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Cornerstone students shared stories of success with board

Jessica Baumgartner, Shay Frederick and Jay Boll shared their stories of success with the Southeast Cornerstone board.
Student Success
Students putting their hands together in library
WEYBURN - Three students who demonstrated high levels of achievement from each of the three areas of the school division shared their stories with the Southeast Cornerstone Public School Board.

The presentations were part of the Monitoring Report on System Goal #2 “Our Students Achieve at High Levels” that the board members heard during their October 13 meeting.

Jessica Baumgartner, Grade 12 student from Stoughton Central School, placed third in a national speech competition called Speakers Idol. Baumgartner presented her speech to the board virtually in real time.

“Volunteering has been always something that I always enjoyed, during my spare time,” said Baumgartner. “My parents raised me to be kind, open-minded, respectful and helpful. I would not be who I am today, without their support, and the support from those at the Stoughton School.”

“These encouragements helped me to speak up about the Pride Flag burning at our school and again when I wrote my speech about sexual assault. I feel that consent is very important after a personal experience, and seeing others who were affected about it,” said Baumgartner.

“Teaching about consent is the very beginning, but someone has to take the first steps to make sure that this happens. I took a leap to take those steps. My speech hit hard, and dug deep with the truth, with what I believe needs to be said.”

“The speech competition was giving me a platform to talk about something important, and I couldn’t pass it up,” added Baumgartner. “I feel very accomplished that many people heard my speech, and many people can start to make a change.”

Shay Frederick, from Estevan Comprehensive School, excelled in Skills Canada in cosmetology. Frederick attained a gold medal performance in the provincial competition in May. She was awarded a silver medal for her work at the National Championship, held June 15. Her teacher, Joyce Mack, shared Shay’s story with the Cornerstone board.

Mack shared the many difficulties that Frederick had to face to compete at the provincial Skills Canada competition, and then the national competition. The timing of the competition occurred just when COVID-19 restrictions were put into place across the province.

Competing in a virtual competition was something very new for Frederick. There were unique challenges that she had to face. Mack noted that the support received from the Estevan Comprehensive School and the school division office was very valuable for her student.

Jay Boll from 33 Central School in Fillmore shared his accomplishments at school, his role in the Provincial Youth Council, and his selection for his scholarship to attend post-secondary school at the University of British Columbia.

“My experience was a very positive one. I always felt that I had the supports that I needed. Within high school, I participated in a few different extra-curricular activities. In my senior year, I was part of the Provincial Youth Council, and selected as one of 12 student leaders across the province,” said Boll.

“My main point is that even if you come from a small school, like I did, you can still succeed at a bigger stage,” added Boll.

The Monitoring Report states: “Southeast Cornerstone Public School Division is committed to student success and achievement in every student in every school and to ensuring that our students achieve at high levels.”

Cornerstone utilizes a variety of screens and assessments to measure the achievement level of students.

The report presented at the meeting focused on student achievement from the school year 2020-21. There are gaps in some data sets, due to the pauses that the school division experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though extreme challenges existed, the students, staff and school community rose above the challenges and continued to achieve at high levels.

Cornerstone students were above the provincial average in 16 of 20 (80 per cent) subjects at the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year.

This was the first year of utilizing STAR assessment data for SE Cornerstone. They will have a baseline data for comparison purposes next school year.

Initial data shows that several students need math supports. Cornerstone has put some interventions in place including new teaching resources for teachers and two math instructional coaches to provide in-class coaching to support math pedagogy.