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

Victoria Day Parade returns to celebrate 120 years

F18 Hornets to honour #HumboldtStrong with first ever fly past, kicking off parade

Sidney fundraiser helping kids fight diabetes

Nicola Politano organizing May 26 dance at the air cadet hall

‘ALR golf courses should return to farming,’ says ex-ALC chair Frank Leonard

Former mayor says Saanich could appeal Cedar Hill Golf Course application

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Friends and family playing huge role in search for Vancouver Island man

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

Central Vancouver Island man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road near Port Alberni

Watch: Saved from highway harm, ducklings waddle into Swan Lake

Saanich Pound rescue, release ducklings in cute video

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Most Read