DPAC scholarship winners celebrate their parents in reflective essay

June 19, 2020

“Parent involvement within education is essential to opening opportunities, and building a stronger community within our schools,” reads the first line of Tenaya Trowell’s winning essay. Tenaya, a Langley Fundamental Middle-Secondary student as well as Gavin Horn from DW Poppy Secondary, are the recipients of this year’s Richard Bulpitt Educational Award, which includes a $500 scholarship from Langley’s District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC).

Tenaya was presented her award at the School Board Office earlier this week. Gavin will be presented with his scholarship at the DW Poppy graduation ceremony on June 19.

The topic of this year’s essay asked students to reflect on: “How does parent/family involvement contribute to student learning?”

Tenaya spent her high school years between Langley Fundamental Middle-Secondary, and Langley Secondary, where she mastered her academics as well as took part in the LSS Softball Academy.

However, her parents have played a big role in her education from the beginning. Tenaya’s mother, Bernice, was a member of DPAC for eight years when Tenaya was younger. During meetings, Tenaya would babysit the kids of other DPAC members. “It’s really come full circle,” says DPAC Treasurer Chantale Hubbs.

“I’ve always been an involved parent,” says Bernice. “I’ve always encouraged them to get involved in whatever they want. Both my children have been A-B students. They’ve always been eager to learn. [Tenaya] does volunteer work and coaching. So, she’s giving back to the community as well as participating in the softball community as well.”

For the years that Tenaya’s mother was on PAC, she worked hard to adjust her working schedule to be able to attend meetings, and remain involved in her children’s education.

“I was fortunate enough that my work allowed me to complete my workday, in whatever it worked out to,” says Bernice. “So, if that meant starting at 7 o’clock so I could be off at 2 o’clock to take them some place, or do something for them.”

“It allowed me to be involved— if a PAC meeting was at 9 o’clock in the morning, I could go to the PAC meeting and then go to work,” she adds.

Her mother’s dedication played a role in Tenaya’s education. “Having an involved parent meant that at the school level both my sister and I were given an opportunity to give a student’s viewpoint on items from hot lunches, our annual fun fair and other PAC ran activities,” writes Tenaya.

Now, both daughters have graduated, and Tenaya is pursuing University for nursing in Alberta. “Both my husband and I are extremely proud of both of our girls,” says Bernice. “The fact that they both already have a career goal in mind, they researched what universities they wanted to go to. They already have it set out as to where they’re going to be in the next four-five years.”

According to the Langley DPAC website, the “Richard Bulpitt Educational Award established in 2001 in honour of retired Langley Superintendent Richard Bulpitt. Mr. Bulpitt was a dedicated educator, devoted to the students of Langley, and a strong supporter of parent involvement in education. Langley District Parent Advisory Council will award $500 each to two successful applicants each year.”