Connections and Family at the Heart of the Program

I had the pleasure of having a coffee with a former Mini School grad, Rachel Williams, who graduated from the program in 2008.  At the time, she was living and working in Toronto, and visiting her father and sister (who is also a Mini School student) during the winter season.  It was fantastic to catch up, reminisce about our shared experiences and hear about all the things new in our lives.  If you ever wondered what the lifestyle of a Mini School student is after graduation, here is Rachel as an example.  Rachel really exemplifies the Mini School spirit and PWC thought she exemplified their spirit too.  You must watch!

In 2012 I had the pleasure of having dinner with another former Mini School grad, Jeremy Lermitte, who graduated from the program in 2006, while I was visiting New York City.  For those who know Jeremy, he is a very interesting young man and he was able to become part of the Uber team, now one of the fastest growing companies in North America.  It is growing so fast that he has gone from heading to New York on a risk to find work, to being on a team that rang the Nasdaq bell at the New York Stock Exchange!

J at NasdaqSeeing that Jeremy’s identity was obstructed, here is a picture of him.  jeremy lermitte

Jeremy has done so well thus far that he has recently received a promotion and will be moving to the Headquarters in San Francisco.  He said it will take some getting used to the West Coast again but he is looking forward to it.

Rachel and Jeremy are two separate people from two different grad classes.  But the one thing they had in common was their educational experience at McNair Secondary and the Mini School program, through the hallways of the school or on many of the 15 outdoor excursions, Arts Nights, and other activities in the extensive and comprehensive Mini School itinerary.  In the Mini School, there are a lot of conversations about family and connections, and these two wonderful grads did connect many years after McNair and as it turns out, Rachel will be joining the Uber team in the Toronto office.  From an educational connection as kids, to a professional connection as young adults, these two are making an impact in our society and in this case, across our continent.

Now I will turn your attention towards two students of the Mini School class of 2003.  When Adrian and Angie entered the program in 1999, they were your typical grade 8 students.  Adrian was a little bit immature like most grade 8 boys (sorry!), and Angie a well spoken and nice girl.  They were well adjusted with their classmates and worked hard at whatever they did.  If my memory serves me correctly, they started dating in their grade 11 year, and they have been together ever since.  They are one of the rare “high school sweethearts” stories and they really were great together in that they were considerate and thoughtful to one another, and the other students didn’t feel awkward around the ‘couple’.  Adrian and Angie went on to marry a few years ago and they celebrated the birth of their first child just a few months ago.  They welcomed Alyssa into their lives and the Mini School “family” just went to a whole other level.  Congratulations to Angie and Adrian, and welcome to our wonderful world, Alyssa!angieadrianfamilyThe Mini School experience has always aimed to be one of family and connections, for now and into the future.  Sometimes it is hard to see in the five years at McNair but it clearly continues with the students into their adult lives and these are just a tiny taste of the amazing things our graduates are doing in our global community.


About bsoong

Vice Principal at Gladstone Secondary School in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Son, husband and father. Sports and movie fan.
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