Collegian Winter 2020


We hope you enjoy Holly's story in this edition of NCC's alumni magazine, the Collegian!





The Collegian is published twice each

year for alumni, family, and friends of

Niagara Christian Collegiate.


Don McNiven, Chair

Vivian Pengelly

Ron Rienas

Filomena Savoia

Bill Daley

Scott Herron

President and CEO: Scott Herron

Principal: Chris Baird

COO: Lynn Schmidt

Marketing & Communications

Sue Grierson

Contributing Writers

Paul An

Sue Grierson

James Kryger

Lynn Schmidt


Sue Grierson

Niagara Christian Collegiate

2619 Niagara Parkway

Fort Erie, ON L2A 5M4

Greetings, NCC Family and Friends!

It is with much enthusiasm that I can report to you the great success

that NCC is having with our students in the areas of education

and eternity. On page 3, you will discover the first page of

the 2019 Graduate Report, outlining the success of three of our

top graduates. In addition, 84% of our graduates attended top

Canadian universities in Ontario, and 99% of our graduates received

offers to post-secondary institutions in 2019. What a fantastic

reflection of the NCC faculty, staff, and administration for

their countless hours devoted to helping students achieve their


Even more exciting are NCC’s Campus Ministries and the work

that Todd MacGregor, Tim Durksen, and many others are doing

to introduce students to God’s Word and to grow their understanding.

Our ministry strategy is to engage students wherever

they are in their spiritual journey, providing mandatory chapel

service and community time, with several fun optional ministry-focused

activities throughout the week. We are seeing an

impressive number of students attend these optional activities.

Several events have had over 70 students in attendance.

It is an honour and a privilege to serve at this extraordinary institution,

with the exceptional faculty and staff who prioritize sharing

God’s truth to the students of NCC.

Thank you for investing in NCC with your prayers and financial

contributions. May God bless each of you and your families.

Phone: 905.871.6980

Fax: 905.871.9260



The Mission of NCC

In an international community of schools,

to educate students with excellence in a

family-like environment, equipping them

to grow God's Kingdom, and empowering

them to make a difference in the world.


Scott Herron

President and CEO





Tiffany committed herself to quality in her

studies, maintaining an overall average of

over 96% in her graduating year. It is not

surprising that she was also the recipient of

this year’s Grade 12 Academic Proficiency

medallion. This is awarded to the graduate

earning the highest average in grade 12

classes as well as demonstrating a keen interest

in their studies. Tiffany was involved

in a wide variety of campus activities, using

her gifts and talents to serve both the

school and our local community. Tiffany has

accepted an offer to study in the Creative

Industries program at Ryerson University in



The Governor General’s medal recognizes

a student for having the highest academic

standing in all grade 11 and 12 courses.

Caleb maintained an average of 96.8% over

15 courses, including completing multiple

courses with 99-100%. He led in class with

his active participation and engagement.

Caleb has accepted an offer to study Bachelor

of Engineering Co-op Major Biological

Engineering at the University of Guelph. He

was also awarded Guelph University’s Academic

Leadership Scholarship of $21,000,

recognizing exceptional academic standing

and academic leadership, and includes a faculty

advisor partnership.


In addition to maintaining an average of

95% in his final year at Niagara Christian

Collegiate, Rock was the recipient of the

Colin Hood OFSAA award given to a student

who throughout their high school career

has been committed to the success of

sport at their school. Rock participated in

boys’ volleyball and senior boys’ basketball.

He demonstrated exceptional skills as

a defense player in basketball. Rock has

accepted an offer to the Co-op System Design

Engineering program at the University

of Waterloo.





Winter 2020 The Collegian 3


Lynn Schmidt

Chief Operating Officer

It was great to catch up with this very busy lady to talk about the many upgrades

to the school. Lynn has the monumental task of managing operations

of the entire campus. Below are just a few of the recent projects she’s

tackled - with finesse! Just ask Gr. 11 student Takeshi Yamaguchi, who was

awestruck with the new online speed. His comment after the new fibre optics

network was installed gave Lynn a good chuckle: “The internet is LIT!”

