Heart Lake Secondary School

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Heart Lake Secondary School
Heart lake, mississauga (2).JPG
296 Conestoga Drive
Brampton, Ontario, L6Z 3M1
Coordinates 43°43′00″N 79°47′20″W / 43.7166°N 79.7888°W / 43.7166; -79.7888Coordinates: 43°43′00″N 79°47′20″W / 43.7166°N 79.7888°W / 43.7166; -79.7888
School type Provincial, High school
Motto Character Counts!
Founded 1988
School board Peel District School Board
Superintendent Jerry Powidajko
Area trustee Valerie Arnold-Judge
David Green
Steve Kavanagh
Suzanne Nurse
School number 916269
Principal Peter Koehnen[1]
Grades 9-12+
Enrollment 1,207 (September 2016)
Language English
Colour(s) Blue and Red         
Team name Hurricanes

Heart Lake Secondary School (HLSS) is a high school in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.[1] It is located at the corner of Conestoga Drive and Wexford Road. Heart Lake has a strong relationship with Robert H. Lagerquist Senior Public School, one of the feeder schools of Heart Lake, doing collaborations with school bands and other school activities often throughout the year.


  • 1988 - School founded
  • 2005 - Changed from yearbooks to "yeardiscs"
  • 2005 - Character Counts program starts
  • 2006 - Heart Lake wins the Canadian Environmental Award Green Team Challenge
  • 2006 - Graduating students create first "Underground Yearbooks"; continues till present
  • February 2008 - School Code of Conduct was modified and is now being applied
  • September 2008 - New principal replaces the old for the first time since 1999
  • 2008 - HLSS becomes the first certified Ecoschool in Peel, achieving silver status for its environmental efforts
  • 2008 - Dawar Siddiqui is elected as the president of the newly formed DECA-based Business Club created within the school.
  • 2009 - School's first ever eco fashion show was held
  • 2009 - Yearbooks return to Heart Lake
  • 2010 - 1st Semi-Formal.



Heart Lake used to have yearbooks on a traditional hard-cover book style. In 2005, the decision was made to discontinue the selling of yearbooks and instead have a DVD yeardisk. Many students do not like the idea of these yeardisks, because there is no room for personal comments. The yeardisk includes two discs with a booklet, that is meant for signatures that students may receive from their friends and teachers. It has become an unofficial Heart Lake tradition for a group of students from the graduating class to make an underground yearbook.

Return to Hard-Cover Yearbooks[edit]

Yearbooks returned to Heart Lake in the 2009-2010 school year, available for students to purchase with a yeardisk as a combo for $45 (compared to $20 originally for one yeardisc in the past years).

Annual events[edit]

Talent Show[edit]

Annual Heart Lake Talent Show occurs every April, and tryouts happen two months before in February. Students may pay $2 to attend, which also allows them to miss their period 4 class on that day. Unlike buyouts, even those students who have paid cannot leave the school property and must attend the talent show. Students who have teachers who are helping out with the talent show as their period 4 teachers may attend the show for free, if the seats are still available. In 2008, there were 6 performances: martial arts, juggling, rapping, two singing performances, and modern Indian dance. Students have amateurly videotaped the performances with the school's permission and uploaded onto YouTube for 2007 and 2008 talent shows (refer to section below for the playlist link).

School Drama Production[edit]

Heart Lake's Drama production occurs annually in May, based on various classical novels and plays. 2009's You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown was Heart Lake's first ever musical production.

Year Title
1996 Dracula
2006 A Midsummer Night's Dream
2007 Christopher Durang's Random Acts of Absurdity
2008 Alice in Wonderland
2009 You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
2010 Annie
2011 Macbeth
2012 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


Character Counts program[edit]

Character Counts program, which started in the 2005-2006 school year, promoted the attributes necessary to graduate as responsible citizens. Also it is the school's primary mission to have an inclusive community fostering academic success and character development. Since then, there are a special "Character Counts Day" every year to promote the program to the Grade 9s entering the high school's program.[2] However, Link Crew replaced this event as it did not occur in 2008, and it is now incorporated into other Link Crew events/

Heart Lake's Character Attributes

Source: Page 11-12 of 2007-2008 Agenda

Link Crew program[edit]

A 2008-2009 Heart Lake version of the Link Leader application form.

In the 2008-2009 school year, Heart Lake began the Link Crew program that is offered to all high schools and secondary schools in North America. Link Crew allows the school to choose one hundred Grade 11s and 12s to be linked with freshmen throughout the year. The "Link Leaders" help the freshman get involved by informing them about the activities put on by the school and local communities. These students also help to bridge the gap between freshmen and the rest of the school, when the younger students may feel like they don't belong. The leaders are a positive role model for the freshman students during the important transition from middle school to high school.

