CCH People to Know – Ms. Barrajon

As a CCH blogger I think the best thing we do is bring teachers to light that make a difference to our school. I am so happy that I get to do this for one of my favourite teachers who is so knowledgeable and teaches so many classes: Ms. Barrajon.

What classes do you teach? What is your favourite class to teach?

I teach Spanish, ESL, English Language Arts, Religious Studies and CALM. I am also the CCH ESL Program Coordinator. I enjoy teaching Spanish and ESL the most.

 

How long have you been teaching?

I have taught for a total of twenty-three years: seventeen years at CCH, and six years in other places. I have taught ESL to students in grades 4-12 in Spain. Foe eight years, I have taught adult ESL and adult Spanish classes at several colleges here in Canada.

 

What advice do you have for students?

Set goals and make a plan to achieve them. Be grateful for your talents God has given you and for the person He has made you into. Be respectful and grateful to your parents. Be involved in CCH activities and events to create fond memories of your high school experience. Be the best person you can be!

 

What made you decide you wanted to be a teacher?

I love kids.

Other reasons: I enjoy being with people, I believe in lifelong learning, and I enjoy sharing knowledge with students.

 

What is your favourite part of teaching?

Getting to know the students and seeing them enjoy learning.

 

What are some things you enjoy outside of teaching?

Outside of teaching I enjoy swimming, jogging in the coulees, cooking, travelling, spending time with family and friends. I also love ice cream!

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Editor’s Note: On behalf of all of the teachers at CCH we wish our students the best of luck on their final exams, and a safe and relaxing summer!

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Kaitlyn Stolte is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys hanging out with friends, binge-watching Netflix, and telling terrible jokes. Her favourite thing about CCH is the three-hour classes.

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Athletic Leadership – What It’s All About

Here at CCH we offer a lot of different extra-curricular activities. From the fine arts to the basketball program, there’s something for everyone. However, we often don’t give enough credit to the smaller (but just as important) school clubs such as Athletic Leadership.

The students in the Athletic Leadership program are the people behind-the-scenes running the score clock at volleyball games and selling Cougar gear at flex time. They are the school’s teams’ biggest fans, and that’s a more difficult job than you would imagine. From pumping up the crowd to selling tickets at the door, school sporting events would not be possible without this team.

Mr. Wikenheiser is the head of the group and probably has the most difficult job of all, organizing events, assigning roles, and, of course, keeping his gang of “hooligans” (as he calls them) in check.

Chloe photo

Athletic Leadership Hooligans in Banff

This year, the Athletic Leadership crew had the opportunity to attend the Banff leadership conference, and participate in activities as crazy as tree jumping! If that doesn’t scream adventure, then I don’t know what does. Whether you’re a sports fanatic looking to help out and show some spirit in games, someone hoping to take a leadership role and score some volunteer hours, or are simply down for a great time, Athletic Leadership is the place for you. If you’re wondering how you can participate in the club, you can talk to Mr. Wik. or send him an email. From personal experience, I can truly say that Athletic Leadership is 100% worth it, so I hope you give it a try!

  • Chloe

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Chloe Devoy is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys playing hockey and soccer, and running cross-country for the CCH team. Her favourite thing about CCH is the variety of extra-curricular activities.

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Post-Grad Feelings

As the only grade twelve member of our blogging team, I have the dubious honour of reflecting upon the fact that we have just graduated. We’re done! Except…not really. With another 2+ weeks of school left, it’s tough to get back into things after such a final celebration. Who wants to write essays anymore, now that we’ve graduated? Certainly not me.

But, we’ve got to push past those feelings. We’re on the final stretch, the last leg of the race that is high school. Now is the time to sprint to the finish, and give it your all, rather than walking the last mile. Don’t throw away all your progress now. Continue to work hard for just three more weeks, and then finish your celebrations. You’re not done yet. We’re not done yet.

The reality is, we are so close to being done. Some of us are moving on to further our formal education, others starting careers in the trades. Still others have no clue yet what they want to do with their life, and who they want to be. That’s okay–you’ll figure it out.