Fibre Optics

“NCC’s point-to-point network could not handle

the amount of bandwidth that the school needed

to grow. We were maxed out! We could not grow

without the installation of fibre optics. Partnering

with Niagara Regional Broadband Network also

gave our residential neighbours an opportunity

to tap into this network. Our students are loving

this technology upgrade. We owed it to them to

give them the best service possible.”

“Mrs. Schmidt, the internet is AMAZING!”

Jeremy Yan. Gr. 12 student


“The boys’ dorm office was expanded, making

it a more funtional, pleasant space for student

and residence staff meetings. The dorm itself

received a fresh coat of paint, along with brand

new appliances, new furniture, and decor.

Lounge furniture in the girls’ dorm was beautifully

reupholstered, new carpeting was installed, and

new furniture has been added. Students are

enjoying the fresh new look to their home-awayfrom-home!”


“A full walk-in fridge and freezer was installed

in the kitchen. Gone are the chest freezers that

lined the cafeteria! The kitchen received a fresh

coat of paint. The cafeteria was decorated with a

beautiful barnboard accent wall. As a test project,

two countertop bar seating areas were added to

see if students would like that set up. They loved it

so much, in fact, that two more seating areas were

added. The countertops will soon be laminated by

one of NCC’s parents, who just happens to be in the

countertop business, and is donating his services!”

4 The Collegian Winter 2020

James Kryger

Athletics Director

Our Athletics Director is always on the run! James Kryger recently coordinated

some amazing upgrades to the NAV’s athletic spaces here on campus,

much to the delight of our student athletes. Even our NAVs mascot

received a complete makeover thanks to Kryger!

Girls’ Fitness Room

“The girls’ space welcomed 9 selectorized weight

machines for full body targeted weight workouts,

and were organized around the room in circuit

fashion. An area for Pilates and a wall-mounted TV

give the girls an opportunity to personalize their

workout sessions. Complete with a variety of free

weights, commercial treadmills, and an elliptical

machine, this room is set up for fitness success!”

Boys’ Fitness Room

“Dubbed The Iron Horse, the boys’ fitness room

was overhauled last year and re-opened in mid-

September. The room was painted, a new dentproof

floor was laid, and state-of-the-art equipment

was added, including 2 sets of professional

Powerblock free weights (originally created for

MBA teams), a Cybex commercial treadmill, an arc

trainer, and a selectorized console featuring 600+

pounds of weights. During the first month, over

400 student visits to The Iron Horse were logged

in! It’s a popular hangout for our young men!”


“A work in progress over the past year, the entire gym

has been repainted, carpeting was removed from the

stage, and the stage floors were sanded and stained.

The entire gym floor was re-lined, re-painted, and

NCC’s logos were laid out. Protective wall mats

and backboards were also given NAVs branding.”

“A nice improvement with a wider key, and added the 3

point line. Absolutely love it!” Ray Pengelly (‘96)

“I would give anything to come back and play ball in

this gym again!” Jason Li (‘01)

Winter 2020 The Collegian 5




by Sue Grierson In Other Words - The Girl is Unstoppable!

Elementary school in South Korea was not

an optimal learning environment for Holly

Han. Her insatiable curiosity, keen intellect,

and unbridled comments frequently landed

her into hot water with her teachers.

“I experienced a rough time in elementary

and middle school because the education

system was very different. They discouraged

students from asking questions. I

would challenge teachers if they didn’t

really make sense.”

Cross-examining her teachers was regarded

as a direct challenge to their authority.

This did not bode well for Holly. She was

perceived as a troublemaker, and was often

punished as a result.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion - For

every action there is equal and opposite


“It was very frustrating so my parents advised

me not to not go to high school, study

by myself, take a national exam and move

on. That was our original plan.”

That plan might have worked, but Holly

suffered from a universal teenage malady

- inertia.

“It turned out that I did not have much

self-discipline,” Holly laughed, recalling her

futile self-taught efforts. I was not able to

commit myself to a strict routine of studying,

so I ended up playing with my friends and

not studying at all.”

After three months of “just hanging out,”

Holly’s mother approached her with the

idea of going to school abroad.

Law of Inertia - A body continues in its

state of rest, or of uniform motion in

a straight line, except in so far as it is

compelled by external impressed forces

to change that state.

“My parents didn’t have lots of money to

send me to the States or somewhere else

very expensive, so we looked into cheaper

countries - but they were not known for a

good education”.

