Skip to main content

Student’s school successes lead to Air Canada/Winnipeg Jets fan flight

April 29, 2022 News Story
Cecil Rhodes Jets Leafs Award Winner April 2022

A Cecil Rhodes School student recently won a fan flight that is the stuff of hockey fans’ dreams.

Grade 9 student Alex Chase was recently flown to Toronto to see the Winnipeg Jets and the Maple Leafs in National Hockey League action.

Alex was nominated for the Air Canada Fan Flight contest by Inclusive Education Resource Teacher Aaron Beckman.

Alex flew to Toronto with her grandfather and a friend for the March 31 game; they were also able to do some sight-seeing and shopping in the big city.

Mr. Beckman and Inclusion Support Classroom Teacher Katharine Doerr have witnessed the great strides Alex has made in school over the past several years.

“I taught Alex when she was in Grade 7 and Katharine has been her teacher the past two years,” Mr. Beckman said. “We both thought she would be an excellent person to nominate.”

When Alex first arrived at Cecil Rhodes, she had some difficulties with some of her learning barriers, which caused some frustrations in her day-to-day school work.

But in the past three years, Alex has learned helpful strategies from the Inclusive Education team at Cecil Rhodes and has shown a lot of personal growth—not only in the classroom, but as a member of student council at her school.

“Alex has come a long way socially and regulating emotionally,” Ms. Doerr said. “She now has a more positive outlook on her experience at school. Alex has become a good role model and a leader in the classroom; she advocates for her own needs as well as for the other students in the class. For example, if there is a student who is struggling with their learning, Alex will approach that student, work with them and encourage them.”

Alex comes by her role as a helper quite naturally.

“I have a lot of siblings, so I know that when someone needs help, they won’t always ask,” Alex said. “Like with my sister, she needs a lot of help with a lot of different things, but she doesn’t ask, so I’ll see the signs with her.”

These are the kinds of qualities that have made Alex a student leader in the Cecil Rhodes school community.

“Alex is very self-aware. She understands her barriers and she doesn’t feel defined by those things, because she is also very aware of her strengths,” Ms. Doerr said.

Alex found out that she was an Air Canada Fan Flight winner at a surprise presentation at Canada Life Centre. Jets game host and QX104 Country radio deejay Brody Jackson, Jets mascot Mick E. Moose and Air Canada representatives made the special announcement in person to Alex and her family. Mr. Beckman was also on hand for the announcement.

“All I knew ahead of time was that we were going to the arena to talk about our school,” Alex said. “Then everyone came out and said I was going to Toronto.”

The March trip was the first time Alex had been on a flight.

“The best part of the trip was just getting out of Winnipeg and spending time with my friend and my grandpa,” Alex said, adding that she enjoyed the warmer weather in Toronto.

“When we went out there, there was no snow and it was warm. It just started to snow a bit on our last day there.”

The Winnipeg Jets have created a video about Alex’s personal journey and her trip to Toronto.

Both Mr. Beckman and Ms. Doerr said they were proud to see Alex receive recognition for all of her hard work.

“I think it’s really important to recognize the personal growth of our students, whether it’s academic, or social-emotional, or both,” Mr. Beckman said. “In academics, athletics and large-scale community activism, those (major milestones) get recognized a lot, but we don’t often get a chance to recognize personal growth.”

Ms. Doerr said acknowledging day-to-day victories can make an immeasurable difference in a young person’s life.

“I think taking any opportunity to acknowledge a student’s strengths is important. It can really build them up and change the trajectory of their school experience,” Ms. Doerr said. “Alex will never forget something like this.”

Back to top