John G. Diefenbaker High School

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John G. Diefenbaker High School
John G. Diefenbaker High School 3.jpg
Calgary, Alberta
Coordinates 51°06′46″N 114°04′12″W / 51.1127°N 114.0700°W / 51.1127; -114.0700Coordinates: 51°06′46″N 114°04′12″W / 51.1127°N 114.0700°W / 51.1127; -114.0700
Type Public
Motto Freedom, Choice, Responsibility
Established 1971
School board Calgary Board of Education
Principal Michael Bester
Grades 10, 11, 12
Enrollment 1405 (as of 2017)
 • Grade 10 468
 • Grade 11 408
 • Grade 12 529
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Blue and White         
Mascot Chiefs
Communities served Beddington Heights, Harvest Hills, Huntington Hills, Panorama Hills, Thorncliffe
Feeder schools Colonel Irvine Jr. High, Georges P. Vanier Jr. High, Sir John A. Macdonald Jr. High, Captain Nichola Goddard Jr. High

John G. Diefenbaker High School is a senior public high school located at 6620 4th Street N.W., Calgary, Alberta. The school is named after the 13th Prime Minister of Canada Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker. The school is part of the Calgary Board of Education. The school graduates around 400 Grade 12 students every year, with a 91% graduation rate. There are currently 1405 students (as of September 2017).[1]


As one of the five International Baccalaureate high schools in Calgary, John G. Diefenbaker High School is well known for its academic programs. On the Provincial Diplomas, John G. Diefenbaker performs well and is in the top five High Schools in the CBE.[2]


Competitive Service Interests
  • Student Council (Leadership)
  • Diefenbaker News (Dief Days)
  • Yearbook
  • Youth Volunteer Corps
  • Salvation Army
  • Charity Dance Silent Auction
  • Environmental Club (Green Chiefs)


Diefenbaker is a highly involved and athletic high school. They are well known for their badminton, and wrestling programs. John G. Diefenbaker Senior High Schools' wrestling team is among the best in Alberta, having won seven city championships as well as five Provincial titles. Its wrestling team was also the top ranked High School team in Canada in 2007, 2008 & 2009 according to the Canadian National Wrestling Association, having a large number of its members compete and obtain medals at the National Championships. In 2008 they set a Calgary record with 120 points in the city championships. In addition, Diefenbaker has won city championships in girls' rugby, badminton, and in 2011 the girls field hockey took the division 1 city championship against Western Canada beating them 1-0 in overtime. Diefenbaker was also able to capture the DIV 3 city championship for SR boys volleyball in 2015-2016 [3]

Music program[edit]

Diefenbaker High School's music program is quite large, and among the best in Calgary. The Band program consists of the Concert Band, and Jazz 1 and 2 Bands. Mr. Rod Pauls was the Director of Bands in the school until 2010. His ensembles have received many accolades for their musicality and superior performances throughout Canada and the United States. He is one of the founding members of the Westwinds Music Society as well as co-coordinator of the Calgary Regional Summer Band Workshop. The Diefenbaker Concert Band and Jazz 1 Band won Gold Awards at the Alberta International Band Festival numerous times under his instruction. In 2010–2011 school year, Mr. Kenneth Thackrey started as the Director of Bands. His first concert with the school was on November 24, 2010.

The Choir program has gained recognition from music festivals within Calgary, in addition to individual workshop leaders from across the continent. The program consists of a Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Vocal Jazz. Mrs. Pat Pilat is the director of Choirs in the school. She is an experienced choral performer and has sung in many ensembles including the U of C Women’s Choir, Calvin College A’cappella choir, and the Calgary Philharmonic Choir. She received her formal education from Calvin College and the University of Calgary where she earned her Bachelor of Education in Secondary Music.[4]

The Music Department holds two annual public concerts: one in the fall and one in the spring.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Danielle Smith – politician, former leader of the Wildrose Party of Alberta
  • Ryan Radmanovich – professional baseball player, played with the Seattle Mariners
  • Jeff Zimmerman – professional baseball player, played with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners, MLB All-Star 1999
  • Chris Gailus – television news anchor
  • Eden Full – inventor of the SunSaluter, solar technology researcher
  • Jessie Foster – international endangered missing person and victim of human trafficking. Jessie graduated from JGD in 2002, was lured to the USA in 2005 and has been missing since 2006. Jessie is Canada's 'Poster-Child' for this crime.
  • Lights (musician) – Canadian musician
  • Mike Green – professional ice hockey player, currently playing with the Washington Capitals
  • Cam Sterns - Olympic Water Polo athlete. Competed in 2012 Olympics.

Other information[edit]

  • Diefenbaker is situated next to Sir John A. Macdonald Jr. High School, St. Helena Jr. High School (Catholic School Division) and Thorncliffe Pool/Library/Arena complex and stopped offering grade 9 education after 1983.
  • Diefenbaker's music band program is amongst the best in the city.
  • The Youth Volunteer Corps program at Diefenbaker is the largest high school club in the city, run by the dedicated International Baccalaureate students in the school.
  • The school is part of the Action for Bright Children Society[5]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-30. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Westwinds Music Society Archived 2008-10-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^

External links[edit]