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Testimonials & Success Stories

 IB TESTIMONIALS:  Comments on the value of Park View's International Baccalaureate programme

This programme has motivated me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of doing and it has given me the challenge that I was looking for all through elementary and junior high school. It has also given me the chance to meet people who share the same enthusiasm for learning. All these positive results have not come without a lot of effort on my part ... but I truly feel prepared for university and the level of work that I will have to do when I get there. Finally, I believe that through the IB Diploma programme, I’ve discovered how important it is to get involved in extra-curricular groups and to engage actively for a cause. Reynaldo Glombowski, full IB Diploma candidate, Park View Class of 2005

Compared to a lot of my friends here at university, I've had a huge advantage having done the IB programme. I'm used to writing essays, I know how to research and find books, I know exactly how to reference, and the workload is a lot less than doing the Diploma Programme. One of the greatest surprises was when my IB History got credited for a second year history course which I am required to take for my degree in European Studies ... now I have room to take an elective. I am seeing the benefits of the IB programme now, and I definitely know it was the best choice for me! Lauren Cameron, full IB Diploma graduate, Park View Class of 2004

I highly recommend the IB programme. So far, this experience has caused me to become a more ambitious person with keener skills in time management. I have become more involved in my community and have an increased interest in global issues. While participating in sports and the arts, I still maintain a mid-'90s average. This programme has taught me self-discipline. I believe this has been great preparation for future pursuits and I am truly grateful. Nina Hynick, full IB Diploma graduate, Park View Class of 2004

There is a different dynamic in an IB classroom: the students want to be there and are interested in the material. This makes for a more positive learning experience. I learned how to study a great amount of material in a short amount of time which has been invaluable in my university studies. The class discussions in an IB class were interesting and open. I also feel that my first semester at university was more a review than anything, which took some of the pressure off. Erica Newton, Park View graduate of 2003

I have met so many people (at McGill) who have done IB from all over the world. My neighbour is Jordanian, and he and his friends and I wrote some of the same exams. The IB creates a kind of understanding and bond between students from all over the globe; a universal source of complaints, as well as respect. Dominique Cristall, full IB Diploma graduate, Park View Class of 2003

Looking back on the IB programme, I am so happy to have participated in it. My only regret is that I didn’t take more IB courses. It seems very challenging and there’s a lot of extra work, but it has prepared me so well for university. Not only did the IB courses cover a lot of material that is in the introductory courses at university, it taught me the proper work habits to help me succeed. Jolene Read, Park View graduate of 2003

IB not only taught me invaluable concepts and ideas, it provided me with a way to approach the world. Three years of instruction changed me from a sponge into an analytical filter. Of course, I soaked up all the information that I could. I received almost a whole year of university credits, but that was not my intention when I started taking IB courses. IB is not about fast-tracking, it's quite the opposite. In fact, I am going to do a whole 4 years of my undergrad, because IB reinforced my desire for knowledge. Aside from all the educational stuff, IB is fun. I will always look back at my experiences at Park View fondly, because of the opportunities I had, and the people with whom I connected. The bonding that takes place in those intimate classrooms is phenomenal... IB classes do not consist of a teacher instructing his or her students, it involves active learning where everyone in the classroom contributes to the acquisition of knowledge. Another point is that the people in IB courses are very self-motivated, which serves to motivate everyone else. No one is there because they have to be. We chose to experience high school differently, and we intended to get everything out of that experience. Jillian Banfield, full IB Diploma graduate, Park View Class of 2002

"Park View's IB programme was invaluable preparation for my studies in Aerospace Engineering at U of T. The in-depth thinking, analytical skills, and motivation that the IB taught enabled me to make a smooth transition to the self-taught learning environment at university. Moreover, the programme's international stature gave me confidence that I could compete with students from around the world. This confidence has served me well: on exchange in Switzerland, working on a satellite project in Germany, and serving on the Governing Council of U of T.” Bruce Cameron, full IB Diploma graduate, Park View Class of 2000

