At CMA, we endeavor to graduate inspired leaders with exceptional academic, social, and emotional preparedness common to conscientious and successful global citizens.
While attending CMA, our graduates were encouraged to try new things, think outside of the box, and push themselves both academically and physically. It is not uncommon to hear CMA Alumni reminisce about the time they quite literally climbed a mountain that they thought was insurmountable or that time they had to stand up and present to their entire school.
In our fast-paced world, CMA graduates will require skill sets for jobs that have yet to be created. At CMA, we believe that resilience and a strong work ethic are qualities that will be critical to success in post-secondary and beyond.
We are so very proud of all that our grads accomplished while attending CMA and now we get to watch (from a bit further away) as they continue on their road of personal growth. Many of our graduates have gone on to further their education at universities and colleges in both Canada and the United States while some have chosen to extend their learning on an international platform by taking a gap year to travel overseas.
Get Acquainted with a few of our Graduates
University of Victoria
Class of ‘20
Currently: University of Victoria
Rory attended CMA for all of the possible 6 years (grades 7-12). His name became synonymous with many things over that time, particularly the ability to wear shorts in any temperature, a love of the outdoors, and, in the classroom, an insatiable desire to understand. He is also the current record holder in the infamous “JF” timed run
In your 6 years at CMA, what were some of the most memorable lessons that you remember?
Over the course of my six years at CMA, I had so many unique experiences and it was through these unique experiences that I learned so much. Picking only a few lessons is hard because there are so many memorable ones, however, I think one of the most predominant and memorable lessons from my time at CMA was the importance of grit. Whether it was carrying a bag that felt as if it weighed a thousand pounds through a blizzard in the middle of June or having an essay, physics test, chemistry test, and math test all due in the span of two days, the importance of grit was always on display. It was during times like these when my perseverance and resolve were most tested, and it was after times like these that my perseverance and resolve were most strengthened. So for me, the most memorable lessons were all those times when I just wanted to take that bag off and stop hiking, or put that pen down and stop writing but chose to push through it instead.
University of Victoria - Engineering
Class of ‘19
Currently: University of Victoria, Mechanical Engineering
Alex came to CMA for her grade 12 year after having recovered from a very serious injury. In a relatively short amount of time, she made a huge impact as one of CMA’s most well-rounded students.
In Grade 10 I broke my back and had severe head trauma and neurological symptoms that took me away from everything in my life. It took me over a year to recover enough to go back to school on a semi-regular basis. My experiences during that time confirmed for me that there had to be another way or a different place for me to go to school. One where I could feel inspired. One where teachers were passionate about teaching and students were passionate about learning, and hopefully, where I could learn and be supported by my peers too. It felt like a lofty goal at the time but CMA definitely achieved that for me and I am very grateful for that.
How did CMA prepare you for university?
I think it is pretty hard to be prepared for university, no matter how many extra university-level courses you take. Although it definitely helps to have been exposed to some of the material in advance, the way we did at CMA. Definitely, the hardest thing to adapt to is the pressure and workload. CMA gave me some really important skills that I hadn’t really practiced at other schools. Most importantly, I actually had the opportunity to do some homework. It also let me practice problem-solving and critical thinking through projects and group discussions/workgroups. With the support of the teachers through those things I was able to improve and gain confidence for figuring stuff out on my own. This turned out to be very important in university. It also taught me how to coexist with a group of, in general, educated, passionate and opinionated people. My classmates didn’t always get along but seeing how everyone worked together or didn’t, prepared me more than I expected for group work with other engineers who always think they’re right. I also can’t imagine how different my life would have been without the network of friends and the experiences I gained through the LEAD program.
How did CMA help “ignite your spark” for adventure?
I think “ignite your spark” is a little dramatic. I already had passion for adventure which was one of the big benefits of going to CMA in the first place. However, what CMA did do was introduce me to an environment where everyone else was at least as passionate as I was. Although I had hiked, biked and paddled before, having a group of people to push and teach me allowed me to really enjoy and improve. I am very glad to have spent hours chasing after the cardio club in mountain biking and having them wait patiently at the bottom for me or show me the lines and encourage me to try new things. I am so happy to have met a group that reintroduced me to whitewater kayaking in safe way. Because of that, we now have an ever-growing group of paddlers in Squamish, as well as in Victoria, that is mainly all CMA alumni.
BCIT - Civil Engineering
Class of ‘17
Currently: BCIT – Civil Engineering, Project Management
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.
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.
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, 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.
UBC - Computer Engineering
Class of ‘18
Currently: UBC – Computer Engineering
During his time at CMA Leo was often regarded as being a soft-spoken, highly intelligent, and highly-skilled student. These amazing qualities were put on stage for all to see at his class graduation ceremony, when he walked slowly, calmly, and purposefully to the grand piano in the Quest Multi-Purpose room, and performed a classical masterpiece that brought the entire crowd to its feet.
Can you tell me more about why this field (Computer Engineering) is so exciting for you?
