des Bois, Heather Park and College Heights), Aboriginal Choice (Nusdeh Yoh), Traditional (Spruceland) and one of BC’s only publically funded Montessori programs (Polaris).
There are also some amazing programs to help students learn and pursue their passions. The Canadian Sport School Northern BC is offered in partnership with Pacific Sport at the Northern Sports Centre. This program is for high performing athletes who are representing our community at the provincial or national level. These students attend their home schools in the morning and then in the afternoon head up to the Northern Sports Centre to train with a Strength and Conditioning Coach. When travelling, the program has a teacher who can provide direct support to students. The school district also offers great programs that focus on the arts (Polaris Preforming Arts at Prince George Secondary School), trades (Career Technical Centre program offered in partnership with the College of New Caledonia) and each of our schools offer unique courses based on the staff and students passions (Yoga 11/12 at DP Todd and Go Karting at Kelly Road just to name a few).
To close I want to take an opportunity to say congratulations to the class of 2017. Whether you’re finishing preschool, elementary school, high school, college or university, I wish you a happy graduation and nothing but the best as you get ready for a new adventure. I would like to share with you the advice I shared with Prince George Secondary School graduates last week. The words are not mine. Thank you to Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift for the inspiration.
“It might seem crazy what I am about to say. Sunshine is here so you can take a break. You just need to ignite the light and let it shine. You are a firework, come on show them what you are worth. You’re amazing just the way you are. That sometimes haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate hate hate so when they do – just shake it off… shake it off.”