Zach considers himself a real “hands on” learner. “My learning style is kinesthetic and I think I learn best by doing.” This becomes pretty clear when we see Zach’s pathway choice, favourite classes and his hobbies.
Zach is hoping to land an apprenticeship as a diesel power technician or an industrial millwright technician. Zach plans to come back to F.E. Madill for a 5th year to do an OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) through Co-op with the hope that this will help line him up for an apprenticeship. If Zach still hasn’t secured an apprenticeship, he plans to apply to college to put himself in a better position to get the apprenticeship. “Ten years from now I see myself working somewhere as a diesel mechanic or as a millwright in some kind of manufacturing industry. I’ll get there one way or another.”
Zach was not always this determined. For Grade 9 and some of Grade 10, school was not his top priority. According to Zach, he didn’t pass Grade 10 math because he didn’t do the homework or hand it in. Although understanding math was Zach’s biggest challenge at Madill, in Grade 11 he started to take school more seriously and credits Mr. Simpson with helping him understand math problems and turn his marks around. “I’m now feeling a lot more confident in math,” says Zach.
He found Mr. Shantz’s automotive class to be his most useful course. “I like working hands-on with engines and vehicles. I also liked that Mr. Shantz didn’t baby us through tasks. He gave us the responsibility to figure things out on our own. I learned a lot in his class.” Zach took some of these skills home and, with his brother, built a couple of drift trikes from scratch using square tubing and small engines. “I’ve always liked working on engines and building things,” he says.
Megan Morrissey is a Grade 12 student, and is the youngest of four siblings who have attended South Huron District High School. She grew up on a deer and cattle farm in Mount Carmel, about 15 minutes outside of Exeter. Megan enjoys spending her time caring for her animals and hanging out with her friends.
Megan is involved with the high school field hockey and ice hockey teams. She is also a member of the local hockey team. Her most memorable high school experience was beating Parkside at WOSSAA and attending OFSAA for field hockey last year. Megan enjoys math and biology class.
As a child, Megan would always say she wanted to work with animals, and she had a wide variety of pets throughout her childhood. This led her to research post-secondary programs that involved being around animals. After high school, Megan hopes to go to St. Clair College for the Veterinary Technician program. Her plan is to then work at a local vet clinic upon graduation and assist in animal care. In Megan’s spare time, she wants to be able to run her own dog kennel. Her backup plan is to apply to be an occupational therapy assistant and get a job working with sports teams.
Some advice that Megan would give to students starting in grade nine is to not procrastinate. If you can set aside a certain time each day to do school work it will help. Also, if you put in your best effort in grades 9 and 10, then grades 11 and 12 will be less stressful. Megan feels that maintaining a good work ethic and learning the basics of subjects in grades 9 and 10 will pay off in senior grades.
Emma is a Grade 12 student currently attending Mitchell District High School. She enjoys the small school environment, which is a big aspect of Mitchell. Having an outgoing personality, Emma takes advantage of every opportunity to get involved in a variety of activities offered both within the school and the local community. Emma participates in field hockey as the team goalie, and in the past has played on her school’s curling and soccer teams. Outside of school, Emma spends her time representing her local Ag society as a Fair Ambassador, and working three part-time jobs: a waitress for a diner, a server for a catering company, and at a grain elevator. It is this last experience, working at Thompsons Limited that has been the most influential as she navigates the next steps on her pathway.
Growing up on a cash crop farm, Emma was born with a passion for agriculture. By luck, MDHS is full of students that also have the same passion as her, and now offers a Specialist High Skills Major program for Agriculture. This was an amazing opportunity for Emma and her fellow classmates! The program allows students to learn more dynamically about agriculture in the classroom and facilitates related field trips. She also enjoys that the program requires you to take a Co-op course which allows students to go out and work on their own farms or other ag-related businesses, which is exactly what Emma did. She took Co-op twice, working once at a sheep farm, and the other at a grain elevator, where she is currently employed.
Emma plans on applying to the Agriculture Diploma Program at the University of Guelph: Ridgetown Campus for September 2019. Emma is very thankful for the opportunities and resources provided by the staff and school during her time at MDHS that allowed her passion for agriculture to grow. She will look back fondly on her four years of high school, pleased with and appreciative about the programs and opportunities that were available to help her pursue her pathway!
Rebecca attended Romeo Public School and plans to be a Veterinary Technician while making and selling art on the side. She chose these two areas because she was constantly at battle when trying to choose between the two, so she decided to do both. Her first plan is to complete high school and work for a year while she saves up money to attend post secondary.