To steal a quote from every speech the graduates heard on grad weekend, “Look how far you’ve come.” I know, I know–we’re all tired of hearing these five words. But to me, it’s the perfect statement of exactly how much we’ve accomplished. From those first days walking through the doors in grade ten, huddled in small groups of friends, to today, when we walk through the doors as one family. It’s cliché, overstated, and dull–but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Most of us have spent three years at this school. We’ve bonded through shared misery, triumphs, and all the mediocre days in between. And, to brag a little, there have been many, many triumphs by our grade twelve students this year. I may not personally know all of my grad class, but we share a bond. We all suffered through the same speech at the start of the year about what we wanted our legacy to be, cried together during our harvest retreat, and celebrated together last weekend as we walked across the stage to receive our (fake) diplomas. At the Grand March, I had met no one in my group before. I had never even seen them in the hallways. And yet, when I joked about how our “legacy” should have been to be the one class that completely faked the cap toss, they laughed and we commiserated about the many ways Mrs. Koran would have made us suffer for that. They understood. We’re all just extended family, but we are family nonetheless, and I am certainly going to miss that when I go off to University in Saskatoon next year.

This will be my final post on this blog, so before I sign off, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Mrs. Hartman, our invisible editor, for everything she’s done for me, and for this blog. She’s helped me gain so much confidence in my writing, and is a great person and great teacher.

PS: Mrs. H, good luck with your students next year, and in future years–they won’t be as awesome as my class.

  • Kaitlyn

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Kaitlyn Baron is a grade twelve student at CCH. She currently has no spare time, but fantasizes about all the reading and catching up on nerdy TV shows she’ll get to do once her schedule quiets down (in about five years). Her favourite things about CCH are the Honours and Enrichment classes and the quarter system.

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Past Valedictorians

This year Catholic Central is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and on that occasion, Cougars With Quills decided to locate some of our past valedictorians. Let’s be honest: we all wonder what happened to these bright students. On that, we decided to ask them a few questions. Here is Lindsay Amatto (Class of 2015), Quentin Golsteyn (Class of 2015), and Dr. Ian Miller (Class of 1990).

  1. Please tell me a little about yourself.

Lindsay: My name is Lindsay Amatto and I graduated in 2015. I am currently attending the University of Lethbridge working towards a degree in biological sciences. I hope to eventually pursue a career in medicine.

Dr. Ian Miller: My name is Dr. Miller and I graduated in 1990. I am a dentist at Legacy Dental.

Quentin: My name is Quentin Golsteyn. I graduated in 2015 and I am now pursuing an engineering degree at UBC in Vancouver.

 

2. What is your best memory of your high school years?

Lindsay: It’s hard to pick my best memory, but a lot of them happened on the road with the sports teams at tournaments, and making it to provincials and things of that sort!

Dr. Miller: My best memories were the friendships formed at CCH with diverse people and teachers. We didn’t have any cell phones at the time so we had to make face-to-face connections. It was somewhat harder to make friends but I believe the bonds were tighter. It was the good old days! Other than that, playing for the basketball team with my former teammates was also very memorable.

Quentin: By far, my best memory at CCH was making YouTube videos for the school’s YouTube channel. Being a videographer for the school allowed me to attend and help at practically all events organized throughout the year. However, the most memorable aspect of being a videographer was having my videos played in front of the school audience, where I had the chance to truly appreciate the importance of my work.

 

3. Are there any lessons you have learned at CCH that were surprisingly valuable?

Lindsay: Not too sure yet, but I guess time will tell!

Dr. Miller: During my high school years, I learned the importance of learning continually throughout your life. Knowledge is something you can never have too much of. High school classes give you the perfect “starter pack” for success. After this milestone, it is your own choice to continue to grow and improve your own person by learning and staying open-minded to the world we live in.