After thoroughly researching their options,

Canada proved to be the clear-cut choice

for Holly and her family.

“It was safe. It was cheaper than the States,

but it was also an English-speaking country,

a very developed country, and a very

peaceful country - with nature. Education

was also good. So it was a perfect place.

It was a good balance.”

Holly’s parents heard about Niagara Christian

Collegiate through an education agency

in South Korea.

“And it sounded perfect. It was exciting

to think about attending a school somewhere

else - but at the same time, it was

nerve-breaking…a mixed feeling of excitement

and concern.”

Holly faced many challenges while transitioning

to her new home in Canada. Due

to a setback in obtaining a study permit,

Holly arrived in Canada weeks after school

began. As a result, she felt left behind.

“Things move fast here (at the school). From

Day 1 you start studying. It was kind of late

to get caught up with everything. Everyone

had already developed friendships, so it

was hard to fit in because I saw friends in

groups already. And we were in page 50

or 60 of textbooks, so I didn’t know where

to start. There were many things to adjust

to for the first time. It was beautiful, first

of all, but also I didn’t know where to start

so I felt quite lost.

“It was difficult to adjust in the middle of

the first semester. Mid-term hit. It was my

second day at school. I was in grade 10

math and they were having a quiz. I didn’t

know what to write.”

Holly’s mid-term grades were poor due to

the late start. She was then sent for tutoring

which proved to be incredibly discouraging

for this bright young student.

“I remember seeing the Honour Roll for

the first time. I didn’t know what it was so

I asked other students what this was about.

They said these are people who got their

grades above 80%, and this Honour Roll

gets sent to your family. Then your parents

know that you are doing well. There was

another Korean girl who was in grade 11

and had arrived two days before me. She

was late starting school, but she studied

hard enough within that short amount of

time and managed to put herself on the

Honour Roll.”

Newton’s Second Law of Motion - The

rate of change of momentum is proportional

to the impressed force and takes

place in the direction of the straight line

in which the force acts.

“Seeing that girl’s name on the Honour

Roll really shocked me. I was ashamed of

myself. What have I been doing while this

girl has been doing her best? I had been

really discouraged and I didn’t really try

hard to adjust myself in the new environment.

At that point, I felt like I got hit on

the back of my head!”

Holly’s irrepressible determination bounced

back in full force. She vowed that by the next

exam, her name would be on the Honour

Roll and she’d make her parents proud. By

the final exam that same year - and every

year that followed - Holly Han’s name was

on the Honour Roll.

Earning this distinction meant more to Holly

than just academic achievement.

“…not just to represent myself as a kid with

high grades, but it was more meaningful to

me that I was working with what I had been

given, and feeling grateful, even though I

was away from family and homesick - but at

the same time I needed to do my job. It was

then that I developed the self-commitment

and determination to work really hard. I

chose to do my best. Everything started

to work out really, really well.”

6 The Collegian Winter 2020

“I don’t think anyone has

told Holly that she’s not

Superman. Someone’s

going to have to tell her


Quote from

2007 NCC Yearbook

Holly and her classmates at the Class of 2007’s

10th anniversary reunion in 2017

L-R: Inhye Choi (Mom), Holly, Youngso Kim

(Grandma), Youngsook Kim (Great-Aunt)

The NAVs Hall of Fame Awards, 2019

L-R: NCC President/CEO Scott Herron, Holly Hon

and Ray Pengelly, Athletics Director James Kryger

With this fresh injection of determination,

Holly saw that her learning style

was encouraged at NCC.

“One of the things that stood out the

most, was that in Canadian culture,

people are respected; an individual

is respected just for his or her being.

People see you as a person. In Korea

I was the same kid with the same level

of curiosity - just asking questions and

challenging when things are wrong and

accepting when things are right. I was

the same kid, but I was always a troublemaker.

But when I came to NCC, I

was a good student. I was perceived as

a good student because I had my own

opinion. I had questions. It was really

different because I never changed. I was

just the same kid as I was in Korea, but

how people treated me, how people

perceived me as an individual was shockingly

different. That really helped me

adjust in this new school environment.

I really developed myself as a person

who is always trying to learn and not

being discouraged by anything that

comes to block my passion.”

