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Balfour Beacons - November 2016

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


Matthew Klimchuk - Grade 9

I came to Balfour with a biased opinion. I had heard many bad things, and I wasn't sure what to expect. But what I experienced was amazing. The school was filled with teachers who actually loved to teach, teachers who actually wanted to be there. I met older students who were great role models, students who were not only tremendous leaders in school sports teams, but outstanding leaders in the school building as well. I see this school as a place of charisma and intelligence. Some people may call it old and dingy, but I prefer fashionable and embellished.

I see Balfour as a hidden gem. It is often looked down upon, and dissed. But the truth is, Balfour and all the extraordinary people in it are phenomenal, and there isn’t another school I would rather attend.

Abdullah Chaudry - Grade 10

I started my Balfour experience last year. At first, I was nervous as I only knew the people with whom I attended my elementary school. However, after the first day I had met more people who were really nice and respectful; in fact, the whole school was welcoming, and really caring. The teachers ensured that the students did not get lost, and made our day go as swiftly as possible. From that day on, I have had a great time at Balfour; the staff are always there to answer your questions, and will always help you achieve your goals. I love my school, and believe that I made the right decision attending Balfour Collegiate.

Balfour is the place of opportunities, and you can get involved in so many ways. Whether it be football, basketball, soccer, dance, badminton, band, choir, or the SRC, there are things for everyone. I joined the basketball team last year, and will be joining  this year as well. Although we did not make it far into the playoffs, I had a great season filled with fun and excitement. Aside from joining the basketball team, I focused on my grades as well. Last year, grade 9,  I had the highest average among my classmates, which was all thanks to the great teaching that I had received. This school has everything I could have asked for, which makes my high school experience enjoyable.

Although other Beacon award recipients may say things that are very similar to mine, it just goes to show that we all agree that Balfour is truly an amazing place where everyone feels a sense of belonging. I am really proud that I chose Balfour Collegiate to be my high school, and I am honored to be a Beacon.


Karrar Al-Mashhadani - Grade 11

I feel so lucky to be in Canada and to go to Balfour Collegiate.  When I first came to Canada I didn’t speak English very well and only knew the words yes and no!  Since I started at Balfour, the teachers have taught me so much.  In my country, the teachers would get mad if I made a mistake but here, the teachers smile and help me fix my mistakes.  I played soccer on the Balfour team and it was so much fun!  The coach helped to make it fun and the people on the team have become my friends.

Everything has changed for me.  Before coming to Canada, I lived in Syria for seven years.  When the fighting started, nobody in my family could sleep at night because we thought we would be killed at any time.  We couldn’t go outside because it wasn’t safe.  There were so many guns, soldiers and rebels and it is hard to explain the terrible things we saw.  We wanted to go to the United States, Canada, Australia or anywhere that it was safe.  When they told us we would move to Canada, I felt so happy!  I will never forget how I felt when I heard that news. 

The first week that I came to Canada, I couldn’t understand anything.  Now I can even understand the lyrics in songs and when I pass by a group of people speaking, I can tell what they are saying!  I have already worked hard in school but I know that I must study and keep working hard to finish at Balfour.  I hope that when I finish at Balfour I can find a good job to help my family.  I will always remember my time at Balfour and I am very proud to be chosen as a Balfour Beacon!

Prairie Brown - Grade 12

When I first began at Balfour in 2013, I never imagined I would be joining such a strong community. I had only a single friend, Sasheen, who came with me from our elementary school. We had both been drawn to the idea of going to Balfour, so we enrolled. This was a very scary thing to be entering high school only knowing one other person in the entire school. However, I think it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Within a week I felt completely comfortable with my classmates. Although they already all knew each other from elementary school, they always included me. I am now in grade twelve and have made lifelong friends. I am so grateful for this.

I believe that the Balfour staff is very special. They are also why I think Balfour is so incredible. Balfour teachers will do anything and everything to see you succeed. The relationship between teacher and student at Balfour is like no other. Throughout my four years, I have never had a teacher that I felt did not care, and they are always there for you. Not only are they always willing in the classroom, but they commit so much time to the extensive extra curricular at Balfour. I have been a part of the Balfour Pom team since grade nine, and high school would not have been the same without it. Mrs. Kuz puts her own time and effort into having a Pom team at Balfour and she's not the only one. With basketball, volleyball, hockey, football, band, choir, musicals, etc., almost all teachers are giving their time for the happiness and well-being of so many students. It is a truly honourable thing, and I have so much respect for my teachers.

Balfour has shaped who I have become over these past few years, and continues to positively impact so many students. It is a place filled with so many people's potential. It is an environment of growth and love. I am sincerely grateful to be chosen as one of the Beacons this year, and will forever be indebted to Balfour for all it has given to my life.


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

 photography by: Kyler Sather (grade 12)