A local high school is once again in the national spotlight for its post-secondary preparedness.
For the fourth year in a row, Kalamalka Secondary School took ChatterHigh’s top spot as Canada’s Most Informed School in the AAA division after 40 days of competition against more than 200 schools from coast to coast.
The Let’s Talk Careers Competition, in partnership with Let’s Talk Science and Skills Canada, saw nearly 6,000 students in 201 Canadian high schools explore 444,916 post-secondary and career web pages in order to complete quizzes, earn points and bursaries and, more importantly, learn about opportunities available after graduation.
ChatterHigh CEO and founder Lee Taal led a virtual celebration of the Coldstream school and four of its bursary-winning students Tuesday, Dec. 15, with special guest Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu.
Sandhu said she has a special connection to the school as her two daughters attended KSS.
“I have nothing but all great things to say about the school and the teachers,” she said, noting she’s thrilled and not at all surprised to learn of the victory.
“Our youth are the future and our future looks great,” Sandhu said in the Zoom presentation.
Offering one piece of advice from her personal experience, Sandhu told KSS students to never give up on their dreams.
“I’ve been told many times, I’m fighting against all the odds,” she said reflecting on her recent election win. “Follow your heart and follow your passion.”
Students who participated took a 10-question quiz once per day, earning points for their school for each question answered correctly and learning about both university and trades programs across Canada in the process.
KSS instructor Ian Busfield said the 188 student participants embraced the competition.
“They are starting to see the real value of the questions, the research and an appreciation of the resources available to them,” Busfield said, admitting he’s pleased with the win as he, himself, is competitive, “and I don’t like losing.”
Tienna Dickie, a KSS winner of a $100 bursary, said the win is an honour for the school and a reflection of the student body’s perseverance.
The competition, she said, “prepares us for our life post-Kal,” as it presents students with valuable information through quiz questions and research efforts.
Patrick Rinn, Woojin Han (Kevin) and Sam McDicken were also congratulated on Tuesday’s Zoom meeting for winning $200 bursaries.
The competitive aspect of the web-based interactive career fair of sorts drives students to engage with content, but it’s also reflective of reality.
“The real world is a competitive place,” Busfield said. “Hard work does pay off and persistence does pay off. Their persistence and hard work has paid off and I hope they continue that stream as they go forward.”
Technically, this is the school’s fifth title. In 2019, KSS took first in both the spring and fall competitions to win a video conferencing system from Compugen and Cisco valued at $31,000.
Taal said students will have their chance to shine once again as the spring session revs up to start this April.