Rebekah Ryan's capstone project was a visual display of her journey as an artist, from Grade 8 to Grade 12. Under the new provincial curriculum, completing a capstone project is a requirement for high school graduation.
Gallery Walk takes spotlight at Duchess Park
Graduating students at Duchess Park Secondary School had the chance to showcase their educational paths and hopes for the future with their capstone projects at the school's Gallery Walk on Thursday, Jan. 23. The thought put into the projects – and the sheer variety of representations – was impressive.
For a sampling, please keep reading.
Rebekah presented a striking visual display of her journey as an artist. Through the artwork in her capstone display, she showed the evolution of her skills from Grade 8, through to Grade 12. Rebekah’s most immediate goal is to secure a seat in the University of Victoria’s Fine Arts program. Eventually, she’d like to become an art teacher who also has the credentials to instruct in math, English and social studies. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher for most of my life,” she said. One day, Rebekah would also like to offer art classes out of her own home.
Capstone projects can also reflect a student’s hobbies or passions. Hailey chose to go in this direction and put together an informative display on honey bees. Hailey’s parents started beekeeping about four years ago and Hailey soon got caught up in the buzz herself. The family maintains two hives and, as a result, always has fresh honey on hand. Hailey is also interested in honey bees because of the chemical and environmental threats to their population. “It’s really important we spread the word about how important bees really are,” she said. Hailey is considering studying biology at a post-secondary level.
Rafael plans to use his acquired skills to get him to his end goal of being a dentist. Through his father, he has experience in the field of construction, and he also enjoys woodworking (represented in his capstone display by his handmade wooden car). After high school, Rafael intends to divide his time between construction jobs and taking classes at the University of Northern British Columbia. Once he has two years under his belt at UNBC, he hopes to move on to the University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry.
Owen’s capstone project touched on several areas of interest, including photography, personal fitness and leadership (he’s currently vice chair of SD 57’s District Student Advisory Council). At the centre of everything, however, is his desire to be a structural firefighter. Last spring, he logged 192 hours in an SD 57 work experience program with Prince George Fire Rescue. “That showed me the day-to-day life of a firefighter,” he said. “I could not get enough of it.” Next up for Owen is an Initial Attack Crew program geared toward fighting wildfires. That program, also offered through the school district, will set him up for summer employment and a way to save some money for his post-secondary education. He’s eyeing the College of New Caledonia for 2020-21 and, down the road, a spot in the Fire Training Certificate Program at the Kimberley campus of the College of the Rockies.
Rebecca – dressed delightfully as a clown for the Gallery Walk – admitted that sometimes her life feels like a circus in the sense that she doesn’t really know what she wants to do for a career. Appropriately, her capstone project was about running away and joining the circus. “I picked something that was fun and interesting,” she said through a big, painted-on smile while holding one of her custom balloon animals. “I’m very ambitious but I have lots of options and lots of time.” Rebecca pointed out that there are “clown schools” and that people can make their livings under the Big Top. These days, the Big Top can just as easily mean major touring outfits like Cirque du Soleil, which she has seen twice in Prince George.
In a couple weeks, Adam will enter the Career Technical Centre program, which is run in partnership by School District No. 57 and the College of New Caledonia. His focus will be Heavy Mechanical Trades and that’s the area of interest his capstone display documented. When Adam was a youngster, he eagerly jumped in to help his dad whenever there was a truck that needed fixing. In Adam’s teen years, he started to work the wrenches on his own equipment – quads and snowmobiles, for example. He first heard about the CTC program when he was in Grade 10 and now that’s the next step in his progression. “That’s giving me a huge head start in my career life,” he said. “I’m really happy I’m doing that.”
Erica’s passion for sports has shaped her identity. Between track and field in the warmer seasons and hockey in the cooler ones, she has competed around the province and been immersed in a supportive community of athletes, coaches and parents. Through her sporting activities, she supports her physical and mental health. As a team captain in hockey, she has also been honing leadership skills that serve her well in all areas of her life. Erica’s capstone project was a visual rendition of this story and showed she has the determination to succeed, no matter the challenge in front of her. Her goal is to continue her education at the post-secondary level in arts and history. Before she moves on to university, she’ll be back with the Prince George Track and Field Club in the spring and summer. This year, she won’t just be competing, she’ll be coaching. “They have given so much to me so I want to give back a little bit,” she said.