Celebrating the Secondary Academy’s largest grad class to date
Since the Sun Peaks Secondary Academy (SPSA) was founded eight years ago students have taken part in a unique learning experience by blending online learning with volunteer work, fun field trips and, of course, lots of skiing and snowboarding.
The school has grown each year since inception with 20 students enrolled in 2018.
This year four students will graduate with their Dogwood Diplomas and make their way into the world of post-school life. For some that means travel and for others it’s continuing their education. No matter what lies ahead they’re well prepared and excited for new experiences.
The public can celebrate the graduates alongside their family and friends at the first ever SPSA commencement at 4 p.m. June 25 at the Upper Village Stage. Meet the grads below and learn about their time in SPSA and future plans and dreams.
Chloe Bremner, 17
Chloe moved to Sun Peaks with her family in 2012 from Sechelt and started her grade seven year.
Her skiing improved and so did her ability to self motivate, learning to monitor herself and her workload. She said she appreciated the variety of field trips to places like 4Cats and escape rooms.
Six years later she has completed her course work and is ready to take a summer off before moving to Vancouver Island to attend the University of Victoria to study Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience. She said she always been interested in sciences from psychology to computer science and microbiology.
Chloe said she liked that UVic had smaller classes than other universities and is looking forward to moving back to the coast.
Paul Fedor, 18
Paul and his family moved to Sun Peaks from the Sunshine Coast two years ago to be closer to friends.
They had visited before but Paul said it was a big change and at first he struggled to get used to classes that demanded more self motivation and organization.
He grew to love hanging out with other students, volunteering for community events, and became president of a new Rotary Interact Club.
Before moving he could ski blue runs with some difficulty but said he can now confidently conquer the mountain.
After working this summer on the golf course he will move back to the coast, attending UVic to study computer science.
“It’s a field where you do a lot of problem solving; it’s something that I really want to study.”
Korina Linder, 18
Korina has attended school in Sun Peaks for eight years after attending school in Heffley Creek.
She said the schooling was different, especially pushing herself to complete online courses. But that flexibility allowed her to work ahead to take time off and get a lot of ski days under her belt.
Korina said she liked helping people by taking part in school leadership and organizing We Day activities for other students.
Now that she has finished high school she is considering studying adventure tourism but first she plans to take a year off. She would like to travel to Switzerland during the winter to work and maybe take a couple courses to prepare her for when she heads to university.
Wyatt Marshman, 17
Wyatt has attended school at Sun Peaks for three years after one year in Kamloops. He and his family moved from Saskatchewan to be closer to family in B.C.
He had visited previously but said his snowboarding improved greatly living on the mountain.
The school gave him the chance to have more freedom to do things like take time off to work on farms in Sask. and B.C.
He said he liked the small size that made a tight community where everyone was friends, spending time volunteering for events like the Firefighter’s Gala and starting a Rotary Interact Club.
As he finishes he said he will take the summer to explore his options.
“It feels good (to be done), it’s not going to get easier and I might end up doing more school. I don’t know yet.”
Brennan Sorge, 19
Brennan finished his coursework at the end of 2016 but will take part in the graduation ceremony this June to celebrate his hard work.
He is now attending Thompson Rivers University to study business. He said the school prepared him well for university because he can work independently but the environment and structure required adjustment.
This summer he is in Vancouver for an internship as an assistant researcher for the Fraser Institute. He has written for the organization for four years and said he’s looking forward to having the chance to complete studies of his own.
During this exciting time of his life he reflected on Sun Peaks as one of his best experiences so far.
“I want to extend a huge thanks to everyone that made it happen. They did excellent work in creating a unique program that has a big impact…It’s a great model for rural communities.”
Bram Treissman, 18
Bram is currently wrapping up the last of his class work after returning from a semester on a sailboat with Class Afloat. Aboard the floating school Bram travelled from France down the coast to Lisbon, Portugal over two and a half months.
“It was pretty crazy,” he said. “But it was really rewarding. We started as strangers but you’re living in such close proximity you start to feel like a family.”
He said attending school at Sun Peaks since grade 9 was just what he needed after struggling with large classes at a traditional high school which helped him succeed far more than he would have otherwise. He added it prepared him well for the unique program by teaching him to have an open mind.
“It’s definitely very outdoor-ed oriented, it definitely led me to try out things I normally would not be into,” he said. “It helped me accept new ideas and new ways of thinking.”
After his first great solo adventure Bram is planning to attend TRU in the fall for the Adventure Studies program.
“I’ve always loved outdoor adventure based activities. I don’t like being cooped up inside all day. My dream idea is to be outside doing something with people.”
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