The Skills to Succeed

Every student learns differently. Some prefer to study independently, while others thrive in group settings. Some like to take notes and problem-solve, while others would prefer to learn by doing. Hamilton District Christian High offers unique learning opportunities for every student. Our goal is to carve out a space for every learner to achieve success.

Co-Op at HDCH is a fantastic opportunity for students looking for a change of pace from the traditional classroom setting. It allows for a practical, hands-on approach to learning and an opportunity to explore vocational interests.

Conservation Halton (1)Last semester, David teBrake ‘16 was given the unique opportunity to partner with Conservation Halton, a conservation authority “whose primary focus is to sustain a healthy watershed with clean streams, vigorous forests, abundant green space and balanced growth that results in strong livable communities.” David did placements at both Mountsberg Park in Campbellville and Mount Nemo Park in Burlington.

At Mountsberg, David played a major role in their Maple Syrup education program. David was tasked with syrup making, collecting sap from the Sugar Bush, moving firewood, and teaching guests about this process.

“We were surprised at the initiative David exhibited on the first day,” said Jim Aikenhead, David’s supervisor at Mountsberg. “Our goal at Conservation Halton is to deliver a quality, outdoor learning experience for visiting school classes, and David provided that every time he was involved with a group. Many teachers commented on how much they and their students enjoyed their sessions with David as their instructor.”

David enjoyed being exposed to the beauty of God’s creation while building social skills and learning to communicate with a young audience.

“Placements such as this help students get direct, first-hand experience in a field that they may choose to explore later in their educational and career paths,” says Jim. “The community benefits by having more young people getting an early taste of the working world.”

David teBrakeDavid’s second placement, at Mount Nemo, was filled with mountain guiding, trail hiking and exploring the unique biodiversity of the cliff-edge eco-systems and caves.

“The most challenging part was to push myself out of my comfort zone,” said David. “When I first started, I expected to gain some basic skills, get my credits and graduate. The more I pushed myself to do new things, things that I often thought I would have a hard time succeeding at, the more I learned and the more people around me helped me to learn. My experience has been nothing less than wonderful.”

HDCH is always looking for placement opportunities for our students. If you think your business would be a good fit for a Co-Op student, consider joining our roster of innovative employers. Our students are eager to learn about your industry and career pathway! Please contact Richard VanEgmond for more information (

Charlene Hone

Communications Specialist