Meet this year's School Captains!
Nora Zhu and Pri Cooner

 

This year's School Captains are Grade 12 students, Nora and Pri. Along with formally representing the school at events, they also serve as role models for students and share everyone's ideas with our school's leaders. We asked Nora and Pri some questions to get to know them better.

 

Nora Zhu

Why did you want to become a School Captain?
I came to Southridge as an awkwardly loud 7-year-old girl whose grasp of English was honestly shaky at best. Despite my (occasionally) obnoxious chatter and endless questions about everything, I was welcomed with open arms. Since then, through the endless hours of learning and playing, the Southridge community has made me into who I am today. Thus, it was with the hope of expressing my gratitude for this wonderful school community that I wanted to become a School Captain. Being a School Captain is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community that has essentially raised me, and I hope to make the school experience of my peers every bit as amazing as it has been for me.

What are you hoping to accomplish in this role? 
Being a School Captain is a phenomenal experience that also comes with a lot of responsibilities (or as I like to think of it, opportunities). As a School Captain, I hope to create a space where every student feels safe and comfortable, where every voice is heard, and where every spirit soars. Covid-19 has, unfortunately, put quite a damper on our school spirit over the past two years, and as our community continues to recover and adapt to the changing circumstances, I will try my best to create many opportunities where the whole school can come together and have fun! Having faced tremendous challenges as a community, I think we really deserve to have a fantastic year!

What do you see as the strengths of Southridge?
Southridge is an incredibly tight-knit community, and in my opinion, it is precisely this feeling of community that is our greatest strength. In addition to a wonderful support network for students and our awesome Harkness discussions, it is truly a sense of community that sets Southridge apart. Our school is a place where everyone knows your name, where everyone trusts one another, and where we all help each other become the best version of ourselves. I hope to help Southridge continue to exemplify these strengths over the next year!

What would you like to change at Southridge?
Over the past 10 years, Southridge has taught me the true meaning of multiculturalism, and as a School Captain this year, I hope to promote even more active celebrations of diversity. Whether that means more robust celebrations of Black History Month and Asian Heritage Month or dedicating time to the celebration of the various communities within our school, I hope that Southridge will continue to move towards celebrating diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism.

What’s been the highlight of your time here at Southridge so far?
It might seem cliché, but the highlight of my time here at Southridge has really been all the people I have met. From teachers who took it upon themselves to challenge and support me, to coaches who encouraged me to persevere and try my best, to friends who were always there for me through the ups and downs of life, I am so grateful for everyone in our community.

What do you want your peers to know about you coming into this role?
Looking back, I distinctly remember admiring School Captains who seemed so much taller and older than me, quite literally people who I looked up to. However, I really hope that my peers know that I am not at all intimidating, and that I’m always there for them. I’m super outgoing and love talking to people (which may come off as a little scary) but I want everyone to feel comfortable coming to me, whether it be asking for help finding a classroom, or if you’re having trouble with schoolwork, or if you just want to chat! To be honest, a lot of people at Southridge are already taller than me, so I will probably need to look up to all of you in more ways than one!


Pri Cooner

Why did you want to become a School Captain?
I wanted to become a School Captain as I have always viewed this position as a great opportunity for instigating change in the school community. This year I am fortunate enough to be in this position alongside Nora and we are both very excited to see what the school can accomplish together this year!

What are you hoping to accomplish in this role?
One of the defining issues of our generation is climate change. This global problem may seem way too large to tackle. However I believe as a school we could continue to improve. This progress would help the school become a cleaner place, and hopefully many of the habits learnt at the school would be maintained outside of the classroom and have a ripple effect on our whole community.
 
What do you see as the strengths of Southridge?
I am extremely lucky to be able to have the opportunity to go to Southridge, and over the years I have found that Southridge is unique in many ways. What makes Southridge so unique is how every student can achieve their goals, whatever they may be. Everyone is given a chance to thrive in service, athletics, arts, or academics. This allows every student including myself to grow in many ways, so that when they eventually leave the school, they are well-rounded students who can accomplish many goals in many areas. This to me is Southridge's biggest strength, one that has helped me and hopefully many others grow.
 
What would you like to change at Southridge?
One of the most exciting prospects of this upcoming year is how as a school we truly can continue to progress and grow together. One of my goals as School Captain this year is to increase inclusivity and create a cohesive environment where all students feel welcome and ready to learn when they come to school each day. I understand that many young students new to the school view the Grade 12s as leaders of the school and how they view our actions as the school's example. With this, I am hoping that when I, as well as my Grade 12 classmates, come to school with a positive attitude - this will have a larger positive impact on the school community.
 
What’s been the highlight of your time here at Southridge so far?
When looking back, there have been so many different highlights that I have had at Southridge so far. Although they are all such different highlights they all share one common theme, they were moments shared with my friends and family. I look back to some of my fondest memories at Strathcona in Grades 8 and 9 and how many memories were shared. I also look back to being able to travel to Portland, Oregon on a basketball trip and the experience of playing basketball in a different country with my classmates. I have been extremely fortunate to have had these opportunities to travel with my classmates and share such great experiences, the most exciting part is we have one more year to create even more memories together.
 
What do you want your peers to know coming into this school?
I really want my peers to know that Nora and I are always here if you need anything throughout the course of this year. I remember when I was younger, I would look up to the School Captains as almost adults who knew everything and I would be scared to talk to them, however now as I have grown older I've realized this is not the case! I am the same person I was back then, just a little taller.