Burnaby North Secondary School
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|Burnaby North Secondary School|
Burnaby North from Kensington Avenue
Excellence, Discovery and Service
|751 Hammarskjold Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia, V5B 4A1
|School board||Burnaby School District 41|
|Area trustee||Gary Wong|
|Principal||Mr. David Rawnsley|
|Enrollment||ca. 1811 (Sept 2013)|
Burnaby North Secondary School is the largest secondary school in British Columbia, Canada, as well as the largest in Western Canada. It encompasses two buildings at 751 Hammarskjold Drive in Burnaby. Around 2000 students from grades 8 to 12 attend the school. A statue of a Viking head, the mascot of the school's sports teams, stands in front of the buildings. Burnaby North sits in Kensington Park, providing room for the school's ice rink, golf pitch and putt, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, golf driving range, baseball diamonds and numerous outdoor fields.
Burnaby North was established in 1922 with around 50 students. Before moving to its present site, it was housed on Willingdon Ave, which later became Burnaby Heights Junior Secondary, when it moved to the Hammarksjold location, which was built by Coyne and Ratcliffe Construction and completed in 1962. Later on, Kensington Junior Secondary School (Crusaders) and Burnaby North Senior Secondary School (Vikings) were merged as one.
The project to merge "Kensington Jr" and "Burnaby North Sr" into "Burnaby North Secondary" began in the 1981/1982 school year. The objective was to see if money could be saved by sharing the resources and staff between the two schools. The former Kensington was referred as the "South Building" and Burnaby North Sr. was referred to as the "North Building". A wheelchair access elevator was added in 1983 to the North Building's east entrance.
To accommodate the merged schools, two connections were built. A level sheltered walkway was constructed to connect the ground-level south-facing entrance of the North building to the second floor of the southwestern entrance of the South building, and a wooden staircase was built on a hill to provide access from the North building's east entrance to the South building's ground-level north entrance. The latter was replaced by a sheltered walkway that had a more gradual slope to accommodate accessibility.
In 2010, the school was named Canada's Greenest School.
Burnaby North is a highly academic school which enrolls a population of approximately 2000 students in grades 8 through grade 12 and is expected to grow in the upcoming years. The student body is composed of students from many ethnic backgrounds, although over 80 percent of students are of East-Asian descent. The graduating class consists of approximately 450 to 500 students, many of whom are offered scholarships to attend well-known universities. Ivy League admission rates are fairly high compared to other schools in Canada. In each of the past 4 years, Burnaby North graduates have won more than a million dollars in scholarship money annually (the graduates of 2008 were offered a total of 1.7 million dollars).
Burnaby North has one of the largest Advanced Placement (AP) programs in Canada. Over 40% of the student body is enrolled in at least one Honours or AP course. In May 2007, 297 students wrote a total of 687 exams in 17 subject areas and a score of 3 or higher was earned on 87% of those exams, and 104 students achieved AP Scholar status, indicating they had scored 3 out of a possible 5 on at least 3 AP exams. This indicates quite early that the program is not only large, but is also of high quality, with many teachers having taught their AP course for as many as 12 years. In 2007 a total of 31 students achieved National AP Scholar status, the highest standing which requires an average score of 4 over five or more exams, surpassing the previous year's record of 18 and setting a national record. In 2008 a total of 97 students became AP Scholars, and 35 students achieved National AP Scholar status, again surpassing the previous year's record and setting a national record. In 2009, there were 86 AP Scholars and 23 National AP Scholars.
In October 2013, Burnaby North announced that it will be offering the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma starting in the 2014-15 school year. The AP Capstone program is a pilot program that is currently offered in only 18 schools worldwide.
Burnaby North also offers a very well established Career Preparation program whereby students go out on work experience for between 30 and 90 hours. The goal is to introduce students to the world of work and to enable students to explore a career area that is of interest to them. Burnaby North is at the leading edge of the latest industry training programs (ACE-IT) that enable students to complete the first year theory exams and a portion of the on-the-job training requirements of an apprenticeship program.
Burnaby North currently offers a Hockey Academy, a Soccer Academy, and a Basketball Academy program. Several NHL players have attended this school, most notably Joe Sakic, Cliff Ronning, Mike Santorelli, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The school has a competitive volleyball team, having won several provincial titles, and a competitive swimming team, which have won multiple district titles and often places high at the provincial level. The school has very talented soccer teams as well, boys and girls. Burnaby North is also well known for their table tennis team, which have won numerous provincial titles.
Burnaby North also had a competitive cheerleading team which performs at school events and competitions, including the Sea to Sky International Cheerleading Championships. This competition is the second largest in North America.
While Burnaby North is considered a highly academic school, its music program is also renowned. In the summer of 2015, the band director, Peter Wenzek who ran the concert bands, the orchestra, and the marching band, left Burnaby North to teach elementary students. The jazz bands are run by Ingrid Balchen. Its concert and jazz band programs are the largest in Western Canada, and are often invited to national music festivals, such as the Kiwanis Music Festival. The school's marching band, well known for their maroon uniforms and Viking headwear, are often invited to participate in the Calgary Stampede and other national events. New uniforms for the marching band were introduced in June 2012 during the annual Hats Off Day Parade. It won gold in the large ensemble and orchestra classes of the 2015 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival.
Burnaby North's Viking Head statue was installed in 1994. The enormous black head wearing a two-horned helmet and facing Union Street was built by the school's Technology Education wing's welding staff and students. Traditionally, it gets decorated with a Santa hat every Christmas season, and bunny ears during Easter. During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, it was covered with a red and white tuque and scarf, the national colours of Canada.
Burnaby North was used for the public service announcement-style commercial of Metroid Prime 2 that was shown in North America. The movie Hot Rod also had scenes filmed at the outside stairway location.
Notable alumni and staff
- Joe Sakic – retired hockey player
- Dave Nonis – former GM of the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple leafs.
- Don Mattrick – former CEO of Zynga, former president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, and former president of Worldwide Studios for Electronic Arts
- Vince Murdocco – actor
- Cliff Ronning – retired hockey player
- Joey Keithley – musician
- Svend Robinson – politician
- Tamara Taggart – TV personality
- Jade Kwan – musician
- Mike Santorelli – hockey player, plays for the Anaheim Ducks
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – hockey player, plays for the Edmonton Oilers
- Wayne Wong – member of the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and U.S. Ski Hall of Fame
- Diana Bang – actress and writer, portrayed Sook Yin Park in The Interview
- History of School
- School information
- ""Burnaby student helps school win Canada's first plug-in hybrid bus", (2010)".
- ""2010 was a record year for scholarships given for Burnaby grads", (2011)".
- Burnaby North Excel Program
- "AP Exam Participation at North, (2010)" (PDF).
- 2007 Calgary Stampede
- Reference to Joe Sakic's time at the school
- Reference to Don Mattrick leaving Zynga
- Reference to Don Mattrick leaving Microsoft
- Reference to Don Mattrick's time at the school
- Reference to one of her favourite teachers at Burnaby North
- News article that references his high school
- Article below main story; see "Short Hops"