Quentin: At the beginning of our grade twelve year, Mrs. Koran gave us a speech about the year ahead. In her speech, she asked a question that truly inspired me: “What legacy are you leaving behind?” Indeed, it may be tempting to think that high school is a place where knowledge goes one way, from the teacher to the student. However, as I progressed through my studies at CCH, I realized there is also an expectation to give back to the community. This way, the school itself can learn and grow into an inclusive and rich learning environment. After high school, the same idea can still be applied in our workspace and in our postsecondary school. If we try to do our best to improve our surroundings, wherever we are, it allows us to truly make a positive impact on our everyday world.

 

4. Have you been back to CCH since you’ve graduated? If so, how has it changed?

Lindsay: This question is a little hard because it’s only been a year, but I’ve heard that that have made a lot of new clubs such as Interact. This one isn’t directly about CCH, but the development (of all the houses and new stores) around Campus West is crazy!

Dr. Miller: Since I left CCH on my last day of grade twelve in June 1990, Catholic Central has seen many changes such as a brand new campus on the west side as well as renovations. I wonder how this rich community will continue to grow.

Quentin: I have been back to visit some of my former teachers. Regarding any changes, I don’t have any in mind except the new Tim Hortons near Campus West. (Lucky students!)

 

5. What would you tell your “CCH self” today?

Lindsay: I would probably say something along the lines of (as cheesy as it is): “Never lose sight of where you came from. but always look toward your future. Always keep the values and skills you learn in your high school years (and develop on them), but know that you have so much potential and so far to go after high school.”

Dr. Miller: I would tell my former self to stress less about the future and simply enjoy the moment because your high school years do really go by quickly. University life is quite the ride, and years do fly away, so it is important to enjoy every moment. Your last game, the day you get to wear your gown, or the last time you step out of your high school as a grade 12 student will all be memorable moments, so enjoy them as much as you possibly can.

Quentin: I think if there was one thing I would tell my past high school self, it would be to stay open-minded. High school is a time of discovery and preparation for adulthood. As a high school student, it is extremely important to accept the opinion of others, to try new things, and sometimes be ready to admit defeat and change your plan when things don’t work out as expected. For me, it was that last point that was the most difficult. I never wanted to give up. While it is commendable, I think in certain occasions throughout my high school years I should have allowed myself to change my course of action. So to all graduating students, be ready to make mistakes and to realize you are maybe not going the right way. Once you accept this, you will be ready to prove yourself for success.

Congratulations to the CCH Class of 2016!

  • Charlène

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Charlène Golsteyn is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys participating in many events, clubs, and sports offered at CCH. If she is not doing something with the school, you might find her working on her latest scientific experiment, painting, or trying a new French, baking recipe. Her favourite things about CCH are the incredible teachers and students that make school fun.

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CCH People to Know – Ms. Nordlee

For this week’s blog post, we decided to interview Ms. Stephanie Nordlee, a Phys. ed. and Science teacher here at CCH. We already know she’s a talented athlete and coach, but we wanted to know a bit more about what makes her such a passionate teacher. We asked her a few simple questions and got some pretty interesting answers. Here is some background information on Ms. Nordlee:

How and when did you decide to become a teacher?

When I first graduated high school, I thought I wanted to be a physiotherapist. I originally went to the U of L to get my undergrad degree and apply into that program. I did a summer internship while going to university at a Physio. clinic and decided it was not for me. So, I finished my first degree and spent two years working for Alberta Health Services in Human Resources. I hated my job there and decided to go back to school to become a teacher, and the rest is history!

What’s your favourite part of teaching?

The relationships. I love the relationships I get to build with both my students and my colleagues here at CCH!

If you could do anything besides teach, what would it be?

Besides teaching, my second biggest passion is probably basketball refereeing. I would probably choose to ref. NCAA basketball in the States.

So there ya have it, folks! Ms. Nordlee didn’t know she wanted to be a teacher right off the bat; however, we can say without a doubt it is something she was meant to do! At CCH we appreciate having such a young, fun, and athletic teacher as well as coach. She never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face and our school wouldn’t quite be the same without her.

  • Chloe

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Chloe Devoy is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys playing hockey and soccer, and running cross-country for the CCH team. Her favourite thing about CCH is the variety of extra-curricular activities.

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