At the end of the school year students across the country are celebrated for athletics and academics. Though both endeavors are worthy of awards, they often overshadow other important qualities, such as kindness, helpfulness, politeness and volunteerism.
But Sun Peaks students who exemplify these elements are being recognized thanks to the help of local Izzy Hamptonstone.
After Hamptonstone’s first season as a ski instructor in the resort, she received an award of her own. Called the unsung hero award, she remembers it as the first time she was officially recognized for her kindness.
“I had never been introduced to celebration of that kind of quality in a person,” she said. “It struck me as a very Canadian thing.”
Not only is the award still physically with her, hanging on the wall of her office, it has contributed to her choice to stay in Sun Peaks for many years and to give back to the community when her own business, Brain Train International, became successful.
Hamptonstone said her plan had always been to use 10 per cent of the business’ profits to give back in different ways and she has been thrilled to have the opportunity to follow through on that goal.
The first Unsung Hero award, in 2013, was welcomed enthusiastically by the school and has become one of the most notable awards.
Ryan Oevermann, whose son Landon Oevermann previously received the award, said it has become coveted by students, encouraging them to display those positive qualities.
“Kids get recognition for academics and athletics but they don’t get recognition for being good people,” he said. “That’s what Izzy’s award does. It rewards them for being good
Oevermann said he was emotional when Landon’s name was called “because it’s so important” and reinforced that those qualities are paramount in life, especially coming from someone other than a parent.
This year two students, Paula Erler and Maddi Hampton, received the award, given to them by Hamptonstone at a June 27 assembly.
Erler was described by her teachers as always willing to lend a helping hand, the first to volunteer for any task, extremely kind and cheerful. She is enthusiastic and volunteers in younger classes as a lunch monitor and microwave supervisor.
Hampton was equally as lauded by her teachers. They said she always enters the room with a smile, volunteers to help clean and is warm, welcoming and polite to students and guests.
Hamptonstone said she is proud to help celebrate and be connected to those she sees as the lifeblood of the community “in a very gentle and caring way.”
“The moment where you see just how much impact recognition can have on a human being, on the person who doesn’t realize the impact they have, is better than every perfect powder day you ever had.”