By 1987 there had been two major Qualicum Beach High School Homecomings, and the remaining funds and individual donations supported an annual scholarship for graduating students. The need to do even more with these funds was recognized, so a very dedicated group of individuals put their heads together and the Qualicum Beach Honours Society was born in 1992. The mandate was, and still is, very basic: “to promote and recognize academic achievement in the student body of KSS”.
Our student applicants meet at three luncheons throughout the year. Students have an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of each other. It is hard to describe how good it feels as students are applauded by their peers, teachers and Honours Society Directors for their achievements. This is a long way from the “not cool to be smart” attitude many of us grew up with.
Honours Society students are encouraged to give back to the community by volunteering at the “Child Haven Dinner”, “Fire & Ice” our local chilli and ice carving competition held annually, as well as at “Family Days”.
Each year, through community donations and fundraisers, we raise approximately $10,000.00 which allows us to award Scholarships to each of our students. Fortunately, the initial funding we received from the Homecoming group has been invested to allow us to award an additional Homecoming Scholarship each year. We have also established another annual Scholarship in the name of Archibald Robertson, former Vice-Principle of Qualicum High School. While our Scholarship dollars have been growing annually, so has the cost of tuition. Can you believe that a bachelor ’s degree currently costs in excess of $50,000?
We believe that our greatest achievement has been in making a difference in the academic attitude at KSS. In 1992, there were twelve students who had to be convinced that they wanted to join the Society. Currently, there are over 50 applicants voluntarily applying and working hard to become members of the Society. It is not enough to want to be a member. Our students must also have achieved high academic standards, maintaining an 83% average in English 12 and in a minimum of three University Approved Grade 12 academic courses. (four grade 12 courses in total). While this is not an easy task, it has provided an opportunity for these students to experience “Academic Excellence with Pride in Achievement”.