Gryphons of the Month: February 2024

Our students have so many amazing stories to share. The Meadowridge Awards and Recognition Committee want to recognize the work of our incredible students. Each month, teachers in Elementary, Middle, and High School nominate students who have demonstrated characteristics of the Learner Profiles in a memorable and inspiring way. Through our Gryphons of the Month, it’s our hope that, as a community, we hear the “stories of our students.”

Yekta K. (Grade 3) inspires inquiry through exploration

Yekta is curious about everything and loves to learn about nearly anything. The Grade 3 student has a never-ending list of projects and inquiries, from researching the piggyback plant and building landform dioramas to creating different arts and crafts. In class or on her own, she always has some sort of project on the go. Adding to Yekta’s inquisitiveness is a love of exploration, particularly in nature amidst wilderness and wildlife. Oftentimes, these outdoor adventures lead her to a new research project to pursue. “I come home, type up lots of notes, and create artwork too,” she explains. Yekta’s latest exploration has landed her a volunteer role as a Book Buddy, part of a BCSPCA initiative that has children read to animals. Once a week, Yekta reads aloud and helps to calm all sorts of creatures, from guinea pigs and lizards to cats.

For her peers who want to turn their own learning into action, Yekta says to find what you enjoy. “Is it art? writing? note-taking? You should find a concept,” the Grade 3 student implores. And, as for finding what to explore, she says getting outside is a great way to stir up new inquiries and interests. Of course, with any adventure, Yekta reminds us of the importance of being safe—a caution she learned first-hand after a close call with a Canadian Goose (“It bit me!” she laughs).


Evelyn S. (Grade 7) balances her time, passions, and giving back

Evelyn’s swimming career started at four, but picked up in earnest at eight. Since then, the Grade 7 student has dedicated herself to the sport, with a full week’s schedule of early morning swim practices and after-school CrossFit and Pilates. Though Evelyn admits waking up at 4:00am is not her most favourite thing, her passion keeps her motivated to meet any challenge, from tough competition to early morning wake-up calls.

With back-to-back best times at her latest meets, Evelyn is an undoubted force in the lanes. In addition to being a hardworking student and swimmer, the Meadowridge student is also an avid piano player, recently finishing her Level 8.

A principled learner, she still finds time—in between practices, training, and homework— to give back. Using her passion for good, Evelyn plays piano at seniors homes and volunteers to run the clocks at swim meets when she can. As for managing these many priorities, Evelyn says being balanced is a helpful mindset to have. Time management and discipline are two skills that the Grade 7 student admits are a “work in progress” but are necessary and worthwhile.


Julia Z. (Grade 12) gives back and inspires

Go, the abstract, strategy board game, was something Julia has known about for many years. Despite this, it was never a game she herself had played—mostly, she only watched her father and uncle play—or was at all interested in. It wasn’t until years later, when a Go school opened up near her home, that Julia decided to give it a try. While her initial foray was not entirely voluntary—her parents had encouraged her to go—she quickly became hooked on not only the game itself but also the community and comradery amongst players.

Six years later, Julia is now actively involved in Go as a player, volunteer, and leader. Her talent has taken her to tournaments around the world, from Quebec and Colorado to Japan, while her passion and interest have secured her a role as the Media Marketing Manager with the American Go Honor Society. As a player, Julia has secured many impressive top-five finishes, including a notable second-place finish at the American Go Association's Girls' Cup. As a leader, she has been active in many initiatives, including one focused on introducing more female players to the game.

In all parts of her involvement, Julia shows that she is thoughtful, knowledgeable, and balanced. For anyone looking to get involved in Go or any other community, Julia emphasizes finding your passion first and foremost. “That way you’ll meet like-minded people,” she explains, “and you’ll also be able to recognize ways to give back and help make the community a better place to be.”