Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


Leave a comment

Students find their passion at Windermere high school

BY JULIE CHENG

It’s hard to believe that my husband and I will soon become empty nesters. It’s been a long haul. We’d settled in the neighbourhood over 20 years ago, raising two kids here.

Words. Source: Vancouver School Board

Windermere’s motto “Facta Non Verba” means Actions, Not Words. Images source: Vancouver School Board

Now my youngest, Kate, will graduate this June from Windermere Secondary and leave home in September for university – and a life on her own. She follows her sister, Claire, who graduated from the same school three years ago and is also studying away from home.

We didn’t think twice about sending our kids to Windermere; after all, it was just a five-minute walk from our house. We also believe in public education. Still, we didn’t know what to expect from this small east Vancouver school.

We needn’t have worried.

Windermere Secondary is a neighbourhood gem.

Windermere High School

Sure, as Claire noted in her graduation speech, the bell doesn’t always ring on time and some windows are boarded up. But she received a tremendous learning experience as part of Windermere and its Leadership program, and by extension, she became part of a group of students who were active in the community. Claire learned a different point of view from the mainstream, learned to think on her own and take action, learned to be a leader – all qualities that have been invaluable in her adult life.

Claire describes a friend who volunteered with the school’s lifeskills class and discovered the rewards of helping students with disabilities. Her friend has gone on to study and work in the field, following her passion that she first found at Windermere.

More recently, another student was one of the lucky few to take part in the High School Science Week at St Paul’s Hospital’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation as part of her career exploration experience. “I was happy to learn most of the students were from schools in the area and I was proud to represent Windermere,” she recalls in a report. She got to “play” with damaged organs, including hearts and lungs. “I felt like a kid in a candy store for the whole day!”

Which takes us back to Kate. Windermere gave her the opportunity to excel in sports and to volunteer as a score keeper and as an arts and crafts instructor to elementary school students. Most surprising to us, though, she found her passion the day she walked into her Grade 8 science class.

Today physics is Kate’s favourite subject, and she does well in chemistry, biology and math. She may study engineering. As someone who couldn’t understand physics and could only learn chemistry and calculus from good teachers, I can see that Windermere has excellent science and math programs.

As parents we put a lot of trust in the teachers who lay the foundation for our kids to succeed in life. Windermere has taught so many of our kids to be good citizens, to aim high and to dream that they can improve lives and, perhaps, even save the world.

Thank you.

Julie Cheng has been the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News for almost 10 years.

Windermere stories

Over the years the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News has published many stories about Windermere high school. A quick search on RenfrewCollingwoodCommunityNews.com leads you to stories that reveal:

Windermere staff are amazing:

Indigenous art project at Windermere: Reconciliation from the ground up – May 2017 issue
Judy Payne one of Windermere’s secrets to success – May 2015

Windermere students speak up about social justice:

Multinational corporation pays $15 a day for Hope water – Jan. 2017
Homelessness Action Week, October 12-18, 2014 – Nov. 2014

The students take action for the environment:

Windermere students celebrate Earth Day – Apr. 2017
Windermere students race to save the planet at the Great Climate Race – Dec. 2016

The students are everywhere in the community:

Windermere Organic Garden Team grows fruit, veggies and community – Nov. 2016
Celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday at Youth Celebrate Canada Day – July 1! – Jun. 2016

They learn to be strong and have a creative voice:

Film by Windermere Girls Group: Girls Are Just As Strong – Dec. 2016
Renfrew-Collingwood high school students create original play about addiction – Apr. 2017

Create Your Canada winners off to Ottawa

Create Your Canada Windermere winners

Windermere students June Lam and Gaelan Emo are off to Ottawa to see their bill introduced in the House of Commons by MP Don Davies. Photo courtesy of Don Davies, MP

Congratulations to Windermere students Gaelan Emo and June Lam for winning the Create Your Canada contest sponsored by Don Davies, the member of Parliament for Vancouver-Kingsway. Gaelan and June will travel to Ottawa to hear Don Davies introduce their bill in the House of Commons.

“This is a great way for youth to share their vision for our country,” says Don Davies. “I think it’s also a fun and engaging introduction to Parliament and the legislative process.”

Gaelan and June were chosen for their idea to create a tax incentive that will encourage food producers, suppliers and retailers to donate perishable food to charities. Way to go, Gaelan and June! To learn more about this competition, visit http://dondavies.ca/createyourcanada/

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

May 2017 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News May 2017

This issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Get your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Let’s get outside and celebrate spring!
  • Collingwood Days special insert – New location, same great family fun
  • Bruce Spring Carnival – Now in its 5th year
  • Adult education time machine: History of the Collingwood bookmobile
  • Eating Out in RC: The Captain’s Boil
  • Coastal City Ballet brings Giselle to Vancouver audiences
  • Collingwood Corner: Home delivery in the 1960s
  • Indigenous art project at Windermere: Reconciliation from the ground up

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the June 2017 issue is May 10. We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.


