Alumni Profile – Nic Beaulieu Class of ’17

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Coast Mountain Academy

Nic is one of the original CMA students, starting with the school in its year of inception. In his 4 years at CMA he made an immense contribution to our school’s culture. He was a positive force on the trails, in the gym, and in the classroom, and holds the prestigious honour of being CMA’s first-ever Valedictorian. Nic is now studying Civil Engineering, Project Management at BCIT.

Q & A with Nic:

1) What made your education at CMA unique?
As a founding student my CMA experience was unique in many ways. I would say the most unique parts were the small school community, engaging learning, and the LEAD trips. The high teacher/student ratio at CMA means that you have to be engaged in every class. It is hard to be a “passenger” and slack off in the back of the class. The teacher/student ratio also meant that teachers had room to tailor certain exercises to work with individual students, keeping us all engaged.
The LEAD trips were especially unique to CMA. Canoeing the Yukon River was my favourite. Looking back on my highschool experience, a lot of my most fond memories came from these LEAD experiences. I enjoyed them so much I actually came back to help guide one after graduating! LEAD also taught me a lot about outdoor stewardship and brought me closer to my peers.

2) CMA Alumni seem to share a great bond even well after they’ve graduated. Why do you think this is?
Sharing a tight bond is a very accurate assessment of CMA Alumni relationships. There are probably 3 or 4 Alumni from my year and the year below me that I still talk to almost everyday (Leo and I were actually roommates for a semester last year) and I still touch base with almost everyone from my graduating class.

I think these close relationships form due to the small size of the school community and all of the unique experiences that we go through together. In a small school you are seeing your peers in almost every class which means you’re spending around 35 hours a week together. When you are spending that much time with your peers, you start to develop strong friendships. You also grow to respect and care about the people that you weren’t as close to initially, just by virtue of spending so much time together and going through so much together.

LEAD trips, especially, were a great way for students to bond. When you are in the backcountry with no one but your peers, the relationships you build in the classroom are further strengthened. As Alumni we have so many collective memories of both struggles and fun times from these trips that brought, and continue to bring, us together.

We wish Nic the best during his year of study and look forward to the next time we see him.

Ms. Keeling
Ms. Keeling