From that point, Holly gave it her all

when it came to academic studies and

developing her athletic skills.

con’t on pg. 8

Winter 2020 The Collegian 7


Established in 2017, the NCC Health Centre is run by a team of health care professionals, including a Nurse Practitioner,

a Registered Nurse, counsellors, and office administration. This health initiative provides our international students with

access to more immediate health care as the need arises.

The Health Centre is proving to be a huge blessing to our students - whose health and well-being are top priority!

Holly Han - con’t from pg. 7

“The academics were very demanding. Each

class was 75 minutes long. It’s quite a long

time for one class and you’re doing that

every single day for four courses during one

semester. It was very challenging for sure.

“I joined sports teams which was a great way

to interact with Canadian students. When

you’re playing sports, you don’t really need

language. You need to communicate but

the communication is done through body

actions and athletic performance. It made it

so much easier to develop friendships with

Canadian friends. That gave me confidence.

You had practice, you had games, you had

tournaments…I missed a lot of classes. I

had to catch up a lot. I think high school

was the time I studied the most in terms of

trying to keep a balance between the two.

That balance was really good, but to keep

that balance I had to put out 100% for sure.”

“I was good at biology and chemistry .

I was not good at physics, but I ended

up majoring in physics in university!”

Following high school, Holly attended the

University of Toronto to obtain her undergraduate

degree in Physics Specialist, with

a major in Math.

In the middle of these studies, Holly took

three years off to travel. She hiked in the

Himalayas, went on an expedition in the Kyrgyzstan

mountains, and walked cross country

from the southern tip of South Korea to the

border between South and North Korea in

the spirit and hope of the reunification of

these two countries.

With her wanderlust satisfied for a time,

Holly returned to Toronto and completed

her undergraduate studies. She moved on

to graduate studies at McGill University,

and will complete her PhD program in Geo

Physics this year.

She continues to stay active and participates

in intramural soccer at McGill University as a

referee, a supervisor, as well as a player. Holly

also has a passion for the traditional Korean

martial art of Tae Kwon Do and earned her

5th Dan - the highest rank achievable in this

sport. Seven years ago, Holly earned her

Master Instructor certificate.

“Life at NCC definitely helped me. It sent

me on to the next step - university - not only

academically but in terms of the discipline

that I developed here. The education was

very demanding at NCC. I pushed really

hard. This lifestyle and being committed

to keeping a high level of academic and

athletic performances really helped me to

develop as a person who can be committed

and determined to do what I want to do…

what I set as a goal.”

Holly’s future plans include living well, continually

learning and developing, and to

keep loving.

“To be aware of what’s going on and always

observe what I do and how I interact with

people. I want to really use my skills that I

developed through this PhD training as a

scientist. I want to contribute my work to

society and bring my passion into it. The

reason why I chose to go into GeoPhysics is

because I wanted to combine my academic

background which is physics, with my personal

passion, which is the outdoors and

going out into nature, which is the earth. I

am combining my passion outside academia

then at the same time I am contributing to

academia and science. So that’s my plan.”

In physics, when an object is moving, it

takes force to stop it or change its motion.

The more velocity it has, the more force

it takes to stop.

It looks like no force on earth will be able

to stop this kid from Korea!

Special thanks to NCC Grade 11 student Paul An for

his help with Korean translation!

8 The Collegian Winter 2020




Tuesday, May 12, 8:25 am

Register your middle schooler for

this fun-filled day of excitement

and adventure! Participate in classes,

experience NCC’s exciting programs,

and meet new friends. This

event is open to students entering

grades 6-8 in September.

For more information, or to RSVP




Thursday, April 23, 7 pm

Join us as Niagara Christian Collegiate

hosts an evening in Celebration of the

Arts! Join us as we proudly showcase

the creative talents of our students.

NCC Concert Band performances are

sure to entertain and delight. Enjoy

original works of art while feasting on

delicious baked goods available for

purchase. We would love to see you

at this very special evening on campus!



Saturday, June 13, 2 pm

Parents and family members of our

grade 12 students are welcome to join

us at our 88th annual commencement

ceremonies. Come and celebrate the

acheivements of our grads!

