By Julie Cole
Shayla Alexander wishes she could always be in high school – and she may have found a way for that to happen.
The 2011 Caronport High School (CHS) graduate plans to attend Briercrest College and Seminary in the fall. She is enroled in the new education program – a partnership with Minot State University.
“If I am a teacher, then I will be (in a high school),” she confessed. “CHS has shown me that high school can be fun. It’s funny, you won’t hear a lot of teenagers say that they like school as much as I do, but I look forward to school every day. I’m a learner.”
Alexander’s experience in CHS English teacher Cheryl Crocker’s class has inspired her to become an English teacher.
“I always liked English . . . but when I took English A30 with Mrs. Crocker, it was English like I’ve never experienced before,” she exclaimed. “I walked into English class every day – I wasn’t ever dreading it because she made us excited to learn.”
The CHS grad wants to have the same positive effects on her future students as Crocker did on her.
“I would like to make learning fun,” she said. “When you have fun with learning, it makes it a lot easier. I hope to show the love of Christ to people . . . and teach (them) to appreciate their education.”
Alexander sees high school English as important to students’ personal development.
“English has the tools to help you find who you are,” she said. “So much of English is writing and thinking and ripping things apart to see how relevant they are to you or to people around you.”
The McCord, Sask. resident came to CHS and lived in the dorms for Grades 11 and 12. “It’s like a weird tradition in my family to leave home (for high school),” she explained.
Alexander’s older sister and several of her cousins went to a boarding high school in Outlook, Sask. Her older brother went to Medicine Hat in Grade 10 to play football.
“I think it was the winter of Grade 10 that I started to find out who I really was,” Alexander recalled. “I didn’t want to do whatever everybody expected me to do because that wasn’t going to make me happy. In my heart I wanted something different, but I didn’t even know that CHS was here.”
A family friend told Alexander about CHS and suggested she check it out because of the opportunities it provided in drama and music.
“I came for the tour and I didn’t really like it,” she confessed. “(I said) ‘Okay, God, if this is where you want me to be, I’ll be here. But you’ve got to open doors for me.’ Things started falling into place.”
“I think being away from your mom and dad forces you to grow up,” she said. “It allows you to know who you are apart from your family. So, I know that from being here I’ve been able to create my own faith (separate from) my parents.”
Alexander sees the CHS dorms as a secure place that enabled her self-discovery.
“Being in the dorm you get to know people on a different level,” she said. “You get to know what you are like – whether you’re more of an extroverted person or an introverted person . . . you get to know your personal space and boundaries and you learn how to respond to other people’s personal space and boundaries.”
Alexander will be returning to the dorms when she comes to Briercrest this fall.
But first she’s excited about her summer job in Kelowna, B.C.
“I’m going to work at Green Bay Bible Camp,” she exclaimed. I’m going to make smoothies on the beach. That’s my job! I get paid for it!”