I am Shawnigan

Ingrid H. '23 (Co-Head of School, Kaye's)

"Shawnigan is the perfect place to develop your existing passions, or to find new ones, because you have so many opportunities to try new things.

Before I ever visited the School, I heard stories from my mother, who graduated in 1991 from Kaye’s House. A lot of her life lessons seemed to loop back to her experiences at Shawnigan. I was also around a lot of her friends growing up, and it was pretty cool that some of her best friends from high school, people that I looked up to as mentors, were from Shawnigan. It definitely made Shawnigan seem like a pretty great place.

I came to visit Shawnigan for the first time for the Centennial celebrations in 2016, when I was only 10 years old. I was so excited to be a part of everything that was happening. I distinctly remember going to the theatre to see a performance from the musical Cabaret that the School was putting on that year. I was so amazed that this was a high school! Not only was I in awe of the campus, but I was also so interested to see how excited and happy everyone was at the School. It made me want to be part of it all.

I was definitely drawn to Shawnigan, not only because my mother was an alum, but because I was craving an experience that was different from the one that I had always known – I wanted to get out of my bubble. I wanted a new environment, new opportunities, and to broaden my horizons. I know that coming to Shawnigan was the right decision because it has allowed me the opportunity to be surrounded by different people in an environment that pushes me to try new things and exposes me to things that I never would have experienced back home.

I have always liked doing creative things, and have always especially loved making jewelry. I created the Jewelry Making 360 and I am proud of that. It is something I am incredibly passionate about and I get to share it with others, and at the same time I’m bringing something to Shawnigan that wasn’t there before. Having dedicated 360 time in the week is something that I am incredibly grateful for because it has allowed me that time to pursue my creative side and expand my skills.

Running the 360 has definitely helped me with my leadership skills and it has taught me to be patient and to adapt my teaching style because everyone learns a bit differently, and it has challenged me to be adaptable so that everyone can learn to enjoy the 360 regardless of what their goals are.

Rowing is another thing that I found at Shawnigan that I never would have been able to do at home. To be part of a team and experience this type of high-level training has not only pushed me but has also been something that I have really enjoyed doing. I had never competed in team sports before coming to Shawnigan, so it was incredibly positive to have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be part of a team, as well as to learn the valuable life lessons along the way while trying something completely new.

Participating in a sport and a 360 is one of the best things about being at Shawnigan. It is so valuable to be able to try different things and to really pursue things that you are passionate about. You have to do it, so you might as well try as many different things as you can because you never know what new passion you might develop. I think it's important to take every opportunity you can get, and to push yourself no matter how awkward it might be at first. At Shawnigan, you are definitely encouraged to forge your own path.

It is really nice to be around teachers who understand you not only as a student, but as a person. Since we live where we go to school, we get to know our teachers at a much deeper level. My teachers are very empathetic and are always trying to understand what might be going on beyond the classroom that they are not aware of. Everyone really cares about trying to help you do the best you can, not just in terms of your grades, but how you get through each and every day. This school is a very nurturing place thanks to all the amazing people who work here.

The House staff are your family away from home and they are the ones who see everything that is going on in your life. They understand you and are always looking out for you. It is really comforting to know that you have all these amazing people who really understand who you are because they truly get to know you and are always there to pick you up when you aren’t doing well, and are constantly checking in and providing a listening ear. Being a boarding student is the best thing about Shawnigan.

This year I am fortunate enough to be one of the Co-Heads of School. I am supposed to be the representative for the students, and I hope that I have done that thus far. For me the biggest thing I focus on is trying to talk to as many different people as I can every day and to try to get to know them, and to check in on them, and to hear about their opinions and thoughts. I try to make sure that everyone knows that no matter what, they have people who are looking out for them, who care about them.

At the end of the year, I would be proud if we had a school where everyone feels confident to take on opportunities that best serve them and to not worry about what other people are thinking. I want students to feel supported in doing the things that they want to do and to feel confident in creating their own individual journey. I want everyone to feel empowered to be themselves and to do what makes them happy.

I will never forget the feeling of having people surrounding me who really support me. I know that I have many friendships here that I will carry with me throughout my life. Growing up alongside the people that you really care about is incredibly special. Shawnigan helps to form you through some of the most important years in your life and it takes you from being a kid to going to university and the real world.

People care about you at Shawnigan, and they will always try to lift you up and encourage you to take on every opportunity you can. Shawnigan is a community that will help to develop you and then empower you to become the person you want to be."

- From an interview with Co-Head of School Ingrid H. '23 (Kaye's)

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List of 3 news stories.

  • Ingrid H. '23 (Co-Head of School, Kaye's)

    "Shawnigan is the perfect place to develop your existing passions, or to find new ones, because you have so many opportunities to try new things.
    Read More
  • Mr. Remi Anctil

    "Sometimes teaching doesn’t even feel like a job. Going to class, having fun with the kids, and teaching them things and having discussions with them – I am always blown away. There are some really bright kids here who truly want to learn. I feel really fortunate to teach here.
    Read More
  • Mrs. Leslie Smith

    "My favourite part about teaching is the students. It's those transformational moments, those “aha” moments when a student does something that they never thought they could do. Those are my happy moments – seeing my students experimenting and discovering new things, and having fun along the way. I think that's why I love teaching junior students so much, because we can have fun, and we do have fun every single day.

    I am an English teacher; my interest in and passion for ELL developed during my time here at Shawnigan and have evolved into an area of speciality. My Shawnigan career began 20 years ago and my first role was providing support services to students who had ELL needs or executive functioning needs. Back then there was no Learning Centre. Then, I got back into the classroom and worked in the English Department and the Prep School before moving full time into the English Department.
    Read More
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