Gryphons of the Month: April 2021

Our students have so many amazing stories to share. The Meadowridge Awards and Recognition Committee, wanted to begin a new section in the e-Gryphon. Each month we have asked teachers and our Middle and High School students to nominate a student who has demonstrated a learner profile characteristic in a memorable and inspiring way.

We will highlight one student from Elementary, Middle and High School each month. It is our hope that, as a community, we hear the “stories of our students”.

Sophie is caring.

A grade 4 learner uses her talent for writing to promote care amongst her classmates.

Coming back from recess one day, Sophie (Grade 4) heard some of her classmates saying hurtful things about another student. She felt sad hearing these things but also motivated: she didn’t want to just ignore these conversations, she wanted to stop them from happening. So, later that afternoon, she spoke with her teacher Mrs. Hamaguchi to learn what she could do. And then that evening, she spoke with her mom. Both of them had the same advice for the caring young learner: use your voice and take action.

As a talented writer – Sophie is an avid writer who even sends her stories to relatives as gifts! – she knew a speech was the action she would take. Sophie got home, took out a piece of paper, and started writing. A few days later, she stood up and shared her speech in class and then again in the other Grade 4 classes after that. “Everyone tells us to be kind, but then we go to recess and that all goes out the window,” she explains, “I wanted to write something people wouldn’t forget.” By writing and reading her speech in front of the class, she knew her classmates would pay attention. She was right. After sharing the harm that these words cause, the types of conversations she first heard that day had “gone down a lot.”

What does caring mean to Sophie?

"Caring is about putting people in front of you, not being self-centred and doing doings only for yourself. Being caring is doing things that make other people happy."  



Tsz Wun is a risk-taker.

A Grade 10 learner applies to a competitive aviation program and soars to new heights.

Though Tsz Wun has moved around quite a bit – he was born in Hong Kong and has lived in Singapore, the Netherlands and now Canada – he’s kept one thing constant: his involvement in cadets. With different variations and names in the many countries he’s lived, the essence of all these programs is the same. It’s about teamwork, diligence, citizenry and growth. And for Tsz Wun especially, a learner with a particular interest in aviation and engineering, it’s about opportunity. When he learned about a cadet scholarship program that would let him – if accepted – learn to fly a plane, he knew applying was a risk worth taking. So, he did.

After lots of studying, mock interviews and testing, Tsz Wun passed the first stage and is now one step closer to earning entry into the competitive program. And though the pandemic has since put the process on pause, Tsz Wun is still glad he took a chance and is eager for things to pick up again soon. In the meantime, amongst many other things, Tsz Wun is continuing his aviation and school studies, playing the trumpet, taking on more leadership opportunities, and preparing for his new role next year as Meadowridge’s lead cadet. “Take risks,” the well-rounded learner encourages, “but calculated ones: think about the negatives and the positives and you’ll realize there’s often little reason not to act.”

What does being a risk-taker mean to Tsz Wun?

"Being a risk-taker is taking advantage of opportunities that come to you. Think about the negatives and the positives and take calculated risks, because the biggest thing at risk could be your knowledge."



Hannah and Erica are communicators.

Two Grade 8 students make their mark on the international debate stage.

Listening to Hannah and Erica speak leaves no room for debate: the two are clever and confident communicators. Debate judges would tend to agree, as the pair has earned five awards between them in the past few months alone. Best speaker, best team… competition after competition, individually and as a team, the awards stacked up. Funnily, for a pair who seems so in sync as debate teammates, their reasons for getting involved couldn’t be more different. For Erica, it was during a mock debate in her Grade 6 Societies and Literature class with Mr. Kennedy. After dominating the classroom conversation about the Kinder Morgan Pipeline, Erica – a self-confessed “talker” – realized it was a field she wanted to pursue.

Hannah, meanwhile, pushed herself into debate to overcome her shyness and meet new friends. Not knowing one another back then, each with their own motivations and reasons, the two signed up for a local debate academy, met, and quickly became teammates and then friends. Hannah soon joined Erica at Meadowridge School and the rest is history. Now, the pair compete in international and local tournaments and rarely miss out on an opportunity to compete. Most recently, they placed in the Stanford Invitational Speech & Debate Tournament, the Seattle Academy Invitational, and the NSDA China National Tournament. “It’s kind of an addiction,” Hannah laughs at their involvement, “it feels like you’re climbing and mountain and always want to get the top.”

What does being a communicator mean to Hannah?

"Being a communicator is not just about communicating your ideas, but also what people think of you. In a competition, you should be thinking about your opponents and your partner and the judges to have them see your perspective of the debate. Sometimes in debate, you won’t agree with the position you’ve been handed but it’s up to you to use communication to persuade your judges and your opponents. That’s powerful."


What does being a communicator mean to Erica?

"Being a communicator isn’t just about talking, it’s about building relationships. This learning profile trait is important because it helps you in that. At Meadowridge especially, this helps you build longstanding relationships in a world based on introductions. If we want to expand and become successful in the future, it’s all about introductions and meeting new people and forming relationships. That’s what communications helps us do."