Caronport High School (CHS) alumnus Brandy (Pederson) Magnus smiles as she considers the path her life has taken.
“It’s kind of unique, because I came to CHS and never thought I’d be back here,” she mused. “So it’s kind of fun to be able to give a little bit back to a place that invested in me.”
Coming to CHS as a Grade 11 student brought big changes to Magnus’ life. Everything seemed to be done on a grander scale than she’d experienced at home in Bromhead, Sask.
“There’s probably five people that live there,” Magnus chuckled, describing the size of her hometown. “The school was 80 kids from K-12, so when I came to CHS and my class was 90–that was a big change for me.”
A larger school offered larger opportunities in sports.
“CHS allowed me to focus on interests such as volleyball and basketball,” Magnus explained. “At home I had played senior everything–not because I was any good, but because they needed members. I had never actually sat on the bench. Coming to Caronport was funny for me because you have two lines of volleyball and basketball and you actually have to share the floor.”
More course offerings along with a well-equipped and dedicated staff offered broader horizons for the future environmental engineer.
“I think CHS prepared me academically for university,” Magnus said. “I had great teachers in physics, math, chemistry, and calculus. I found the teachers here at CHS–they not only are teaching, but they invest in you. It’s just one step further than what I had experienced before. I ended up getting a scholarship to the U of R. God just led me in that way.”
Magnus, who is now married and has a child, realizes in a new way how much of a sacrifice it was for her parents to let her move away from home to go to CHS.
“I left home when I was 16,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes. “Having kids now, I don’t think I could let my kid go. Looking back I think my parents made the right choice. That’s why I get emotional. Investing in your children, like sending them to CHS, gives your kids the strong spiritual and academic foundation as they step out on their own.”
Getting that strong foundation was important to Magnus’ parents who sent all three of their children to CHS.
“My mom never got her education, so she said to me, ‘Even if you just get it and never use it, it’s something that no one can take away from you.’”
But Magnus has used her education.
“I went to the U of R right after high school . . . then graduated in 2007,” she said. “Then I started to work at Mosaic Potash at Bell Plaine. I attained my professional engineering status in the fall of 2010. That’s one of the goals I kind of had, that I wanted to get done before we had a family.”
Now, as the mother of a busy two-year-old, Magnus has stepped away from working at Mosaic Potash.
“I loved it,” she said in praise of her former workplace. “I would go back tomorrow, but I just know that my first priority is my family now.”
In the meantime, Magnus is putting some of her skills to work as a member of the village council in Caronport where she, her husband Todd, and son Braxton live.
“Recently we have built the spray park in town and the new playground,” she said. “I enjoyed being part of project management types of things or leadership roles and I’m thankful for having lots of people around me that have mentored me lately.”
Caronport mayor Bob Clark, one of the people Magnus lists as a mentor, is grateful for her presence on the village council.
“Brandy is a bright young woman with a ‘get it done’ attitude,” he wrote. “She is a real asset to have on council and a fine role model for women everywhere.”