In high school she did a Co-op placement for the first time at the Avon Pet Hospital, and that really helped her discover her love and passion for helping animals. In ten years, Rebecca sees herself working at a pet hospital and networking and connecting with the people she has met at her job so the experience is more enjoyable. When looking back at the last couple years of high school, Mrs. Eckstein has made a significant impact on her high school experience because she was always positive, encouraging, and just an overall happy and energetic person. She pointed out things that Rebecca didn’t even know she could do, and she thinks of Mrs. Eckstein as a real friend.
Rebecca spent her time volunteering at the YMCA daycare while at Northwestern. When asked what she will miss the most about high school, Rebecca said she will miss all the friends she made and the memories they created together, as well as all the silly things they did together.
Her advice for new Grade 9 students is: “Just try your best, but know knowledge is something you’ll have forever… kind of like student loans.”
Cole Drennan is a GDCI graduate returning to take an accounting course and to complete a Co-op with a local pharmacy. Cole is 18 and grew up outside of Blyth. Cole enjoys video games, hanging out with friends, reading, and finds history interesting. His favourite tradition at GDCI is the assembly right before the Christmas break. Cole says that his favourite subjects are history and science. He likes history because it allows us to learn from our past mistakes and science allows him to learn about the world around us. Next year Cole would like to attend Fanshawe to take part in their Pharmacy Technician Program. After that he would like start working in a pharmacy, or for pharmaceutical companies or maybe in a hospital. Cole says that his co-op experience at the Alexandra Marine General Hospital, as well as his experience at IDA allowed him to try many different areas of the healthcare field. His current Co-op placement at IDA allows him to learn a lot about the field that he will hopefully be working in some day. Cole currently has a job at Canadian Tire. Even though he still considers himself broke, his part time job allows him to save a little for college. High school was important for Cole because it allowed him to decide and train for a career that interests him. At GDCI he really looked up to Mrs. Fielder because she always has a smile on her face and Mr. Groothuis because of his sense of humour and his willingness to help with science. Cole would recommend to younger students that they get their volunteer hours early, because once you have a job it can be tough to find the time. He also suggests that you always be yourself, no matter what others think. He also highly recommends Co-op because it is a great program!
Ten years from now, Jordyn Stutzman would like to be working in a veterinary clinic. She sees the opportunity to participate in the Health and Wellness Specialist High Skills Major as an important part of making that goal a reality, building on her resume with the certifications and experiential learning. Jordyn found that many of the required Health and Wellness SHSM courses are prerequisites required for the Veterinary Technician programs where she is hoping to apply. As she completes the SHSM, Jordyn is expecting her immediate future at Madill will include more science classes. “I like science and math but particularly biology.”
Although Jordan enjoyed all of her sciences classes she especially likes her Co-op class which gives her the practical experience in the workplace that she hopes to be in. “So far, I got to help neuter a cat and help prepare animals for surgery – hold them, give them antibiotics and the anesthesia. We also do a lot of cleaning – cages, laundry, sweeping, and shaving and bathing animals,” says Jordyn.
As Jordan reflects back to her early years at Madill, she sees how she has changed. “I didn’t really try that hard in Grade 9 – school was not really a priority – I didn’t do as well as I could have. I was not that involved in co-curricular activities. I am more involved now.” As she has started to look beyond high school and plan for her future, Jordyn says she is more focused on her studies. “I figured I had better step up my game a little bit as I’m almost done school and I know I have to get good grades to get into the Vet Tech program.”
Jordyn’s biggest challenge at Madill was when she failed the OSSLT. “Although I know that I am a good student and get good grades, I failed the OSSLT and had to go to summer school. That kind of made me mad because I was only 5 points off.”
Kayla Beyerlein-O’Brien is graduating from CHSS this year after a successful high school college level career. She has taken a wide variety of subjects to round out her academic portfolio. Kayla has taken two Co-op courses where she was able to do placements at the Clinton Public Hospital, the Clinton Family Health team, and at Goderich Public Hospital. Kayla is super excited about her future career path. She is planning to attend Humber College next year in the Nursing program to become a Registered Nurse. Kayla is especially thankful for the opportunities she has had to take Co-op where she learned that she absolutely wants to become a nurse. Kayla is an active participant in school activities. She has been a member of the school figure skating team, and is an active member of the Student Council.