Regional Enhanced learning program[edit]

Heart Lake's Regional Enhanced Learning Program is designed for exceptional intellectual-gifted students who require extensive modification of the regular school program. To enter the program, you must have already been designated exceptional intellectual-gifted/ The program strives to maximize each student's potential, develops their capacity for self-directed learning, and encourages interaction among gifted peers. Only specific coursers are offered at this level, which includes Grade 9-12 English, Grade 9-12 Math, Grade 9 -12 Sciences, Grade 10 History, Grade 9 Geography, Grade 9-12 French and a few others. For these courses the gifted students are placed into a single class, going at around the same pace as the regular academic students, with some modifications. Several schools offered this program but in 2005, it was made available only to Heart Lake Secondary School in the northern Peel District School Board area.[3]


The school library, also known as the Resource Centre, offers a variety of resources for students including fiction and non-fiction, manga and other graphic novels, references such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, and newspapers (Toronto Star and The Brampton Guardian). The library is open from 7:50 until 2:40 on weekdays.

Besides a number of computer labs school has, the library also has a total of 27 computers of their own, available for students to use. From the 2008-2009 school year, two printers are now hooked up through a network to those computers, managed by Papercut. Each student starts off with $5.00 on their balance. Use of black and white printer is 10 cents per page, while the colour laser printer is 50 cents per page. Students may add additional 20 prints by paying $2.00 at the office once they reach $0.00 on the PCounter Balance.

Circulation periods for library resources vary. Novels and non-fiction may be borrowed for a maximum of 2 weeks, and 1 night for DVDs. However, extensions can be requested. Fines can also be applied if extensions aren't requested before the end of the circulation period: 10 cents per day for books and 25 cents per day for DVDs.

Source: Page 14 of 2008-2009 School Agenda
Source: Page 16 of 2009-2010 School Agenda


Since 2015, various items are sold in the cafeteria's servery every day for students to purchase. Some of the items sold include poutine, french fries, sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, subs, pizza, small snacks, and bagels.The cafeteria is also used to hold events throughout the year.

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Michael Bailey, CFL lineman and tackle
  • Michael Cera, actor[4][5]
  • Geoff Rohoman, sports anchor and reporter with The Fan 590 and 680 News
  • Sharon Coyne, Entrepreneur and owner of Tenants Choice, a rental property business in Northern Ontario

Murder of Eric Levack[edit]

On April 1, 2003, grade nine student Eric Levack, 14, was murdered in the wooded area behind the school during lunch break. The perpetrator was classmate (and on-off friend[6][7]) Justin Morton, also 14. As part of the premeditated attack, Morton devised a trust game whereby he would place his belt around Levack's neck, then release it upon the latter's request; Morton proceeded to strangle Levack to death before returning to the school to attend art class.[6][8] At his trial the court heard that Morton planned to commit the crime because he believed that residing within "juvey" (a juvenile detention center) would be better than living under his parents' supposedly strict rules.[6][8][9] He had a short list of four potential victims,[8] and chose Levack because he found him "annoying".[6][8] In his police confession video, Morton showed no remorse for his crime and told the interviewing detective that as Levack fought for his life, he thought to himself, "you deserve it."[8]

Morton pleaded guilty to first degree murder and on April 22, 2004 was sentenced as an adult to life in prison,[10] with no eligibility of parole for seven years.[6][9] He almost managed to be sentenced as a youth – which would have carried a maximum sentence of ten years – until the court heard that he still had fantasies about homicide,[8][11] torture[8][11] and mass murder,[11] and that he derived a "sense of strength and omnipotence" from killing Levack.[8] They also heard that while awaiting trial at the Syl Apps Youth Centre in Oakville, Ontario, the self-confessed white supremacist[8][10] had read Mein Kampf,[10] drawn Nazi swastikas in a Bible,[10] and downloaded pornography that depicted women who were "pained, shocked or being scared."[8] After sentencing, Morton remained at Syl Apps until November 2008, when he was transferred to Millhaven Institution, a maximum-security federal prison in Bath, Ontario.[6][9][11] He was to be moved to a medium-security facility,[6][9] however, Correctional Service officials in January 2009 ruled that he instead be placed in the maximum-security wing of a penitentiary near Kingston, Ontario.[10] Morton is the first person in Canada charged with first degree murder under the newly enacted Youth Criminal Justice Act, which came into force on April 1, 2003, the day of the murder.[6][8][9]

Morton spoke candidly about Levack's murder in the 2007 documentary film In the Shadow of Feeling, which focused on psychopathic personalities. He was interviewed in silhouette, under the pseudonym of "Jonathan" (Levack was referred to as "Mike"), since the boys' identities had not yet been revealed to the public.[7]

A lilac tree, planted in memory of Levack, stands on the lawn in front of Heart Lake Secondary School.[8]

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Heart Lake Secondary School website". Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  2. ^ "School Success". Heart Lake Secondary School. Retrieved 2008-02-14. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Enhanced Learning". Heart Lake Secondary School. Archived from the original on 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Bob. "Michael Cera, Valedictorian." National Post. Retrieved on November 19, 2008.
  5. ^ Strauss, Bob (2007-12-08). "Hollywood heavy still a Brampton beanpole". The Globe and Mail. p. R1. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h DiManno, Rosie (2008-11-14). "Twisted kid's case a legal joke". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  7. ^ a b In the Shadow of Feeling. KITG Productions. 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Mandel, Michele (2008-11-09). "Will Eric's killer see real cell?". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Ont. teen's killer moved to adult prison". Canada.com. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Mitchell, Bob (2009-01-08). "Teen killer sent to maximum security prison". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Youthful murderer off to adult prison system". CTV News. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 

External links[edit]