en English

Head of School’s Message

Having had the opportunity to work at several schools around the world, I appreciate every institution has its own unique identity. 

If you’re wondering what makes St. John’s Academy Shawnigan Lake special, it can be summarized as having the most innovative of learning programs, an extraordinary location and a family atmosphere amongst our inspirational and caring staff.

We appreciate that people learn best when concepts are interconnected rather than taught as individual subjects.  Our approach to learning ensures academic rigor whilst equipping our students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes they need to be successful in the ever-changing world.

For our international students that do not speak English as their mother tongue, they will have the opportunity to benefit from a language acquisition program that could only be offered in a small, boarding school environment.

I strongly encourage you to visit our campus to appreciate the local environment in the lower Cowichan Valley.  Being located at the base of Mount Baldy with our own direct access to Shawnigan Lake allows us to provide an adventurous and inspirational outdoor education program that will help develop an appreciation for nature and a love for the outdoors.      

A key feature of our curricula includes experiential learning, which is aided by links to the community.  The Arts are alive in the local area and we are striving to be actively involved, which will benefit both the community and our students.    

We aspire to be a community that recognizes that diversity is our strength with a healthy mix of local and international students.  Having a capacity of less than 200 students ensures every individual’s uniqueness is celebrated in our warm and caring family.  All staff are committed to ensuring students realize both their academic and social potential with our holistic approach to learning and student wellbeing.    

After spending most of my career abroad, I am delighted to be returning to Canada.  Having the opportunity to live on Vancouver Island is very special to me, as there is no place that I would rather be.  I look forward to welcoming you to St. John’s Academy Shawnigan Lake and showing you what makes our school so special!

– David Pontich, Head of School