Gryphons of the Month: May

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.”

Jayden and Jonathan (Grade 5) reflect and show care

Twice a week, every week, Jonathan and Jayden ride the school bus home. After a while, the two Grade 5 students noticed something they couldn't ignore. Their bus driver—a favourite of theirs, Ms. Gail—had not only to drive all over and pick up and drop off many students each day, but she also had to clean up the bus at the end of her long shift. "We thought that was probably tiring," the two students share. Jonathan and Jayden decided to help. Nowadays, while they wait for their parents at their stop, they sweep, pick up garbage, and tidy up the bus – any little thing that could help Ms. Gail out and "give her a break." When asked what motivated this act of giving back, the two students said their relationships with their bus drivers encouraged them.

While riding the bus, Jonathan and Jayden have gotten close with their drivers, often chatting and sharing bits about their days. "We respect them," they nod. Jonathan and Jayden offer sound advice, encouraging their peers to give back in their own ways. "Caring means giving back and knowing that everyone is going through something and that we should help out how we can," Jayden says. Echoing his friend's advice, Jonathan adds, "Never judge a book by its cover—always be on the lookout to help because even a smile on the outside may mean crying on the inside."   

Yuxin Z. (Grade 8) embraces balance, shows care

Yuxin Z. has as much heart as she has interests and ambition. The Grade 8 student is a Level 2 ski instructor (and, with the minimum age being 14, one of the youngest), a Level 10 piano player, and a talented artist. While Yuxin's well-roundedness is commendable by itself, she also finds ways to give back through the many interests she keeps. Last month, she played piano at a benefit concert supporting the Starfish Pack Program. Last weekend, she volunteered as a pianist at the Class of 2024 Graduation Dinner. Over the years, she has created many works of art for the Meadowridge, including two holiday cards and one thank-you card. Whether it's for the school or the local community, she is always happy to help.

Between her studies and giving back, Yuxin always seeks to improve and grow in her many interests. "You have something to work towards, which is more motivating," she shares about her constant improvement. Whether levelling up in skiing, piano, or learning a new art medium, Yuxin embraces every challenge. Balance is essential, she shares, but so too is trying new things. Yuxin encourages students to get out of their comfort zone, try new skills, take challenges, and continually work to improve.

Apollo G. (Grade 11) takes a risk and shares his creativity

Apollo G. (Grade 11) had an idea and wanted to see it through. Of course, as a busy student with already a lot on the go, it would have been easy to push the idea aside. But Apollo was determined—excited, even!—to turn his idea into a reality. He was going to write and illustrate a book. His inspiration for this ambitious project came after seeing an old Simpsons episode clip. Apollo says that while it’s not a show he has ever watched, the short clip gave him an idea for a fantastic story.

Apollo envisioned a saga about a terrarium and its many imagined worlds. His protagonist, a little boy named Tim, would see the terrarium shift and change, starting with dinosaurs and going far into the future. “It shows just how curious kids can be,” he shares. Apollo, no doubt, is one such example of this. The Grade 11 student has chosen to take this on as an independent passion project. He won’t be getting a grade or submitting it for an assignment. Instead, he wants to do it for himself and by himself. Apollo, a talented artist, has used the story to explore different mediums, such as watercolour. Reflecting on the experience, he sees how it was a significant risk but that it was one he was already prepared and eager to take. “I’m really not much of a risk-taker, usually,” he shares, “but when you set a goal, you end up doing what it takes to get it done.” With the story written and illustrated and the project wrapped up, Apollo now hopes to explore the possibility of publishing his first-ever story. Always the risk-taker, he is also planning his next book. “Find something you want to do,” he encourages, “and you’ll see how much you’ll grow from your comfort zone,” he invites fellow peers.