By Paul D.
Next year the current grade 9 class at Westmount will be in high school, and this presents a tough choice for them, should they choose to stay here or will they go to a different high school. For some this isn’t really a choice, because they love Westmount and they would never want to go anywhere else. But some kids are just done here, and they all have their reasons for wanting to leave. No matter what they all have some great stories to tell about Westmount and all that the people here have done for them. But no matter what, whether someone is leaving or staying they have to admit that they enjoyed the time they spent here. Chaten Q, one of the other writers here at The Wire had this to say, “I like this school, it’s either this or Chestermere High and I am not doing that. I like the teachers and a lot of cool kids are gonna be here next year.” Michael P added, “It’s a small school, everyone knows each other and it’s really good.” Both of the two are staying at Westmount next year and are looking forward to continue attending Westmount. However, some students who are leaving for next year had other points of view. One student posted their thoughts on Facebook, telling fellow classmates, “I’ve been here for 8 years but I just want a fresh start. You guys will always be my home.”
As you can see, even the people who are positive that they want to leave next year will never forget their time at Westmount. Everyone has a great story about this place and what made them want to stay or leave. I talked to a fellow classmate about why she chose to stay and she had this to say.
Q: So just to be clear, are you staying or leaving?
A: Definitely staying.
Q: so is there any specific reason you want to stay?
A: I specifically came to Westmount for the gifted high school program because CBE doesn’t have any gifted high schools. We were actually thinking of applying for Westmount when I moved to Calgary but at the time it was still at the old campus and we lived too far away
Q: So how do you like the people and the teachers here?
A: I really like it here I think especially the high school teacher really like what they do here and it feels like they really try to build friendly relationships with the students. It makes it a lot easier to focus and I think it’s a more comfortable classroom environment. I like a lot of the kids in my grade, but unfortunately, a lot of my closest friends are leaving.
Q: Are there any specific stories you have about Westmount?
A: Nothing in particular but I would say overall I’ve had a really positive experience here. I think it can be attributed to the friends I’ve made here, and I’m really looking forward to making a lot of new friends next year.
She spoke very positively about Westmount as a whole and especially how friendly all the people are here, even the teachers. I also spoke to another classmate who considered leaving,
Q: So you’re not leaving next year?
A: Nope, I’m staying, I would have rather left but due to circumstances I couldn’t.
Q: What kind of circumstances?
A: Well I wanted to go to Western and do the IB program, but I found out that partial IB doesn’t count as the same as gifted education and full IB would have been too much of a workload for me, also my parents were really pushing for me to stay here at Westmount and it would have been too much work if I wanted to change.
Q: Since you are staying, are you looking forward to another year with the people here?
A: Absolutely not, in fact, one of the main reasons that I wanted to leave was because I just didn’t want to deal with these kids anymore. I do have a couple friends here but for the most part these people here really annoy me. When you stay with the same group of people since grade four you just kind of get tired of them, I just wanted a fresh start and a chance to meet some new people.
Q: Are the teachers here any better?
A: I’m fine with most of the teachers here, once in a while I hear something bad about a teacher but I’ve never really had a negative experience with any of the teachers here and I think generally the teachers here are more supportive.
So not everyone here feels as strongly about Westmount, some kids want a fresh start and some just aren’t happy with the reputation they have. Afterwards I had one more conversation with a classmate who was leaving for sure this time.
Q: So you are leaving for sure?
A: Yeah, I have all the paperwork submitted, everything is good to go.
Q: So what made you want to leave?
A: Well I do like Westmount, but they have no IB or football team, and I really want to be able to participate in both of those programs. There are also certain substitute teachers and staff that I don’t get along with very well. And also all my friends are leaving so there’s not that much point in staying.
Q: What are the things you’re going to remember about Westmount?
A: A lot of the outdoor stuff and all the fun experiences that you have here and you wouldn’t have a chance to do at other schools, also just hanging out with my friends.
Q: What are the things that you’re really going to miss next year?
A: All the great friends I’ve made here and all of the great stuff we’ve done. It’s been really fun and I’ve enjoyed my time here a lot. Also the teachers here are really great and they’ve really helped me out through the years.
So no matter if people are leaving or staying, they will never forget the time they spent at Westmount, and they will always have the friends they’ve made here. I personally loved the time I spent at Westmount and I am going to really miss everything that I’ve been through here.