Gryphons of the Month: January 2023

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 a student who has 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.”

Michelle is knowledgeable, caring, and a risk-taker

A Grade 4 learner’s musical talents are celebrated with multiple awards.

Michelle Z.’s stomach was in knots and full of butterflies before her first piano competition of the year. Once she started playing, her nerves disappeared and at the end of all the performances, it was the best feeling for her when she won the competition! The very next night, she had a violin competition and took home the win, yet again!

“I felt good, I was excited and proud of myself. My family was proud of me, and we all went for dinner after to celebrate,” says Michelle.

It’s a big deal when a student wins one award, but when Michelle won both her competitions, she kept this special news within her family and to herself. If it hadn’t been for her teacher, Ms. Kowalski asking her how her competitions went, her friends and classmates wouldn’t have known about her incredible accomplishment.

“Michelle is very talented, but also very humble. She is thoughtful towards other people, not wanting to show off her accomplishments. However, the whole class was eager to learn of her achievements and gave her a big round of applause! Michelle always puts her all into everything she does, and this shows in her work,” explains Ms. Kowalski.

Through Michelle’s musical expertise and the bravery she possesses when performing in front of large audiences, she has proven she is knowledgeable and a risk-taker. Her ability to think of others illustrates her caring nature.

What does it mean to Michelle to be knowledgeable, caring, and a risk-taker?
"Being knowledgeable to me is about always focusing on the things that you’re learning now and not forgetting the things that you learned before. To be a risk-taker is to overcome the nerves I feel before a recital and talking myself through it all. To be caring is to think about others. For example, I drew an art piece for an exhibition where it sold and the proceeds are going to BC Children's Hospital."


Ariah standing near the Meadowridge forest

Ariah is a communicator and a risk-taker

A Grade 6 learner braves the lights and cameras to give her best performances. 

If you have watched the shows The Good Doctor, Nancy Drew, or Supergirl, you may have seen Ariah L. in character, delivering a compelling performance. At any moment (between classes, while eating dinner, or doing homework) she could receive a call from her agent with word that she has landed a new role or a call for an audition, which means she will have to learn a lengthy script in just a few hours. But for Ariah, taking on a new character is an exhilarating process.

“When I prepare to play a character, I love learning about them, who they are, why they’re here. I find their strengths and weaknesses, and when I do this, their identity and personality emerge from me during an audition or performance,” says Ariah.

Though Ariah has gone through dozens of auditions, she says it can still be daunting when there are producers watching and the spotlight is on her, but she’s always happy to muster up the courage and give her best performance. Ariah hopes to one day walk the red carpet, and maybe be a director in the hopes of making her visions come to life on the big screens.

What does being a communicator and a risk-taker mean to Ariah?
"To be a communicator is about listening to what the other person has to say and understanding their emotions before responding and repeating the exchanges. It’s similar in acting when we are listening to what the other characters are saying and then delivering our lines, but also ensuring that the emotions are conveyed in the scene to our audience. To be a risk-taker means to be brave and even if you’re unsure about trying something, giving it your best effort. I always tell myself before an audition "don’t worry, because that worry is for future me, and future me isn't here yet," and "whatever happens, roll with the punches."


Sam standing near a wall of the Meadowridge Campus

Sam is principled, a risk-taker, and balanced

A Grade 11 learner perseveres through major setbacks and demonstrates his commitment to competitive running.

As an avid runner, Sam runs almost 70km each week! So, when he suffered a knee injury last year, he was devastated that he couldn’t partake in his favourite pastime. Sam knew he had to get back to where he physically was before his injury so that he could return to jogging the trails and sprinting the track. It was a difficult time for Sam, but with the support of his family, he recovered quickly.

“I had to train even harder than before to overcome my injury. There were so many times when I wanted to give up, but I kept thinking about wanting to reach my goals of breaking all the school’s records and going to the Olympics one day,” explains Sam.

Sam runs competitively at the school in track and field and cross-country. He also runs outside of school with Golden Ears Athletics, and can you guess what he enjoys doing in his spare time? Running, of course!

Through his training, perseverance, ambition, and maintaining his academics and life outside of running, Sam has demonstrated being a risk-taker, and that he is principled and balanced.

What does being principled, a risk-taker, and balanced mean to Sam?
"For me, being principled and balanced go together in that I need to ensure I’m getting my schoolwork done, think about my body, and give it proper nutrition and rest, all while training for races and competitions. Being a risk-taker means taking on the challenges like an injury and overcoming all the pain to improve my skills."