Our Grads (G-K)

SMUS Graduating Class of 2020

Stephanie Ganz
2015-2020

Stephanie came to SMUS in Grade 8. She played flute and piano in the concert band and orchestra and on many special occasions; through music she met many great people and found an activity she will enjoy for the rest of her life. She was a member of Arts Council throughout high school and served as co-Head this year, enjoying the opportunity to organize events for others who love the creative arts. She appreciates the teachers at SMUS and how much effort they put into making school a good experience. Stephanie will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of British Columbia.

Alumni Association Award
Padre Blencoe Award
Awards
Susan Gao
2015-2020

Susan came to SMUS from Vancouver in Grade 8. An active member of The Jag, she became one of the editors this year, and saw her writing and leadership skills acquire authority, relevance and sophistication. She also discovered her athletic talent as a member of the Rowing team, learning about the power of teamwork and importance of exercise to good health. Rowing gave her immense confidence and helped to develop a positive mindset. She appreciates the welcoming SMUS community and will cherish how much friends and teachers supported her. This fall, Susan will pursue studies in sociology and anthropology at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Head of School Award
Awards
Linden Girardeaux
2017-2020

Linden came to SMUS in Grade 10. Rowing was central to her high school experience and taught her important life lessons such as discipline and the importance of community. Highlights include competing at nationals in St. Catharines and having the most supportive coaches and inspiring teammates. Her service trip to Costa Rica was deeply meaningful, where she had the privilege to explore a beautiful country and see the local culture, all with an amazing group of people. Linden heads up the street in September to study biology and psychology at the University of Victoria.

Matthew Gordon
2013-2020

Matthew arrived at SMUS in Grade 6. He will never forget outtrips with friends, including winter camping and whitewater kayaking. He feels the outdoor education program provided opportunities he will most likely not come across again. He is grateful that SMUS helped him to develop diligence and self-motivation. Matthew will head to the interior of the province to study human kinetics at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. 

Sahaj Grewal
2011-2020

Sahaj has been at SMUS since Grade 4. An athlete who values good health and physical activity, he was a dedicated and talented member of the Soccer team and Athletic Council throughout high school. Sahaj will pursue his passion for fitness and exercise when he begins his studies in kinesiology at the University of Calgary in September.

Yuxuan (Serena) Gu
2017-2020

Serena hails from Beijing, China and joined SMUS and Symons House in Grade 10. She served as a Link Leader and Student Ambassador, enjoying the opportunity to help new students transition into school and meet culturally diverse people. Symons became a second home; she is grateful for her supportive houseparents and sisters. She was also a peer tutor, weekly volunteer at a local seniors’ centre, and joined the Rowing and Field Hockey teams, each time developing greater confidence to step out of her comfort zone. Serena will study computer science at the University of California, Berkeley in the fall.

Head of School Award
Awards
Sophie Happi
2017-2020

Originally from Cameroon, Sophie and her family now call Washington, DC home. She arrived at SMUS in Grade 10 and quickly settled into Winslow House. Boarding provided fantastic memories, such as participating in House Games and meeting lifelong friends. She played rugby for three years and was a member of the Girls Developmental Field Hockey team for two years. An athletic highlight was her trip to the CAIS National rugby tournament in Grade 11, where the team earned championship honours. Sophie will travel east this fall to study economics and finance at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Evelyn Hawes
2008-2020

Evelyn is a Lifer who joined SMUS in Grade 1. As co-Head of the Pride Alliance, she appreciated the incredible opportunity to grow and learn to lead others. She also greatly enjoyed orchestra and vocal jazz, doing everything she could to immerse herself in music. Evelyn lit up the stage with her singing, dancing and acting at the annual Senior School musical, as well as in several other smaller productions. This passion has influenced her chosen post-secondary path. She credits SMUS with helping her to become the person she is today. In September, Evelyn will follow her passion to the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria to study musical theatre.

