Renert School students have so much talent. We are often so busy focusing on teaching and learning that we forget to showcase our students’ successes. In the SPOTLIGHT series we shine a light on our students, one at a time, and share with the community the joy of seeing our students become all they can be.

In this SPOTLIGHT, we are proud to showcase the many accomplishments of Serena Giga, a Grade 12 student at Renert School. Serena is a “pioneer”, who joined us in our very first year. During her time at the school, Serena has displayed an immense passion for Dance, and the arts in general. Serena has been dancing since she was four years old, and is trained in Bollywood and classical Indian dancing. She has been the driving force behind the many memorable Bollywood performances in our winter and spring concerts, both as the lead dancer, and also as a choreographer. At Renert she also explored lyrical, contemporary, and jazz, which helped broaden her skills and technique. She has also taught a Bollywood Choice Friday class for Divisions 1 through 4, giving back to the community.

Serena’s giving back to the community extended also to being coordinator for the school musical, Les Mis, supporting the iMovie Choice Friday class, and being a school ambassador for various school events. She has also been heavily involved in CAWST (Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology) as a project team lead. In this role, she organized a water fair for the school and wider community and invited different non-profit organizations to come and present on their work.

Outside of school, Serena volunteered during the past three summers to work as a teacher’s assistant in a summer literacy remediation program for K – 6 students. Last summer, she also participated in a 4-week program in Pakistan, called Global Encounters, which focuses on service, leadership development, culture, and global citizenship. According to Serena, the experience “broadened my worldview and gave me an opportunity to see hope and happiness amidst poverty and injustice.”

As her teachers, we have always found Serena to be very focused, determined and hardworking. Due to her petite size and quiet demeanour, it is sometimes easy to overlook her strength of character, resolve, and the amount of energy and effort that she commits to causes she cares about, both in and outside of school. we admire her willingness to step outside of her comfort zone and put herself out there in areas such as public speaking and dance. Her Art teacher, Ms. Julie, adds: for the past six years, Serena has entered every single class with a positive approach and an unwavering work ethic. The combination of talent and determination is what defines Serena for me.

Although we are sad to be losing Serena when she graduates at the end of the year, we are looking forward to her continued future success as she goes on to make the world a better place. Congratulations, Serena!