The one thing I’m thankful for Park View giving me was the chance to take IB courses. Having taken these I found the adjustment to university much easier than many of my classmates. Even more valuable than assisting with my studies, IB courses varied from the regular curriculum enlightening me as a student and allowing me to grow as a person. These courses pushed me to understand the concepts of responsibility, dedication, determination, time management, and maturity useful not only in my scholarly pursuits but also in life. I would recommend the IB programme to anyone who is ready for a challenge. Shondalee Eisnor, Park View graduate of 2000

I have reflected numerous times on how the IB programme was a terrific prep for university and other endeavours. Of the many great rewards the IB programme provides, the skills I learned in critical thinking and analysis have helped me find success in my professional career. I could go on and on about the public speaking skills, mature learning environment, benefits of independent study, stress and time management ...but I truly feel the approach to learning and understanding through critical thought is what made the programme worth the effort. Robert Whynot, business manager and Park View graduate of 1996

Having gone through Park View’s International Baccalaureate programme, I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to make the most of their high school experience. In addition to learning about the subjects, we were encouraged to think critically and to develop and express our ideas. For me this meant being able to explore my emerging views on global ties and North/South relations which would eventually lead me to pursue International Development Studies at Dalhousie University. IB courses are challenging. They are not the easy way out. But there are many rewards for taking the road less travelled, and I for one am grateful that that’s what I had the opportunity to do. Today, I am preparing to return to school to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy. I still love learning and ...I aspire to one day apply these same skills to analyze the public policies that shape our country and our lives. Simone Chia, Park View graduate of 1996 I will always remember a lesson I learned in my Theory of Knowledge class when we were assigned an essay "The Good Life". My own story was uninspired... I wanted to be a journalist, drive a jeep, live in the city, etc. But the stories of others - now those opened my mind. People wrote about emotions, about travel, about balance (or lack thereof!), about love. It hit me that the good life is the responsibility of each of us, and has less to do with what we do in our careers than what we do in our lives. Amy Baker, Park View graduate of 1991

I think one of the most important things for me about the IB programme was that it always challenged me to think bigger, to challenge the status quo, and to believe that anything is possible (with a little hard work). Last year I had the opportunity to be the media manager for the Dalai Lama during his visit to Melbourne. The tour had a theme "Happiness in a Material World". It was an incredible experience to be able to use my 'work' skills to spread a positive message and to work with someone who I find inspiring. Melissa Corkum, Park View graduate of 1990

... not only should a learning institution provide for many interests, it must also allow students to strive for excellence. I cannot think of any better way to achieve this than to incorporate a programme such as IB. If you remove the IB programme from the curriculum, you take away the right for a kid to set goals and prepare for the future. The IB is an established programme and standardized across the world. I feel to this day that my acceptance into Princeton was in part due to having been involved in the IB programme. I have spoken with Harvard alumni who have been interviewing prospective applicants for more than 10 years and they have commented that Park View produces quality students, most of whom go through the IB programme. Would you believe that in my interview for medical school I was asked about my involvement in the IB programme four years back? Those words carry a lot of weight! Greg Bailly, medical doctor and Park View graduate of 1989

I feel IB opened my eyes to the shear power of knowledge. I realized through Park View’s IB programme that I possessed the ability to achieve success at any level. Further than the courses content, I learned that my opinions and my interpretations were important and valid. I was a good students before I took IB and then IB encouraged me to become a life-long learner and educator. Some of my greatest academic challenges and successes did not come at Dalhousie University, but rather they came at Park View Education Centre. Dianne (Spencer) Pippy, teacher and Park View graduate of 1989

If you were to look up my entry in the 1988 Park View yearbook, you would see that under "future", I listed "international law and politics". The IB programme shaped that choice, and as a result, shaped the life that I lead today. Since leaving Park View, I studied international environmental law and policy at Harvard (A.B. 1992), Dalhousie (LL.B./M.P.A. 1996) and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland (LL.M. 1997). I was named a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar in 1996, and was honoured by the Rotary Foundation that year as one of 22 Planet Earth Scholars in the world. I became an environmental lawyer in private practice, and subsequently joined Environment Canada as a senior policy advisor and member of the Canadian delegation to the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in Bonn and Marrakech; I am currently in charge of designing and negotiating a new environmental programme for the Great Lakes. It was during the IB programme that I realized that I had a strength in the sciences that I could not ignore, and that I would have to somehow combine this with my interest in International Affairs. And it was the IB programme that helped me take my first steps toward successfully carving this path. Linda Klaamus, full IB Diploma graduate, Park View Class of 1987

