DEFINING SUCCESS: An Interview With Mrs. Gray

Mrs. Gray in her office.

Shakespearian scandals and how particles behave when someone flails their arms. Grade twelve students must consider such things as well as their entire future. ‘Overwhelming’ is quite an understatement when it comes to the last year of high school. One of the best ways to cope is to have a conversation with Mrs. Gray, the beloved and respected grade twelve guidance counsellor. She has been working at J. Clarke Richardson since 2004 and her devotedness to her role has yet to fade.

Senior students at Richardson aim high, but their definition of ‘success’ is very common.

“There is a preconceived notion that university equals success,” says Mrs. Gray. “That’s very much so a myth. A lot of it comes down to work ethic. There are a lot of different pathways. If you’re willing to put the hard work in, just like university, you will be successful in what you choose to do.”

Mrs. Gray also mentioned that Richardson has a large population of students with parents who have immigrated to Canada. 

“They have immigrated here to give their kids a better future. To them, a better future equals university education. A lot of it is deep-rooted in the reasons they moved to Canada,” she says.

This year, mistakes will be made. Humans make them naturally and there is no way to make them disappear. However, they can be avoided. According to Gray, the biggest mistake that grade twelve students can make is not attending class.

 “The number one reason why students don’t reach their full potential is missing classes,” she says.

Conquering your high school career can be a challenge, but there is a key to making it out alive and with all limbs attached: balance. 

Gray advises, “All of life is about a pursuit of balance. Try to balance out academics with taking care of yourself, sleeping properly, eating properly, talking to me or guidance counsellors, talking to your teachers, talking to your parents, just being as open as you can. Try to balance everything so that you’re not completely overwhelmed with one aspect or another.”

She went on to discuss the definition of success in her life.

“I think [success] is just continuing to try and be better and better in whatever it is you’re doing”, she says. “That’s kind of my mission as I gain more experience in my guidance role, my role as a mother, and as a friend. I become more successful through that,” she said.

“I like to try to be happy with the decisions I’ve made and just try to improve myself more and more. We can’t be perfect at everything”.