Graduating Reynolds secondary students Solomon Schaefer and Antonia Kowalewski were both offered spots in the prestigious House of Commons page program for the fall, though Kowalewski turned it down to pursue a degree in biophysics at Simon Fraser University. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Ottawa calls on Reynolds grads

Students score big with page program, Schulich scholarship

For the second year in a row, a Reynolds secondary student is graduating directly into Canada’s House of Commons.

And for the third time in two years, a Reynolds student has secured one of 50 prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarships, an $80,000 value towards a degree in science.

The truth is two Reynolds Grade 12 students, Solomon Schaefer and Antonia Kowalewski, have been offered a place in the House of Commons page program. Schaefer is jumping on the opportunity and is registered in political science at the University of Ottawa. Kowalewski, meanwhile, made it through the rigorous interview and application process, including a French language evaluation (candidates must be bilingual) but later chose to accept the Schulich Scholarship through Simon Fraser University, where she’ll study biophysics.

“These scholarships are very competitive and for our high school to have back-to-back recipients is quite something,” said Patricia Daniells, a Reynolds teacher who offers career help to students.

Before interviewing for the House of Commons Page Program, Schaefer was able to check-in with Sylvan Lutz, a 2017 Reynolds grad who is currently working as a page while studying at University of Ottawa. Schaefer will put in a minimum of 15 hours a week at the House of Commons, one morning and one evening shift. It starts with a week-long training session in August.

“To some people the House of Commons might seem boring but to a poli-sci nerd like me, to be there assisting successful politicians and to be in the same room as the Prime Minister is like Christmas for me,” Schaefer said.

On top of a nearly flawless report card – Schaefer is one half of this year’s Reynolds valedictorian team with Camryn Nadeau – the teen spent a month over the winter holiday this year as a counselor to 11-year-olds at a CISV (a youth-oriented movement for global peace formerly known as Children’s International Summer Villages) camp in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

It’s that type of extra-curricular leadership that helped him get into the Page Program.

“The camp is mostly in English, so you learn how to communicate at different levels, especially with 11-year-olds who are still learning English,” said Schaefer, who is adding Spanish to his quiver of languages.

Same goes for Kowalewski, a science-oriented academic who’s been active in a number of initiatives throughout her time as a high schooler. But now the focus will turn on schooling, as Kowalewski enters a demanding program.

“It’s been a lot of work the last four years so it’s nice to know my dedication to school and a lot of extra-curricular activities has paid off,” Kowalewski said.

She follows in the footsteps of 2016 Reynolds grad Rebecca Hansen who also secured a Schulich for science.

“I always loved the sciences but I figured I would know which direction I wanted to focus on by now,” Kowalewski said. “I ended up liking all off biology, chemistry and physics so I’m going into biophysics, which encompasses them all.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Susan Simmons begins a 24-hour swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

The MS Athlete and ultra-marathon swimmer wants to be the first person to make the journey

New Victoria mayoral candidate, three more council candidates step forward

Four people from NewCouncil.ca jump into the race for the Oct. 2018 municipal election

PHOTOS: Tour de Victoria takes off

1,800 cyclists took off in the Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria for a city-wide loop

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Oak Bay brothers scoop 10 kg of poop from park paths in 30 mins

Family picks up dog poo to give back, inspire others to be more responsible

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read