I can say the IB programme, specifically the courses I took, helped immensely in giving me a broad, international and interdisciplinary perspective ... that emphasized respect for diversity - diversity of thought, diversity of opinion, diversity of perspectives. What have I been doing? I am now into my second week of a 2 year secondment to the Department of Foreign Affairs as the Political Officer for Sudan. I was previously working as a Senior Programme Officer with CIDA in the Peacebuilding Unit covering all of Africa and working on war affected children's issues and gender and peacebuilding themes. Previous to that I lived and worked in human rights and women's rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for 4 years. And before that development work between Canada, Zambia and Indonesia, which would then take me back to my studies. Suehila Elkateb, Park View graduate of 1986

The IB programme started me on the path of believing that I could do anything, and gave me the confidence to try ... I took off from Nova Scotia at 18 to go to Stanford University (in California) then travelled to Africa on my own at 21 to do research. I continue to learn and grow every day, whether in my job or in public service. I do believe that the confidence I gained in the IB programme played a very important role in who I am today. Keltie Jones, lawyer and Park View graduate of 1984

In our telephone calls and meetings with the Admissions Office at M.I.T., we learned that Janis’ acceptance at that university was due largely to her IB background. Students who undertake the intensive study and work load of IB courses demonstrate their willingness to tackle challenge and to pursue knowledge as a stepping stone to higher learning. For young people like our daughter, the IB programme served an important function in allowing her to challenge herself intellectually with an intensive and rigorous course of study. Finishing high school with such credentials gave her an outstanding opportunity to discover the world. This would not have been possible without Park View’s IB courses. Deborah Breeze, parent of former IB student

Both of our children participated in Park View’s IB programme. Although initially finding it difficult, they have reaped vast rewards from IB since enrolling in university. Congratulations to the staff at PVEC on their efforts in making this programme work. It is appreciated!! Robert Hirtle, parent of former IB students The future depends on nurturing the brightest, as well as demanding the best from the large central majority. The IB is the only programme that is doing the first and it can be a model for the second. Sandy Marshall, parent of former IB students and member of the Park View IB Society

My two children have both received their IB Diplomas from Park View and I have nothing but high praise for the programme and the staff. When we moved back to Nova Scotia from Montreal several years ago, my son was in the IB Middle School programme there, and I chose to live in Bridgewater specifically because of Park View's IB programme. I had seen what an academically enriched programme could do, and was very keen to have my children continue in it. I wasn't disappointed in the least! On the contrary, they have both received a superior education at Park View. Both of my children went on to receive numerous scholarship offers from almost every university they applied to, they got accepted at every university they applied to, and they have both managed very well with the transition from high school to university, precisely, in my opinion, because of the solid academic grounding they got in the IB programme. The staff went well out of their way, on several occasions, to help my kids succeed, I was always welcome to talk with them when anything was on my mind, and they gave me excellent guidance with regard to how to help my children make the most of this great opportunity. There's no question in my mind that this programme, and the dedicated staff who run it, have given both of my children the tools and knowledge they needed in high school, in order to do well in their chosen university careers. Stephanie Tompkins, parent of former IB students, member of the Park View IB Society

As a parent, initially unfamiliar with the IB programme, I feel very fortunate that my children were enrolled in a school system that led them to Park View and the IB. From providing the eldest with the opportunity to trust her faith in her abilities and reach for the unknown, to teaching my middle child that having to readjust your goals part way through something is part of learning, to providing the youngest with a challenging and rich environment to stretch and thrive in, The IB programme was an integral component to their successful transition into three Nova Scotia universities. All three of my children found first-year university a breeze!! Thanks Park View! Jacky Dulong, parent of former IB students and Board member of the IB Society.

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