Colin Skinner Trophy
Awards
Keelin Henderson Pekarik
2017-2020

Keelin moved from Whitehorse, Yukon to Victoria and joined SMUS in Grade 9. She was an active member of the Service Council for three years, and she also enjoyed participating in after-school yoga. She feels her high school experience helped her to develop the independent thinking and working skills which helped her accelerate her high school graduation. She will take her determination with her to the study of science and psychology this fall at the University of Toronto.

Jason (Jay) Herring
2017-2020

Jay came to SMUS in Grade 10. A talented squash player, he was active on the court as a key member of the SMUS Squash team and also participated in Service Council. His most memorable experience is the Grade 10 trip to Whistler because of the plethora of amazing activities, most notably mountain biking. Next year Jay will take a gap year, where squash training will be front and centre on his agenda.

Athletic Director’s Merit Award - Squash
Brian Graves Scholarship
Teams Award - Squash
Awards
Gavin Hill
2016-2020

Born in the United States, Gavin now calls Victoria home and joined SMUS as a Grade 9 student. He credits hard work as a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams with improving his strength as a runner during his time as a high school athlete. Critical thinking played a significant role in his success with the robotics team, offering excellent problem-solving opportunities to prepare him for his future career. He still recalls his Grade 9 Marine Science field trip to the Vancouver Aquarium as a highlight. The University of Waterloo in Ontario will welcome Gavin into the mechatronics engineering program in September.

Chloé Hill-Huse
2018-2020

Chloé burst onto the SMUS scene in Grade 11. A fierce competitor on the rugby pitch, she counts her closest friends and fondest memories from her time on the team. The CAIS National rugby tournament was a highlight both because the team won the championship and because they had the chance to tour Toronto and Niagara Falls and meet people from across Canada. She is also a talented musician who has played instruments since elementary school. She will miss the friends and experiences the music program provided. Chloé will study recreation and health education as she continues her rugby career with the Vikes at the University of Victoria.

Athletic Director’s Merit Award - Girls Rugby
Head of School Award
Awards
Liam Hodgins
2011-2020

Liam arrived at SMUS in Grade 4. Rowing played a key role in his journey and he feels he owes much to the program and its coaches for helping him succeed in domestic regattas and on the international stage. Placing third in Canada at the national championships in the quad was definitely a highlight, further fuelling his passion for the sport. Outdoor education also brought him joy and many unique experiences, including Outdoor Leadership. From skiing in the freezing temperatures of winter camp to battling waves in a sea kayak, he leaves with amazing memories. Liam will row and study science this fall at the University of Victoria.

Athletic Director’s Merit Award - Rowing
Chris Beeston Memorial Scholarship
Awards
Ava Hoechsmann
2012-2020

Fortunate to have called several cities around the globe home for short periods of time, Ava has considered SMUS her base since arriving in Grade 5. She feels the school has provided her the time, space and encouragement to explore myriad passions, and is proud of all she has learned. Her experience occupying the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation was particularly impactful. This fall, Ava will study sociology at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Bernice Hong
2007-2020

Bernice is a Lifer who joined SMUS in Kindergarten. Visual arts were a highlight of her school career, a time for her to relax while still being challenged in a way that kept her productive and creative. She loved playing with the orchestra, a skill that she would not easily be able to master at home. Over 13 years, SMUS has helped her feel more connected to the community by consistently teaching about virtues. She is grateful for the box of virtue cards she took home in Junior School. Bernice will study food and nutrition at the University of British Columbia.

Pi-Huan (Angel) Hsu
2018-2020

Angel arrived at SMUS in Grade 11 from Taiwan. She joined Timmis House, where she was part of the boarding wellness team, and valued time to study and receive support from houseparents and housemates. Choir was a particularly meaningful part of her SMUS journey, making her feel welcome in the community and providing memorable opportunities such as singing in the large ensemble and the music trip to Europe. She credits the school with helping her to develop stronger communication and critical thinking skills, expertise which will surely come in handy when she travels to the UK in September to study law at King’s College London.

