Van Atkinson came to BCSS in Grade 9, moving to Midway from Nova Scotia with her family.
After graduation in June she will return to work at the Greenwood Museum, where she worked last summer too.
Working at the museum provides a wealth of experience in a wide variety of tasks, including accessioning donated artifacts, upgrading photos using Photoshop, cleaning the building, handling the cash register, assisting visitors, and guiding tours.
All of these responsibilities will prove to be assets in her chosen field of retail management. This September she plans to begin a one-year online course in retail management and, when her sister graduates from BCSS next year, they plan on looking for an apartment in Kelowna where she hopes to get a position in a fashion store and work her way up.
Van has been active in BCSS Spirit Club – making event posters, helping organize school events, working on fundraisers and helping to decorate and organize the Spirit Club Photo Book. She has also used her artistic talents to work on the school collage.
She says she was surprised to find that drama class meant she’d have to perform in front of an audience.
“I wasn’t expecting to perform in front of people,” laughs Van when Councillor Pam Storie asked her about her performance as Frenchie in the BCSS production of Grease last December. “I thought it was just a class where you do exercises. When I first started there the teacher told us we had to perform. So I was kind of nervous because I wasn’t expecting that.”
“I am not a really brave like person,” she declares. Although Van did admit that she felt good about it in the end, she also said she wasn’t planning on doing it again any time soon.
From Nova Scotia she brings her experience of working with the Boys and Girls Clubs, where she completed a leadership training course, prepared food and beverages, and organized and co-ordinated games.
Other experiences listed on her resume are working at the canteen and putting in time in the kitchen at the Copper Eagle.
Van has successfully completed Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Basic Army Cadet course and first aid courses.
For hobbies she prefers reading, swimming and going for nature walks.