Back to school, again

Steven Gauthier had hoped to start an apprenticeship as a welder this fall but with no jobs available, his plans have changed. The 18-year-old has returned to Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School to upgrade his math and science classes

Steven Gauthier had hoped to start an apprenticeship as a welder this fall but with no jobs available, his plans have changed.

The 18-year-old has returned to Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School to upgrade his math and science classes.

“It’s tough,” said Gauthier, who has found the return to high school difficult. “I know I’m an adult but I’m stuck with kids.”

He isn’t allowed to smoke, if he talks back to a teacher he risks study hall and he’s doing homework when he’d rather be taking in a steady paycheque.

But Gauthier is optimistic about his future. He wants to study welding at SAIT in Calgary and he hopes what he is learning in his high school classes this year will help in the safety courses he plans to take in the future.

Darrin DeMale, a vice-principal at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, said the reasons for students returning for Grade 13 are varied. He has seen a slight increase this year compared to last, with 80 to 85 students returning this year compared to 65 students returning in the 2008-2009 school year.

DeMale said while the economy may play a role in some students wanting to return, it isn’t the only reason.

He said other students return because they want to upgrade their marks in certain classes, improving their English 30 or Social 30 marks by 10 per cent. International students often take an extra year because they are learning English at the same time they are taking all of the other courses.

Students are allowed to return to class without a cost for Grade 13 if they are 19 years of age or younger as of Sept. 1 of that year. After that, the students must go to the college to get the credits they need.

DeMale said another factor for students is that the graduation policy tightened last year. Students needed 100 credits. DeMale said this has meant some students have had to return this year for a few credits.

Brianna Wiebe, 17, returned to class for Grade 13 in order to get the classes she needs to graduate. She is studying Grade 12 social, French, biology and math this year. So far, the return to high school hasn’t been a bad experience for her. She still has friends at the school and she has found the classes easier than she expected.

She wants to be a zookeeper in the future because she has always loved animals — not just the fluffy ones, she even likes frogs. Although the economy didn’t have an effect on Wiebe’s decision to return to school, she has noticed it’s a lot more difficult to find a job now. Wiebe said finding a job was easy in the past, but now she would have to put resumes out everywhere. She has plans to eventually go to university.

DeMale said from what he has seen, students are still quite optimistic and are informed about their options. “I think there is an awful lot of hope that is still out there in terms of living in Alberta,” he said.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read