Alumni Spotlight

Interviews with our former students

February 2021

Cheryl Noon


Right after graduating I went to UVic and got my BA in English & History. I loved living in Victoria! I continued going to UVic to get my BEd in teaching high school English. I was lucky enough to be able to return to Ideal for my first teaching practicum; I got to learn and teach alongside Sandra, which was a great opportunity.

Since finishing my BEd, I have moved back to Vancouver. I am teaching in Coquitlam at a Reggio-inspired school with a grade 3 & 4 class. I have been teaching for four years now and in Reggio for the past two. I am working on my master’s degree now through VIU and I should be finishing it in the next few months.

Apart from a lot of school, I have worked some odd jobs – mostly in dessert shops and bars – and done some travelling through Europe and Southeast Asia.

I left Ideal feeling very prepared for post-secondary. I found that the student-centered educational pedagogy meant that I already had good study habits and a positive outlook towards school. When I attended Ideal, our class times were very short, and we had six classes in a day spanning the year. This meant that we were enrolled in all our courses at the same time – in grade 11 I was enrolled in twelve courses at Ideal and one online. I have always enjoyed a full timetable and busy schedule, so these helped me move into my university courses without feeling the same stresses as some of the friends I met in the first couple years.

I took English and History as my double major; the plethora of different course offerings at Ideal through grades 11 & 12 had given me a taste of these two subject areas. It was through my learning at Ideal that I knew what I wanted to focus on in each of these and it helped me narrow down my studies to be focused and I finished my degree in 3.5 years while it took most of my friends 4-5 years to complete theirs because they didn’t know what they were focusing on and took too many electives.

Finally, obviously, the teaching practicum I did at Ideal set me up to be successful at teaching and seeing the classroom from a different point of view. Sandra was a huge help and support with this!

Silly heater conversations, practicing drama skits in the NafNaf room, the stress of creating the yearbook, school plays, painting lockers, school meetings, when we got to Physics 11 and finally understood some of Ernie’s jokes, panic studying for science tests at QE park, the sense of belonging and the energy in the hallway. Picking the lock to what was Jim’s classroom because we got to school too early and the hallway was cold, and we wanted to hang out in a classroom (it’s okay though, we got him a coffee). The sense of community.

These were my favourites! Camp Squeah was always a highlight and something that is so special and unique to Ideal. I didn’t realize that other schools don’t get to do all the cool field trips and camp that we got to! Now that I’m on the other side of it, those field trips are hard to organize! Trish, sorry for always getting my French permission forms in late! Huge appreciation of the work that goes into those field trips and camp, what a treat they were!

Idealites are a weird breed, enjoy it! You are surrounded by some of the best teachers and they get you more than you realize. Be yourself and just know you’ll look back and laugh at your yearbooks in 10 years.

It really helped shape who I am today and definitely provides one of the most unique learning environments I have ever been in.

Judith Fleerackers and I still see each other a lot. I also see Kenzo Vlasman and Matt Karpa a couple times a year when Matt comes to visit from the US. Obviously, social media means that I can track most of the people from my grad class should the need arise (perhaps to plan a reunion, who knows).

Cheryl Noon
Alumni 2011

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