Leave a comment

Judy Payne one of Windermere’s secrets to success

BY MOHINI TAKHAR

Windermere's Judy Payne

Windermere’s amazing Judy Payne

Windermere high school does a lot of great things to help students thrive and be successful in all aspects of our lives. Honestly, high school is not the easiest time of a teenager’s life. There’s academics, relationships, extracurriculars and even sports! While balancing all the important things in a student’s life, we tend to feel a little stressed out. Well, more like a lot.

Fortunately, Windermere has a variety of places for students to go to receive support, such as tutorial Thursdays, homework club and the resource department. Thursday is the day where blocks are shortened every week so students are able to receive help before or after school. I think this helps students get support in certain areas they are struggling with. Homework club takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays where students can go to receive help after school. The student support assistants (SSAs) are there to circulate around to help students with their academics. The SSAs are also part of Windermere’s Resource Centre.

The Resource Centre’s one and only Judy Payne does everything in her power to ensure that her students are getting the resources they need to do their best in everything possible. A short while ago, Payne received a $12,500 grant for Math Academy, which is a program that our grade 8 students use. I decided to have a one-on-one chat with the admirable Payne, not to just discuss the fantastic news but also to get to know her better.

“My goal is to change our special education so that we don’t have special ed classes, Payne said. “We have places where students can go for assistance and they get specialized support but we prefer to have all students be included in every part of the school.” Wouldn’t that be awesome? I think Payne is doing a fantastic job of making it work.

So I asked the determined teacher what Math Academy is. I don’t know about Math Academy and you probably don’t know either but Payne and Jeanette Inglis are here to solve the mystery. Inglis is one of the Math 8 teachers and has been using Math Academy for three years.

Payne explained, “Using the Academy of Math has allowed us to identify individual student weaknesses and allow the students themselves the opportunity to work on what they need to.” Inglis added, “The program figures out what level the student is at and what different things they need to practice and then expect them to be able to do those skills.” This is exactly what I would use if I travelled back in time!

Lastly, I asked Payne, “What is your number-one thing to do when you’re extremely exhausted?” She responded, “What I do is try to at least get up and move around and at that point it’s just getting up and doing things until the exhaustion passes.” Ms. Payne never surrenders!

I then asked, “What is your number-one priority as a resource teacher?” She replied,” I really try to have my door open as much as I can I try to work with any student who needs help.” As you can tell Payne is a very hardworking and dedicated teacher!

Mohini Takhar is a grade 11 Windermere Secondary student and writer-in-progress. “My biggest fear and thrill is public speaking because I strive to inspire people. I was privileged to have the opportunity to speak before three hundred people about myself multiple times on behalf of the Centre for Child Development. Being disabled never holds me back and that’s the best thing about me.”

Copyright (c) 2015 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

May 2015 issue of RCC News is here

This issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

May 2015 issue of RCC NewsGet your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Collingwood Days insert and ground-breaking parade
  • The Flour Peddler: A global journey into local food with links to Collingwood’s First Lutheran Church
  • The Coat Room: Green Thumb’s all-teen play
  • Coastal City Ballet’s Cinderella
  • Community cultural liaison workers connect newcomers
  • Windermere high school’s amazing Judy Payne
  • In honour of Poh Poh by Susan Wong
  • Too cute department: Happy Mother’s Day – Kids in a creative writing class write about their moms

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the June 2015 issue is May 10. You are welcome to submit a story from 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.


Leave a comment

January 2015 issue of RCC News is here

Happy new year!

The first issue of the new year is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

RCCNews January 2015Get your January 2015 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Windermere high school students – Taking care of community
  • Collingwood Branch #48 update: Join the Community Supporters List to keep Branch #48 going
  • Local hero Eddie Tang
  • RC INTERactive – Take part in scavenger hunts, walking club and more to get active
  • Job search tips: Networking works
  • PLUS: Collingwood Neighbourhood House Winter 2015 recreation insert

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the February 2015 issue is January 15. From 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.


Leave a comment

November 2014 issue of RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

November 2014 RCCNewsGet your November 2014 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Lest We Forget – Collingwood Branch #48
  • Windermere students reveal the many sides of homelessness
  • Eating Out: Wally’s Burgers
  • Starting a new job? Tips to get started and stay ahead
  • Intercultural Physical Activity Guide to get neighbours moving

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the December 2014 issue is November 10. From 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.