What drives me to pursue developing is the vast array of mediums to which I can express creativity. Sometimes that looks like creating alternate realities through the art of VFX, or applying deep learning strategies to solve age-old questions. I have come to learn that programming is more than just producing the correct output. Deeper there lies ingenuity and gratification to problem solving; which is inherently, fun.
Since graduating from CMA, you’ve become quite the rock climber, ticking off many very difficult ascents up to 5.13. What was the turning point in this sport for you? What made you decide to go “Full Gas” into it?
I owe a lot to CMA’s LEAD program for this. Before I moved to Squamish, I predominantly lived in the city environments and pursued traditional team sports; with no care for outdoor recreation. It was not until a winter LEAD trip into the backcountry that completely changed my perspective. I was enthralled by the pursuit of big mountains and spending time with good people in beautiful places. Inevitably, this meant spending drier months on rock, and appreciating my father’s passion for climbing. With competitive motivation from my CMA comrade, Nic Beaulieu, progression was quick. Climbing, and my newfound pursuit of outdoor recreation, has led me to meet great people, and land a part time job that I look forward to. It allows me to push myself physically, mentally, and creatively; which is inherently, fun.
University of Calgary - Earth Science
Class of ‘20
Currently: University of Calgary
Tell us of your first year of university: Where are you? What program are you taking? Which courses do you love?
When Mr.Logan messaged me to feature in the Alumni section of the newsletter I instantly laughed at first because my life has been pretty boring the past couple of months, but then I realized I have accomplished a lot! To start off, I am currently attending the University of Calgary and my major is Earth science. For my first year I am taking Physics, Calculus, Chemistry, Geology, Archaeology, Geophysics, Women’s Studies, and Psychology. My favourite course is Geology because for me it is the most interesting. I can’t go on a walk or hike now without thinking about how this rock was formed, or what type of rock this is, or what minerals are present in this rock. In Geology, I am currently learning about water usage and my water footprint. Who knew jeans used so much water to manufacture..?
You have entered university at a strange time in the flow of post-secondary education. What has made this transition difficult? Is there anything that has made it easier?
Unfortunately, I entered into post-secondary school at a strange time. COVID-19 has led me to experience my first year of university online. I decided not to move to Calgary for school because I wanted to enjoy another winter season in Whistler. The transition to being fully online has been difficult but manageable as the years at CMA provided an excellent technological foundation. The first term was the hardest as I had to navigate through all of the websites and keep up on the workload at the same time. At first I seriously did not think I was going to make it through the term, but I did! There is a major aspect of stress and anxiety that I completely avoided, and that was moving away from home and having to meet new people. I think what has made the transition to online school easier is the fact that I am still living at home with the support of my family. I do feel as though I am repeating the same day over and over again. I wake up, go skiing for a couple hours, come home and work on school for the rest of the day and then repeat that schedule everyday. I am very lucky to be “stuck” in Whistler during online school because I am able to ski, tour, and skate on the lakes but a part of me does feel like I am missing out on the “first year experience”. I hope everyone at CMA is doing well in these times and that we can have an alumni reunion soon!
UBC - Land and Food Systems faculty (LFS), studying Applied Animal Biology (APBI).
Class of ‘17
Currently: UBC – Land and Food Systems faculty (LFS), studying Applied Animal Biology (APBI)
Brooklyn came to CMA for her Gr. 10 year and was immediately a stand-out student. She was (and still is) academic, athletic, and extremely musical, all rolled into one package of positivity! Brooklyn holds the honour of being CMA’s first-ever LEAD Award Winner.
What made you want to come to CMA for your Sr. School years?
During the time that I was homeschooled from Kindergarten until grade nine, I was able to find many passions and interests which I was easily able to pursue alongside my academics. Thus, when it was time for me to find a high school to attend during my senior years, I wanted to find a school which would allow me to continue pursuing these passions. Coast Mountain Academy’s specialized programs such as the music academy, intramural sports teams, and the LEAD program allowed me to not just continue my interests, but also excel at them.
Since graduating from CMA, you have been on an incredible athletic journey revolving around different competitive forms of running. What has this process taught you?
Ultimately, this process has taught me that the right path is not always the most straightforward path. I often find that as we grow older, we lose sight of the saying, “You learn from your mistakes,” and although I do not personally view this indirect path I have taken to be a mistake, it has certainly taught me a lot about what it means to fight for something you love. Never give up on something just because it is a harder route. Often the toughest ascents will be the most rewarding.
Additionally, my athletic path has taught me to remember that something you have to let go of is not necessarily something that is lost. I was heartbroken to leave my varsity team at Thompson Rivers University to pursue other academic endeavors as it meant I would no longer be able to run for my school, however, I learned a lot from that year and I would not change it if I had the chance. Plus, now I get to be a sprinter!!
University of Calgary - Nursing
UBC - Engineering
University of Toronto - Engineering
University of Ottawa - Biomedical Sciences
University of Victoria - Engineering
University of Victoria - Mechanical Engineering
“Fellow and future graduates, I bid you many successes and important failures on your path to self-improvement through your academic endeavors and through life as a whole. The future holds an endless grove of opportunity, I ask only that you take a moment to reflect on the path as you wander through it!”