Lee Micheal Chiarizia
Maritime Surface and Sub-Surface (MARS) Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy

Number of years spent at CRPS: 13 (Kindergarten-grade12)
Graduating class of: 1997
Greatest Accomplishments: Commercial Pilot's License, Bachelor of Arts in English, Pursuing Masters Degree in Business Administration, Naval Officer Professional Qualification (NOPQ).


Lee shares some of his fondest memories of our school system and offers words of advice for both parents and students:


Mr. Cooper, my high school science teacher. Really taught me to look at science in a different way, and made it relatable to real life. It opened my eyes to how important science was to our every day lives, which is remarkable given I had already had such a good association with science from my previous teachers. From understanding what a super taster was (thanks Uric Acid!), to building class social comraderie through a potluck lunch, he really knew how to instruct and make the subject matter relevant. I will always remember his style and intelligence.


My most memorable experience directly related to school had to be my AP English class, with Mr. Forrest. Mr. Forrest gave me my first real exposure to what it took to write a research paper. He even gave us a field trip to the University of Calgary library (a place I would later get my English degree), which proved invaluable learning just how much information is out there.
Additionally, the Grade 7 camping trip is something I still remember. We went to Castle Meadows (before the Wolf Pack shut it down), and went on some truly excellent hikes around the area such as Hector Glacier and Rockbound Lake which gave me a lasting appreciation of the beautiful area Canmore and Banff is in.


CRPS gave me the building blocks to succeed as a student in the real world. While my initial progress as a student in University was slow, CRPS gave me enough understanding of what it takes to succeed in Secondary Education for me to push through and rapidly accomplish my personal educational and professional goals. I am still seeking continual improvement, and will likely do so for as long as I can.


I would absolutely recommend these schools to anyone. The myriad of experience available to students in the CRPS is unrivalled almost anywhere else I can think of.  Many times I have talked with fellow colleagues and students about high school experiences, and many get the impression I went to some sort of mountain private school. The effort that CRPS puts in to making a well rounded program for students has paid dividends in my varied interests and wealth of experience. Additionally, since the Canmore area is such a destination for families from other nations, students get an international experience that is unlike any other of equivalent size.


Parents: Take advantage of the many activity / sport programs available now in the CRPS. Many of these were not yet available when I was there, and it would have been an even better experience for me had they been available.
Students: Find what you love, pursue it, and keep pursuing it. Though my aspiration to be a Military Officer occassionally fell by the wayside, I never let it fade. Eventually I realized my goal through sheer determination (and the occassional push from my parents and peers). Whatever it is that drives you, whether it is a skill trade, a career in the Arts, a career in Academia, or a professional designation, let it carry you through the tough times.