Cop­per Ridge Acad­emy stu­dents at­tend­ing na­tional lead­er­ship con­fer­ence in On­tario

Com­mu­nity sup­ports fundrais­ing ef­forts

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY

Thanks to a wider com­mu­nity ef­fort that saw stu­dents at Cop­per Ridge Acad­emy in Baie Verte sell up­wards of 900 cold plates, eight stu­dents and two teach­ers from the school are now headed to a na­tional lead­er­ship con­fer­ence in Water­loo, On­tario.

Hosted by the Water­loo Re­gion Dis­trict School Board and Sir John A. Mac­don­ald Sec­ondary School, the 33rd Cana­dian Stu­dent Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence is run­ning from Sept. 26-30.

The trip is pos­si­ble be­cause of the com­mu­nity sup­port through its fundrais­ing ef­forts, and now those young lead­ers hope to give back to their com­mu­nity as a re­sult.

Sam Stuck­less, a 16-year-old Level III stu­dent at Cop­per Ridge Acad­emy is “su­per ex­cited” about rep­re­sent­ing her school at the con­fer­ence.

“There will be lots of work­shops and guest speak­ers, and we will be learn­ing about other cul­tures,” she said prior to leav­ing her home­town Mon­day.

She is look­ing for­ward to shar­ing the in­for­ma­tion with stu­dents at her school.

“I hope this (con­fer­ence) will help with my own lead­er­ship skills and help me be­come more con­fi­dent in my school com­mu­nity,” she said. “Four or five of us (stu­dents grad­u­at­ing in June) will be leav­ing the school so we want more stu­dents to be­come in­ter­ested in our (lead­er­ship) group.”

Jaime Robin Walsh, another 16-yearold Level III stu­dent at Cop­per Ridge Acad­emy, says “I’m look­ing for­ward to learn­ing about things to bring back to the school to change things for the bet­ter.”

Stu­dents mak­ing the trip — from Grades 7-12 — were all mem­bers of the school’s lead­er­ship com­mit­tee last year.

Whether you attend school in this prov­ince or another part of the coun­try, many of the is­sues stu­dents face are sim­i­lar.

Pro­mot­ing anti-bul­ly­ing ini­tia­tives, say­ing no to drugs and smok­ing, and pro­vid­ing safe spa­ces for all stu­dents are just some of the is­sues teens from other ar­eas will re­late to, Walsh said.

“We want all stu­dents to feel safe and feel wel­comed in our school,” she said.

Walsh is proud of Cop­per Ridge Acad­emy and the nu­mer­ous events the school’s lead­er­ship com­mit­tee hosts through­out the year. She said the events go over well with the stu­dents.

“It’s a great school,” she said. Stu­dents at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence will be bil­leted in the host com­mu­nity of Water­loo.

At­tend­ing the con­fer­ence is a great op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents at her school, ac­cord­ing to Walsh.

“For stu­dents from a Baie Verte school to go to some­thing like this is awe­some,” she said. “It’s not very of­ten you see stu­dents from the smaller schools go to some­thing like this.”

Op­por­tu­nity for ru­ral schools

Ryan White is one of two teach­ers mak­ing the trip with the stu­dents. He agrees that it’s great for a school from ru­ral New­found­land to be tak­ing part in the con­fer­ence.

White, who has par­tic­i­pated in the con­fer­ence in the past, said New­found­land and Labrador is un­der rep­re­sented at the con­fer­ence and schools that do par­tic­i­pate are of­ten from larger cen­tres like St. John’s and Corner Brook.

He said the school is grate­ful to the com­mu­nity, which came on­board to sup­port var­i­ous fundrais­ers to make the trip pos­si­ble.

“We sold 900 cold plates, we had walka-thons and a spring craft fair with lo­cal ven­dors. We did a Hal­loween fair and a bar­be­cue,” White said of some of the ini­tia­tives un­der­taken by the stu­dents.

The goal of the fundrais­ing ef­forts was to en­sure no stu­dent missed out on the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the con­fer­ence be­cause of fi­nan­cial chal­lenges.

“We wanted to make sure there were no ma­jor out-of-pocket ex­penses,” the teacher said. “We wanted to make sure when it comes to rep­re­sent­ing the school and the area that this wasn’t just for peo­ple who could af­ford it rather for any stu­dent in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the con­fer­ence visit http://cslc2017.stu­dentlead­er­


Sam Stuck­less is one of the Cop­per Ridge Acad­emy stu­dents at­tend­ing a na­tional lead­er­ship con­fer­ence in Water­loo, Ont.


Jaime Robin Walsh is one of the Cop­per Ridge Acad­emy stu­dents at­tend­ing a na­tional lead­er­ship con­fer­ence in Water­loo, Ont.

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