STS Alumni Association Mission

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School Alumni Association fosters a lifelong relationship with its alumni, former faculty, and past parents by providing opportunities to be engaged with the STS community and to support the School’s mission and vision.

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Alumni News
STS Celebrates its 10th Annual Calgary Alumni Dinner

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 we held our 10th Annual Alumni Dinner at Gasoline Alley in Heritage Park.  Over 230 members of the STS community came together to honour our 2016 Distinguished Alumnus, Mr. Vinay Ruparell ’80 and long serving retiree, Ms. Wendy Rodney. 

Alumni Dinner 2016 Vinay Ruparell presentationDuring this fabulous evening of friendship and fellowship, guests were greeted by the 2017 Prefects who assisted with registration and seating. Entertainment by the talented STS Jazz Combo provided the perfect backdrop as guests enjoyed cocktails and mingling. Paul Storwick ’78 did a superb job as host and Master of Ceremonies and his humour and familiarity with the audience kept everyone engaged.   Brigid Stewart, former faculty, delivered the invocation and guests were then treated to a fabulous dinner.  

Heart-warming speeches were given by Head of School, William Jones, our 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Vinay Ruparell ’80, and long serving retiree, Wendy Rodney.  Highlights of the dinner included video tributes to Vinay and Wendy, a 100th birthday celebration for Dr. Marmie Hess ’34, and the wine/spirit pull draw which raised $1680.00 towards the STS Family Bursary Fund.  

Alumni Dinner 2016 Wendy Rodney presentationSTS would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Annual Events Committee for making this such a successful event:  Annemarie Pedersen ’87, Linnea Turnquist ’87, Amy Pilling ’92, Karen Robinson ’92, Aimee-Jo Benoit ’97, Suzanne Goldman ’01, Jocelyn Ullett ’01, Lara Unsworth ’95, Bill Lorfing, former faculty and Brenda Thompson, Alumni Relations and Events Coordinator.  A special thank you goes out to our generous event supports who donated wine and spirits for our draw, photographer Andrew Stone ’14, videographer Justine Stevens ’10, and our print sponsor Oil City Press. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us for such a wonderful evening.  


May-26-16 4:04:00 PM

Join us at the 10th Annual Calgary Alumni Dinner, May 12, 2016


STS Alumni Dinner 2016 Invitation


April-11-16 4:21:00 PM

Speech Day 2016!

SpeechDayJudges2016On March 23, 2016, students, alumni, faculty and staff participated in one of the oldest traditions at STS – Speech Day.  Throughout the day, Middle and Senior School students delivered performances in a number of categories including musical theatre, radio broadcasting, impromptu, poetry recitation, interpretive reading, persuasive speeches, solo and duo acting.  

Once again, a number of alumni volunteered their time to judge various events which they too participated in while they attended STS.  We would like to thank Stacy (Hyndman) Finnbogason '90, Emma Fu '11, Hanif Gilani '02, Dana (Mendham) Lougheed '90, Ronan O'Keane '06, Sloan Pipella-Clark '81, Jessica Schultz '15, Tori D’Avella ‘08 and Pat Sullivan for being here to share this wonderful event with us.


March-24-16 9:00:00 AM


By:  Sandy Orsten, retired STS faculty

Given the opportunity to teach at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School for almost 25 years, I have come in contact with so many wonderful students and their parents, and worked with many outstanding teachers over the years.  I consider myself blessed both with the lottery win of being born in Canada and not having to buy a ticket and also with the opportunities provided to me as a teacher at STS. So it is my responsibility to pay it forward and give back. 

I have been retired from my teaching career, which began in 1968 and was intended to end in 2004 (after teaching two years in Singapore). I came in contact with TANBUR society and the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills of teaching with new teachers at an English school being established in Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa.  Mentoring these teachers who were trying to implement the Alberta Curriculum was the first reason for entering Burundi.  But, having travelled to Africa previously and knowing the needs of so many, I decided to fundraise for an orphanage or some relevant need.  In 2010 I took over $3,000 US to see what difference I could make.  We ended up feeding children in Mpimba Prison who were not criminals but “rape” children from a non-segregated prison of around 1,200 men and 350 women.  There were 26 beautiful children from age 4 to newborn babies for whom we took rice, bread, milk powder, bananas and sometimes chicken soup in plastic soda bottles every Friday. The government decided it was unacceptable for a MUZUGU (white man) to enter and feed children in prison so we were banned from entering after a few months.  I returned to Canada after three months of volunteering. 

I returned to Tanzania in 2012 to do two, two week workshops for 60 teachers in new approaches to the teaching of mathematics and again fundraised with a “sponsor a teacher” program that allowed me to give each teacher $50 US when their monthly income was around $150 US. Their surprize and excitement to have access to funds for their classrooms was obvious in their faces. 

I returned to Bujumbura, Burundi in 2014 to continue to mentor the new teachers as the school added new grades each year.  My contact assisted me to come in contact with Mama Dimanche whose feeding program each week on Sunday is to feed anywhere from 60 -100 street children.  These are orphans or children unsupported by their parents.  Again I had fund raised by selling the little knitted dolls called Malawi Comfort Dolls.  The money I  raised feeds children for two years at $25 a week for the meager rice, beans and sauce that they share on one plate (between 8-10 children). 

The ability to make some difference, even small, is better than making no difference, so I will continue to volunteer to mentor the teachers and make life better for those less fortunate than us here in Canada. I will again sell Comfort Dolls to either donate to children in Africa or for you to keep as a keepsake.  I would love to collect shirts, jeans and clothing for children from ages 4 – 18 who have only what is on their backs.  I hope to be going back for two months to volunteer in 2016 and every Sunday I will be in Mama Dimanche’s back yard to help feed and support these children.  

If you are interested in finding out more information, please email me at or by phone 403-281-2412. 


March-13-16 10:07:00 AM


Class Notes is the most read section of the Optimum.  We would love to hear what you are doing!  Share your news regarding travel adventures, volunteerism, marriage, babies, career, etc. in next year’s edition.  Please send your notes and photographs to Brenda Thompson at

February-29-16 10:04:00 AM


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For more information about your STS Alumni Association, please contact:

Brenda Thompson
Alumni Relations and Events Coordinator
(403) 938-8318


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Due to the success of our matching gift challenge and the generosity of several donors over the past few months we have reached a total of $22 million raised towards our $27 million Inspiring Possibilities campaign goal – proof that every donation does make a difference!

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Upcoming Events


Class of 2016 Graduation Breakfast

Thursday, June 2, 2016
Location:  C. A. Smith Arts Centre, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
Contact:  Brenda Thompson

8th Annual Alumni Stampede Party

Monday, July 11, 2016, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location:  Sunterra Market (2nd floor, 200 12 Avenue SE)
Register online today!
Contact:  Brenda Thompson

Homecoming 2016 Celebration and Fall Fair - Save the Date

Saturday, September 17, 2016, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location:  Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
Contact:  Brenda Thompson