My name is Max H. and I have the privilege of introducing myself as your incoming Head Prefect. I am honoured to serve our diverse and uplifting community for the 2021-2022 school year.

I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and got a chance to spend some time with friends and family. This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Banff National Park where I visited crystal clear lakes and snow-covered mountains. I also did a lot of hiking, the longest being a 16km hike up a mountain beside Lake Louise called The Big Beehive. With close to a kilometre of elevation gain and absurdly rocky terrain, I knew this was not going to be easy.

The beginning wasn’t too bad, with fairly flat terrain and lots of people around. We reached a teahouse around 4km in. There was a beautiful lake there and a gorgeous waterfall. Many took a few pictures, enjoyed the view and turned around to hike back down. Looking at the round and bare mountain, I finally understood why it was dubbed The Big Beehive (apart from the beehive shape); the climb really stings! Even though there were many twists and turns over steep and bumpy terrain, I was determined to reach the top.

The next few kilometres were where it started to get real tough. My feet felt heavy and the top seemed out of reach. I was overwhelmed with heavy breathing, sweat and sore legs. It was well worth it though, as the view at the top was unbelievable. You could see Lake Louise in the distance, with little canoes littering the lake like bugs in a blue puddle. Mountains panned the surrounding, accompanied by blue skies and vibrant trees. Absolutely breathtaking.

Sitting on a rock at the top of the mountain, I realized that this hike is like a cliche metaphor for this upcoming school year.

For those of you who are new this year, you may feel a bit nervous looking out at the mountain. Let those butterflies out of your stomach. Take the first step. The beginning starts off easy and flat. As a few weeks go by, the rocky terrain hits. Your legs feel sore and are tempted to turn back. There will be many periods of steep terrain, rocky paths and the urge to give up. But those who can persevere through the hard parts, ultimately enjoy the fruits of their effort. Once you get to the top of the mountain, at the end of the school year, you get to look at a stunning view of your feat.

HTS, I challenge you to approach this year with determination. Know that there will be rocky terrain and moments filled with doubt. But the hike is worth it, and with an open mind, you may catch some beautiful views along the way.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take your breath away.” – Maya Angelou.

HTS, let’s take this year to new heights!