Being in the middle school is an opportunity to see students grow and change almost daily. My favourite memory this school year was sailing with one of the grade 8 classes. I was witness again, to students growing confidence and a willingness to try something new and difficult. Some students climbed higher in the shrouds than they dreamed they could and others discovered leadership abilities they had not recognized before. It was five days of awesome!

We asked the middle school staff to send in their favourite memories of the year, and below is the list they came up with!


1. Beautiful evenings on Newcastle Island with students, parents, and…raccoons!  Michaela Friesen

2Watching students explore creation at Newcastle Island—learning through exploration in hands on experiences!  Dan Verbeek

3. The highlight of my year was going to the zoo and to McDonald’s afterwards. For 2 years I’ve supported Bryce and been working towards him making choices, being independent, regulation, eating a variety of foods and communicating. At the zoo, to see him independently carry his backpack, communicate what he wanted to see (which was the lion and cheetah) and have him sit with us eating a sandwich for his lunch was amazing! Then at McDonald’s he used his new iPad speech app to tell us that he wanted iced tea and not ice cream. I had told him we were all having ice cream and he typed this into his speech app. This was the biggest moment of the whole year for me!  Esther Vuong

4. Most of mine are from SALTS…one of the best was pulling up the prawn trap! We caught 70+ prawns (along with two octopi and some crabs), ripped their heads off, and ate them with butter and garlic that night!  Kristin Schut

5.This year my birthday landed on a Friday (May 11) and at the end of chapel, the entire school filtered into the hallway in front of my office—completely surrounded my office—and sang a VERY loud version of “Happy Birthday” to me! Best moment ever!  Linda Howard

6. The week Mr. Verbeek and I convinced our students to bring cookies for us, to take the crown (an ugly Roughriders hat) of being the “favourite” student that day. There was no special treatment, but we had students with cookies ready in their lockers to overthrow current favourites.  Justin Verwoerd

7. On a more serious note, seeing the grade 7 band come together in a matter of days to improve their playing drastically and perform admirably at the Volunteer Appreciation chapel.  Justin Verwoerd

8. Watching from the bench as the Gr. 7 girls basketball team played their best 5 games en route to a second place finish at the CESS tournament.  Justin Verwoerd

9. Watching the grade 8s faces and listening to them squeal “eeeee! ooooo! and aaaah!” while they dissected sheep eyes in science class.  Karin Hoogland

10. The many visits to a student’s house to carry out a home program when his health didn’t allow him to come to school. When he couldn’t come to school, we brought school to him. We are ACS!  Karin Hoogland

11. Watching my students fill in roles for cast members who were sick on the day we presented our Fractured Fairy Tales for chapel…it was fun to see how invested each of them were in other students plays that they could fill in without script. That same afternoon the kids all wanted to take turns playing roles in other students plays as well.  Sandra Barthel

12. Another memory was watching all my kids learn a cultural dance taught by another student for their Culture Fair…even the boys!  Sandra Barthel

13. Sitting in the sun on the deck of the Pacific Grace with all of the sails up.  Heidi VanWeelden

14. Seeing a pod of Orcas while standing at the top of the mast during our SALTS sailing trip!  Heidi VanWeelden

15. My favourite memory is walking into the classroom every day and being greeted by cheery faces and eager voices, all wanting to tell me something at the same time. Whether it was a funny story from home, the score of their baseball game, their latest Fortnite session​, the weather forecast or an elaborate and detailed excuse for why they forgot their home-reading folder, again; I love their enthusiasm and excitement for life.  Krista Brandsma

16. Market Day. The students were brimming with optimism, energy and enthusiasm but the hours of effort, creativity, teamwork and vision that went into the month prior to market day made me prouder of them than I ever imagined.  Krista Brandsma

17. Seeing students reach out and include each other in lunch activities; a blessing to our community.  Jonathan Zuidhof

18. Seeing our grade 8 girls volleyball team win a Fraser Valley banner; a celebration of perseverance and determination.  Jonathan Zuidhof

19. It was awesome to see the entire class work together to lead worship in chapel.  Sally Van Geest

20. Connecting with staff and volunteers from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank was fantastic. Such authentic service learning!  Sally Van Geest

21. Having students use their creativity using the school’s laser and 3D printers. Dan Verbeek

22. Best words of encouragement…from one of the Grade 6 students I work with:”Mrs. Schweitzer, you are a genius.” OK so we were working on grade 6 electricity unit. Sophia Schweitzer

23. Watching students step out of the comfort zones in the creation of worship dance routines. Awesome! Jonathan Zuidhof