SH Band Program

It has taken me a while to finalize this youtube video but I finally got it done.  What an amazing year this team put together culminating in a fantastic year end band concert.  This youtube link has the team practicing on their way to the concert, has interviews with many members of the band and of course with Ms. Clark, the maestro extraordinaire of the SH Music program.  Added on are some highlights of the concert…enjoy!!

Happy Graduation Ms. Nuyens

Goodbye, Ms. Nuyens

Ms. Peggy Nuyens has been teaching for over 35 years. In 1981, She started her career at Stanley Humphries and this year, she will bring her teaching career to a close at SHSS.

Ms. Nuyens worked at several schools including Beaver Valley Middle School and Trail Middle schools and taught everything from PE to spelling to textiles. But from the time she went into teaching, Ms. Nuyens knew that Home Ec was her fit and of all of the subject areas she explored, Foods was her favorite.

When we asked SH students about learning with Ms. Nuyens, here’s what they had to say:

“I always like being in her class because she understands and when she is writing down notes she understands if she’s going too fast and she’ll slow down. She always helps us if something isn’t going right while we’re cooking. She also takes time out of her lunch to help us.”Emily Kulbaba

“Anything that goes through her head she just says, it’s really funny.” Ryan Trickey

“She’s a good teacher and I had fun in her class and glad she was my teacher.” Zach Tremblay

“She always comes into Safeway asking about deals and stuff, like ground beef. It’s for the kids.” Nate LaBerge

“Cheers to the good times and excessive food classes I took with her because I took way more foods than I needed to just so I could be with her. I’m glad to see that she is actually retiring too and not dead because of those boys in gr 12 foods last year. I always appreciated that she took the time to ask if I needed help with anything no matter what even if she was busy doing something else, she checked in on me.” Drew Ward

“I love her sass and just everything about her.” Sara Lefurgey

“Ms Nuyens taught me a lot of things about cooking and I’ll probably make those recipes until I’m older and we’ll miss her!!”Mackenzie Mager

In her retirement, Ms Nuyens hopes to spend lots of time with her family, especially her grand daughters, and enjoy this next part of her life. She also said that she will enjoy going to the grocery store, just for fun!

Thanks to Ms Nuyens several generations of students got to discover the world of cooking. Her passion for food and nutrition, as well as her love of her students, will be missed at SHSS.

Thank you, Ms Nuyens, for your years of work, your countless hours of preparation, the care you put into each lesson and all of the great memories you created for our students. We will miss you!


Cousin Carpentry Inc.

Had a chance to check out some great projects in the Woodwork 9 class of Mr. Don Liszt.  These two young ladies, who happened to be cousins, Stefanie and Allison Soukeroff were busy doing some finishing work on their projects had an opportunity to share thier awesome work.  Thanks for sharing, ladies!

Sciences Projet

These two young ladies from Madame Belanger’s classe de Science stopped by my office last week with some great questions about the plastic water bottle usage at SH.  The two students, Kelsie VanKoughnett and Janaeya Baher stopped by my office today to let me know what they are thinking about…in English and en Francais…Thanks / Merci for making a difference at SH!

Mitosis vs Meiosis

This morning I walked into Ms. Stephanie Van Yzerloo’s Science 9 class where students were extremely busy working on their Mitosis and Meiosis projects. Students had a choice to use any medium of their choice to describe the two processes of cell reproduction.

Amber Wight and Abby Advent eloquently described the process of Meiosis, and their use and knowledge of the vocabulary was outstanding. I was impressed with their understanding of the process and how they remember the term “haploid” as “half of the genetic material”.

IMG_0787Blake Grantham described the process of Mitosis, explaining the significance of interphase, he said, “most of the time period of the cell division took place in interphase, and that the actual rest of Mitosis, prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase happens pretty quickly”.

IMG_0788James Price was quite animated as he explained both processes and was able to compare and contrast. “Mitosis is more like asexual reproduction, and meiosis is about sexual reproduction,”he explained, “It’s good to know all the stuff and yeah it’s been pretty fun, it’s a cool project because you can show(describe the processes) anyway you want.”