Harry (Jia Rui) Huang
2015-2020

Originally from China but now a Vancouver resident, Harry added a level of sophistication to Bolton House when he arrived in Grade 8. His years in boarding helped to develop his maturity and decision-making skills and provided opportunities to learn more about future careers. He enjoyed many rounds on the fairways as a member of the SMUS Golf team. Harry will study management at University College London in the United Kingdom.

Sebastian Huxley
2011-2020

Sebastian came to SMUS in Grade 4. He is proud of his contributions to the outdoor education program, including guiding the Grade 6 trip at Camp Barnard. He is also proud of his creative accomplishments in the visual arts program as well as outside of school, which include impressive skills as a graphic designer. He was a member of the Squash team, representing SMUS at tournaments across Canada. The Costa Rica service trip is a favourite memory; experiencing a new culture and volunteering in small communities was inspiring. Sebastian will bring his entrepreneurial spirit to the University of Victoria to study commerce, with a focus on creative industries.

Joshua (Gosha) Iazvenko
2013-2020

Gosha came to SMUS in Grade 6. He was a force to be reckoned with on the squash court, playing at the national level for two years. He was also a member of the Athletic Council for four years. His Grade 7 hiking trip at Camp Thunderbird stands out as one of his favourite memories over the years. Gosha will stay close to home in September, studying commerce at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business.

Willow Irving
2019-2020

Willow made the trip across the continent from Massachusetts to join SMUS in her Grade 12 year. Kind, thoughtful and a good listener, she made quick friendships, and soon was a fireside fixture in the Sun Centre, along with the rest of the Class of 2020. From her fondness for The New York Times daily Spelling Bee in homeroom, to her participation on the Service Council, Willow was a natural fit at our school. She had a deft hand with poetry and creative writing, as well as a keen interest in psychology, and after a gap year, Willow hopes to follow these interests at college in the United States.

Kenzo Ishida
2017-2020

Kenzo joined SMUS and Barnacle House from Tokyo, Japan, in Grade 10. As Head of Barnacle House, he most enjoyed bringing his housemates together to compete during House Games. This year he also founded Barbell Club to promote fitness for beginner weightlifters. His favourite learning experiences included collecting and analyzing rocks at a local beach for geology class and cooking traditional Mexican meals in Spanish class. Kenzo heads to the UK this fall to pursue business management at Queen Mary University of London.

Luis Alan Iturriaga
2016-2020

Alan joined Bolton House in Grade 9 from Veracruz, Mexico. This insightful young man honed his writing and public speaking skills over the years as part of the SMUS Political Review and VOICES Club, where open mic nights celebrating art in many forms stand out as a highlight. His most memorable class experience was reading The Tempest in AP English Literature; he has never had so much fun with Shakespeare. He also leaves SMUS with several copies of his own comic book bound in the library. Alan will pursue English and strategic communications at a university in Mexico.

Head of School Award
Awards
Paris Iverson
2007-2020

Paris is a Lifer who has been at SMUS since Kindergarten. The annual Senior School musical was the highlight of her experience every year, leading her to the career path she will now pursue. Being in the theatre during show week, where rehearsals are intense and friendships are formed, was a definite highlight along with putting on an amazing show each night. She also found time to dedicate energy to the Pride Alliance, Book Club, Arts Council, and the annual Keep the Beat event. Paris will continue to hone her craft while studying musical theatre performance at the Canadian College of Performing Arts here in Victoria.

Colin Skinner Trophy
Awards
Sophia (Skyler) Ji
2014-2020

Skyler began at SMUS in Grade 7. As a member of the Badminton team, she learned athletic and leadership skills alongside teamwork, making many friends and memories. She was also a facilitator for the Pride Alliance and part of Intercultural Council. The performing arts are where she made her greatest contribution; she learned from teachers and peers through her involvement in the musicals on stage, backstage and in the pit orchestra. Challenging at times, outdoor education trips were also incredibly fun. She loves that SMUS helps students to find their own interests and talents. Skyler will study criminology this fall at the University of Toronto in Ontario.

