Balfour Beacons - February 2017

In an effort to recognize the outstanding individuals that we have at Balfour Collegiate, we are going to embark upon recognition of these individuals.  The word ‘Beacon’ has long been associated with the bright light that stands out, that leads and guides, and is something to which many are drawn.  These are the exact characteristics we are attempting to showcase through the Balfour Beacons.

Past Beacons: November 2013 | January 2014 I March 2014 I June 2014 | October 2014 | January 2015 | April 2015 | December 2015 | November 2016

Ryann Strinja (Grade 9)

The first day I walked in though Balfour’s big doors I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect or if I would even like high school, but as soon as the day was over I couldn’t wait to come back the next day. A lot of my friends told me about Balfour and to expect great things, but what I came into that day was not what I thought it would be. I thought I would be stuck in long boring classes all day, counting down the seconds until the bell rings to let me leave. I was totally wrong! All my teachers are engaged in what they are teaching and making sure we are having a good time. Also, all the students are very welcoming and happy to be here, and whenever I pass one in the hall they don't hesitate to smile. This definitely made me more confident to do more things at school like try out for sports and clubs, to be specific soccer and improv. There might be people that don’t appreciate Balfour, but anyone you ask here will only say good things. It may be an old building but that's not what makes Balfour the way it is. It is the people who spend their time learning and having a good time that made Balfour what it is. Over the generations we have made Balfour what it is and I can't wait for my next 3 years to see what I can do. If you are planning on coming to Balfour, do it, you will not be disappointed. At Balfour I have made many friends that I will keep forever, I’ve met amazing teachers I’ll never forget, and I know it’ll be a great 4 years!

Mason Coghill (Grade 10)

 

Overall, Balfour is an amazing school to attend. There are loads of great staff and great people. As soon as I came to Balfour in grade nine I felt as if I belonged. Of course, moving to a new school where you know next to no one but your own friend group, is terrifying, but nevertheless settling in wasn't hard at all.

 

In my first year of attending Balfour it took me a while to find what I really liked at the school but in March, I saw that there was sign up for Team Handball. I went to the first two tryouts and I saw that there were players much bigger and better than me. I felt as if the sport wasn't for me but I continued on and fell in love with the game. I had a rough (but fun) first season and I felt like quitting multiple times, but my team encouraged me and helped me along. Then in May, I got a spot on the second Juvenile Sask Team for handball and later in September I joined a recreational under 21 league.

 

Where am I going with all this?? Well, since Balfour offers a wide range of great sports and activities, I’ve been allowed to meet and make friends with a bunch of amazing people. One thing that I feel is an absolute must when attending Balfour is taking Arts Education, also known as BPAC. BPAC has great, enthusiastic and encouraging people from grades 10-12 and the teachers are very welcoming and fun. The class has been an overall great experience and it definitely got me out of my shell, allowing me to become a more outgoing person. With likeable, friendly teachers and the great atmosphere at Balfour, it is most certainly a great school to attend.

 

If I had one tip for having a better experience at Balfour, it would be to get involved. I know you have probably heard it a million times from everyone, but quite honestly, it's the best “survival tip” anyone can give you. Sure, you might not like some things the school has to offer, but it's better to try it out than to never try at all and leave the opportunity behind. You get four short years at Balfour, so don't waste them.

 

Lindsey Scott (Grade 11)

In all aspects of my life, I greet every new challenge with anxiety. Thus, when I began high school at Balfour in grade 9, I was absolutely terrified. Though, it wasn’t long before I realized that life at Balfour would be significantly different from my expectations. Ms. Carlson, my lovely Advisory teacher, was my introduction to Balfour and she most certainly eased my apprehension with her loving personality and excessive joviality. However, it instantly became evident that these qualities were not isolated to Ms. Carlson, but extended to the Balfour community. My teachers are compassionate, caring, and dedicated, as is indicated by their willingness to assist me on their own time and their concern for my well being and success. Also, they teach with humour and enthusiasm, causing me to look forward to their classes. In addition, Balfour established an accepting environment where I met my loving and supportive friends (who I now consider to be family) and where I’m not afraid to express my individuality or make mistakes. For me, Balfour symbolizes friendship and personal growth, and it has created a community of which I am proud to be a part.

Outside of school, I enjoy reading, practicing piano, and playing basketball for the Balfour Bears. I’ve played piano from the time I was five-years-old and have been involved in music programs since the age of four. Piano has not only taught me discipline and dedication but allowed me to express myself without words. I love to play songs with a fast tempo and I will occasionally compose my own music. In regards to basketball, I have been playing since I tried out for the school team in grade 9. Initially, I was skeptical that I would make the team, as I had minimal experience and absolutely no idea what I was doing. With several hours of coaching and practice, I eventually improved and began to enjoy playing with my teammates. If anything, joining Balfour’s basketball team has been one of my most rewarding experiences and I’m so glad that I tried out! 

 

Myles Bistritzan (Grade 12)

In grade 10, I transferred from Greenall (which was shaped like an “8”) to Balfour (which was shaped like a maze). In my first week, I found myself in the front hallway, and in the office windows were portraits of people staring off in the distance. At the time, I had my only Balfour friend, Lee Barber, so I asked him what the deal was with these pictures. Lee said it was the prestigious Balfour Beacons. It is awarded only to top citizens of Balfour. Immediately, being a Beacon became a dream of mine. As a grade 12, I became discouraged and thought I may never get a chance to be a member of the #BeaconClub. So being chosen now makes me all the more grateful.

Being at Balfour has provided me with opportunities to excel in ways I never thought possible. Since day one I’ve been in competition academically which has pushed me to achieve standards I once thought were unreachable. Being on sports teams at Balfour has opened doors to the Regina Thunder and coaching opportunities. Some classes challenged my worldview and gave me unique experiences I will remember for a lifetime. Teachers at Balfour continuously impress me with their willingness to go the extra mile for their students. In fact, teachers are not scary, blood-sucking monsters anymore: they are friends. And even though Balfour is too hot and too cold at the same time, and not to mention the parking lot is worse than the craters on the moon, it's classic. Despite receiving 10 stitches and almost losing an eye, Balfour is a safe place where students across all walks of life are given opportunities to succeed.

Looking back at high school, I enjoyed my years, but I know there are others who have struggled. However, Balfour is a place that offers a place where anyone can fit in no matter who you are. Balfour has drum groups at lunch, a diversity day, a majority female SRC, a teen mom centre and people of many religious faiths supporting each other's beliefs. These are just a few of the positive examples of the warm atmosphere at Balfour.

I’m blessed to be nominated as a Beacon and I’d like to thank the academy along with the teachers who see my hard work and love for people.

 

Past Beacons: November 2013 | January 2014 I March 2014 I June 2014 | October 2014 | January 2015 | April 2015 | December 2015 | November 2016

 photography by: Stephanie Bernier (grade 11)