IMG_0790Ms. Van Yzerloo said, “This is only the second time I have used this assignment in grade 9 science and am finding that students really enjoy it. The project gives students the option to demonstrate their knowledge of meiosis and mitosis in a different format than a quiz or a test. I enjoy listening to the conversations between group members and other groups as they recall and relay information from the unit to one another. Every student/group always comes up with their own creative way to demonstrate their knowledge, and I find that when students have options in how to demonstrate their learning their engagement increases. I also really like this assignment because it has an analyze, interpret, and conclusions section where students are asked to reflect on their chosen models and their own learning process.”

Physics 12 Bridge Building

The annual Physics 12 Bridge Building competition culminated with the load capacities / bridge breakdown on Friday. Catch the exciting action in the 7 minute youtube video showing each student in Mr. Alex Perren’s class as they add the weight and find the load capacity of each bridge.

Mr. Perren enjoys the project because it connects the sometimes dry and math heavy topics in Physics 12 with a real world design challenge. It also allows the students to work together in coming up with a design that meets the strict requirements of the project (must span 50cm, only allowed 100 sticks, etc.) but is still very open to creativity and choice as to how they go about building their bridge. The students walk away from this project with a much better understanding of load transfer and the differences between compression and tension.

I went in after the fact to ask students some questions regarding what they learned in this project:

Tyler Lew stated, “I learned what we are basically learning in class except I was able to put it on more of a hands-on experience which I enjoyed a lot more”. Tyler’s partner in the project Ian Hartleb added, “I’m more of a visual learner and with this project you’ll see how it actually works in real life.”

Partners Candice Soukeroff and Brenden Pereverzoff built their bridge with the idea of roof trusses and the importance of triangles in mind, “triangles help to transfer the forces of the load” Brenden said.

Tyler Vielleux and Jakob Fipke build the bridge that won the competition, which is calculated by the mass of the bridge / divided by the amount of weight the bridge could stand before collapsing. “Building the bridge reinforced our understanding, and working together we were able to combine our ideas to build the best bridge possible.”

Mr. Perren’s final comment really summarizes a fantastic learning experience for these students: “I think most students will now look at bridges with a whole new perspective and can visualize where the forces are going in structures. This is a perspective achieved once you go through the process of designing and building a bridge.”

SH Learns

At Stanley Humphries Secondary School, we are starting a new way of sharing the great things that happen here on a daily basis. The SH Learns Blog will highlight the happenings of the school.


The first blog entry comes from my good fortune of walking into the room of Mr. Leffelaar’s Biology 12 class. When I walked in today, Mr. Leffelaar was enthusiastically describing the corpus callosum and the importance of its function for the human brain. Students were asking questions and demonstrating their own eagerness to learn about all of the parts of the brain. Connections were made to physiology and psychology with lots of interested discussion and more questions. Mr. Leffelaar was so interested in talking about the brain, his students were naturally eager and enthusiastic as well. Cerebrums, medulla oblongata, lobes… every possible part of the brain was discussed in detail and the students contributed most of the information, the back and forth conversation making the time go very fast.

Once this conversation concluded, some quick preparation work for their upcoming laboratory observations of sheep’s brains took place, and then the students went to complete their assigned task.


Mr. Leffelaar is the corpus callosum between the vast content of biological curriculum and the students who are eager to learn this material. He is the connection piece between the material and the students. Mr. Leffelaar has created an environment where student learning is at the forefront, where questions are encouraged, enthusiasm for Biology is shared and a shared expectation of respect is present. Mr. Leffelaar came to Stanley Humphries 26 years ago after studying biology in university and teaching abroad in Africa. After five minutes in his class, you can feel the passion that he has for this subject.


Student Ecco Haake stated “Bi 12 is a really good class and it’s full of information about the human body, its very interesting and it’s nice because you can actually relate it to you…and Mr. Leffelaar, he teaches so enthusiastically!”


Emma Lawczynski talks of experiences learning in Mr. Leffelaar’s class.

“we are talking about the brain and nervous system, its so complex and amazing. It is amazing how many things it enables us to do. Just the brain itself has so many intricacies, just changing one aspect can change who that person is…

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Of learning in this class Emma states, “Mr. Leffelaar is old fashioned in that it’s a lecture format, we take notes, he likes to have assignments on time, isn’t flexible on that, he has a very high expectation for his senior students. Its one of my favourite classes, I like his style and I love Biological sciences, especially learning about neurosciences. We (all of us students) share the wonder of how our bodies work and Mr. Leffelaar is very good at getting everyone to share and discuss what we know.   It’s a great class. I really appreciate Mr Leffelaar as a teacher and I am so happy he is at S.H.