Darlene McCue
Awards
Grace (Kelly) Jiang
2017-2020

Kelly calls Richmond home and came to SMUS in Grade 10. She loved the outdoor education program at SMUS as it taught valuable problem-solving skills alongside leadership and teamwork. She was a member of the Rowing team for three years and is grateful for all the positive experiences she shared with her coaches and teammates. Memorable off-campus adventures included sea kayaking with dolphins and whales on an Outdoor Leadership trip with classmates. This fall, Kelly will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of British Columbia.

Young (Yuyang) Jiang
2017-2020

Yuyang came to SMUS in Grade 10 from China. Harvey House became home and he cherishes the memories formed with his boarding brothers. He organized and spoke in several boarders’ chapels, and was also a member of Economics Club, where he initiated stock simulations and brought in guest speakers. He is grateful for the many challenging academic and extracurricular opportunities the school provided. Yuyang will study finance and statistics at the University of Toronto in Ontario.

Megan Johnson
2016-2020

Megan’s kind and friendly disposition made an immediate impact on the SMUS community when she arrived in Grade 9. This talented athlete will be remembered as a supportive teammate on the Senior Girls Basketball team as well as a key player with the Senior Girls Soccer team that won the first provincial title for girls’ soccer at SMUS. She further developed her leadership as co-Head of the Athletic Council. Megan will be taking a gap year before going on to study sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Athletic Council Award
Awards
Harry Jun
2018-2020

Harry grew up in South Korea and now calls Victoria home, joining SMUS in Grade 11. A self-described introvert, he pushed himself to take on challenges that seemed daunting at first, but which proved highly rewarding. He served as an exchange student ambassador, spending time with students from Japan to broaden his cultural knowledge. He also volunteered at a local hospital, embracing discomfort and becoming more at ease working with new people. His Grade 11 outtrip, Summit School, with its incredible hiking and spectacular views, is his most memorable off-campus experience. Harry travels to Ontario in the fall to begin the pharmacology specialist program at the University of Toronto.

Jack Kelley
2013-2020

Jack arrived at SMUS in Grade 6. His time playing volleyball gave him a strong sense of being part of a team; taking part in outdoor education helped him expand his leadership and outdoor skills. He served as co-Head of Sustainability & Outdoors Council, which further developed him as a leader and provided a new sense of confidence. He will miss the friends he made during his years at the school and looks forward to pursuing environmental studies at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec this fall.

Jerome Kessler
2016=2020

Jerome came to SMUS in Grade 9. With no prior experience, he joined the Rowing team. This was a good decision; he qualified for nationals and made great friends and memories along the way. He also played soccer, joined Sustainability & Outdoors Council and Barbell Club, and took an interest in power lifting, all of which provided a sense of community. The service trip to Costa Rica was one of many volunteer opportunities he undertook which allowed him to appreciate his good fortune and make connections with new people. Jerome will study at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

Kezia Jolene Eng Ean Khoo
2018-2020

Kezia came from Singapore and became part of our community two years ago. She joined SMUS in Grade 11, bringing her warm smile and friendship, connecting easily with her Winslow House sisters and houseparents and developing close bonds across the boarding community. She is proud to have tried many new activities over the past two years including camping, a field trip to Bamfield, rugby, and the musical, each of which cultivated greater self-awareness. NEWSIES was a memorable experience; the entire process was thrilling, from rehearsals to performances. She leaves SMUS as a steward of the environment and with an adventurous spirit to study life sciences at University College London in the United Kingdom.