For more information or to RSVP


Winter 2020 The Collegian 9




by Sue Grierson

Over the years, NCC’s donors have

created a variety of scholarship opportunities

for new and returning students,

as well as for grade 12 students who

are preparing to advance to post-secondary


Following the NAVs Hall of Fame event

in October, 2019, I met with Holly Han

to talk about her time as a student at

NCC. To hear about the challenges

she faced and her determination to

overcome these obstacles was truly


During our meeting, Holly enquired

about setting up a scholarship fund for

NCC students. She wanted to show her

gratitude to the NCC community by

paying it forward to current students.

The vision behind her scholarship is

going to reflect some of Holly’s own

journey as a student.

Crafted in a very personal and thoughtful

way, the criteria for a scholarship is

based on values and ideals which are

important and meaningful to the donor.

It is a public expression of that vision.

Scholarships recognize students’ value,

express confidence in their ability

to succeed, and invest in their future.

Students who receive scholarships are

honoured and affirmed for their efforts.

In deciding on criteria to include when

creating a scholarship fund, donors

might want students to attain a certain

level of academic achievement,

or perhaps base the fund on student

financial need - or it could include a

combination of both.

Or they may want to establish a fund for

students from Hong Kong, Japan, Brazil,

Canada, or any number of countries.

A scholarship could be targeted to

students who are pursuing a specific

program of post-secondary studies.

Donors may want to give a one-time

scholarship, or create one that is disbursed

on an annual basis. People could

also consider giving to an already established

scholarship fund - like Holly’s.

Another great option would be to build

a scholarship into an endowment fund

that would perpetuate well into the

future, and benefit many students along

the way.

There are many creative options for giving

that can mirror the heartfelt wishes

of the donor. Holly’s desire in creating

an annual scholarship is to acknowledge

students who demonstrate exceptional

spirit and strength of character, who

work diligently to overcome personal

challenges, and who strive for consistent

improvement and progress in academic

studies, and/or athletics.

Why not consider creating your own

legacy with a personalized scholarship

or endowment in your name or the

name of a loved one? You will impact

the life of our students!

We are also offering readers the opportunity

to donate to Holly’s scholarship

fund. (Holly is very excited about that


Simply call the school with your credit

card information, or go to our website: and click on the

Donate Now button.

You’ll notice an announcement on the

back cover of the Collegian about the

opening of our new online store featuring

NCC Alumni Apparel. With every

purchase, a portion of every dollar

spent will be donated to the Holly

Han Scholarship Fund!

You can also give a donation to

the Holly Hon Scholarship Fund

directly on the store site!

Invest in a student today. The returns

can be astounding!

10 The Collegian Winter 2020

Get Ready for NCC’s Summer Camps!


JULY 20 - AUGUST 6, 2020




To Register or for more information, contact us at: 905.871.9260 or Email:

1 2 3


Summer Camp

NCC offers an incredible English

Summer Camp program providing

great value and excellent academic

results. This camp is an outstanding

Canadian adventure both inside and

outside of the classroom!

This camp is open to boys and girls

who want to improve their English

skills, with special emphasis on

listening and speaking.

NCC is proud of its 40 plus years

of ESL experience!


Summer Camp

NCC & Safari Niagara have teamed

up to offer an incredible Safari

Summer Camp experience!

Learn from qualified Zoologists and

Zookeepers in this exciting sciencebased

camp and gain confidence

interacting with a variety of animals.

Prepare and enjoy Canadian

food on the BBQ and around the

campfire. Have you ever enjoyed

a s’more?

(Available to intermediate level

English speakers or higher)


Summer Camp

NCC offers your child an incredible

summer horseriding program!

Taught by equestrian experts with

proven technical competency and

who are skilled in first aid and safety


This camp is perfect for boys and

girls who love horses and want

hands-on experience developing

skills in handling and riding.

(Available to intermediate level

English speakers or higher)

Winter 2020 The Collegian 11



Looking Classy in 2020!

Our Alumni and Donors are the pillars of

Niagara Christian Collegiate.

They believe in the spiritual foundation and rich legacy

of our past, and offer stability and support for our future.

To show our gratitude, we have curated this

Premier Apparel Collection in their honour.

Enjoy the classic comfort of ROOTS Canada Apparel,

while proudly supporting the NCC brand!

Visit our online store:

A portion of every purchase will be donated to


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