Dat Kieu
2017-2020

Dat’s infectious energy landed at SMUS in Grade 10 from Hanoi, Vietnam. A member of the Bolton House brotherhood, he found the chance to connect with people from around the world, especially through House Games and paintball trips, particularly meaningful. He was involved with Business Club, assisting in the operation of the student-run café. He is grateful for the support of fellow boarders and houseparents who helped him to become a better person. Dat is looking forward to studying computer science at the University of Toronto in Ontario.

Esther (Kyuri) Kim
2014-2020

Born in South Korea and raised in Victoria, Esther came to SMUS in Grade 7. She has always wanted to be an elementary school teacher and took advantage of opportunities to learn about her passion. She volunteered at a local Korean school and participated in VOICES Club, where she gained confidence, made new friends and impressed the school community with her bold newfound voice. She valued outdoor education trips as a way to try new things, build relationships, and explore nature. Esther will move to Vancouver to study psychology at the University of British Columbia en route to earning her education degree and fulfilling her dream of becoming a teacher.

William (Will) Kinahan
2011-2020

Will joined the SMUS community in Grade 4. Affable and friendly, he enjoyed playing a variety of sports most passionately, rugby and participating in outdoor education activities. He said he never felt closer to his friends than through the experiences shared on wilderness trips. He also served as a School Prefect. Will really appreciated how his teachers went above and beyond to help him and other students to reach their potential. In September, Will begins his studies in biology at the University of Victoria, with hopes of pursuing a career in medicine.

Carol Lobb
Parents’ Auxiliary Cup
Teams Award - Boys Basketball
Awards
Peter King
2017-2020

Peter joined SMUS in Grade 10. He made the most of the past three years, delivering great shots and strong leadership on the Volleyball team and serving as captain in his senior year. He found his voice as part of the Mamma Mia! and NEWSIES casts and also created beautiful music with the orchestra, becoming the concert violist and a mentor to younger students. He was also a School Prefect. He feels athletics, the arts and outdoor education have all contributed to his appreciation for a sense of community and the importance of being surrounded by great people. Peter is off to Vancouver this fall to study psychology at the University of British Columbia.

Ker Cup
Awards
Annika (Nika) Klenz
2015-2020

Nika arrived at SMUS in Grade 8. Passionate about nature, she joined Sustainability & Outdoors Council and enjoyed sea kayaking, hiking and backcountry ski trips. She also challenged herself in Outdoor Leadership and co-created a Ski Club in Grade 11. She was active in Volunteer Club and served as Head this year, as well as School Prefect; both experiences improved her overall leadership skills. She appreciates the time SMUS teachers willingly give and feels very connected to the school staff. Nika will take a gap year for travel and service, and to immerse herself in language, culture and salsa dancing, with future plans to study psychology.

Head of School Award
Awards
Matthew (Dean) Klimchuk
2019-2020

Matt joined Bolton House as a Grade 12 boarder from Regina, Saskatchewan. A talented athlete, he enjoyed playing SMUS basketball and rugby and remembers winning the Boot Game as incredibly exciting. He enjoyed taking up singing in choir class for the first time and describes the whole experience as really rewarding. He appreciates the genuine drive amongst students and staff at SMUS to succeed and describes SMUS as a place that stands out for true development of character and academics. Matt will remain a force on the pitch as he plays Vikes rugby at the University of Victoria this fall while beginning his commerce studies.

Athletic Director’s Merit Award - Boys Rugby
Awards
Samantha Kwok (Jia-Ying)
2016-2020

Samantha hails from Singapore and joined SMUS in Grade 9. She took full advantage of school opportunities, playing field hockey and serving as Head of Business and Set Design clubs and SMUS Talks. She also participated in Senior School musicals on stage as a performer and backstage as the follow spot. She is grateful for her Winslow House boarding experience, making friends from around the world. She assisted Intercultural Council in organizing culture weeks and displayed her AP artwork in the annual Art Show. She says SMUS helped her develop the courage to try new things. Samantha will pursue media arts at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.

Please note that some students’ university destinations may have changed since the publication of their biography.