By Isabelle Southcott |

Over the past year, Brooks grad Rose Cardinall-Redfern conquered not just Grade 11, not just Grade 12, but also the first year of a carpentry apprenticeship.

Rose, just 16, was the youngest in the carpentry program this year and the only girl. She received the third highest mark in the class.

All of this academic achievement is impressive. But it’s only half of Rose’s remarkable story.

Powell River Living chose to profile Rose as a representative of the graduating class of 2017 because of her resilience, and her exemplary work ethic – two character attributes that should make her a role model for any young person.

Rose was home-schooled by her mom up until Grade 8, skipping Grade 3. Then, her mother died.

Last year, she moved to Powell River to live with her dad, step-mom and family.

Rose works as a laborer in her dad’s business, Redfern Roofing, and says it is because of her father that she developed an interest in carpentry.

“I watched what he did in the yard and all the renos he did on the house. He’s really good at building….I like carpentry because it’s never repetitive, there’s always something else to figure out.”

Rose plans to continue to work towards her red seal. She was employed by WB Contracting while doing her practicum.

But that’s not all. On weekends, the soon-to-be graduate works at Tim Horton’s. Within days of moving to Powell River, Rose dropped her resume off at the local coffee shop.

“They called me for an interview the same day and three days later I was working there,” she said.

In her spare time, she helps look after four younger siblings.

Rose’s teachers say she is an excellent student and a lovely young woman.

“Her grades are all 80 to 90 per cent. She’s totally motivated and has a wonderful work ethic,” said SD47 teacher Diane Green.

“She’s very mature for her age,” says Gary Huculak, Brooks’ carpentry instructor. “She was a bright light in the class and she did very well.”

Just 160 students will receive a diploma June 3.

“This is the smallest graduating class we’ve had in a long time,” says Brooks Secondary School Principal Jamie Burt. Last year, 215 students graduated.


If you watch this year’s grad ceremonies, you will see stairs leading to the stage. Those stairs were built by this year’s carpentry class.

“We learned about the rise and the run and how you calculate that out,” said graduating apprentice Rose Cardinall-Redfern, seated on the stairs above with her carpentry instructor Gary Huculak. “Then we went into the shop and built stairs.”

Students also built sheds and learned how to do common rafters, hip rafters, how to frame floors and walls. They learned how to survey, do drafting and read blueprints. “This course has a lot of practical as well as theory,” said Gary.

There were 11 students in the SD47/VIU Dual Credit Carpentry Program. Some were high school students like Rose, while others were adults who had previous carpentry experience.

“We all got along really well,” she said.


What: The Grand March is truly a community event. “I’m always blown away at how many people come out to support our kids,” said Brooks principal Jamie Burt.

When: June 3, 6pm (doors open at 4pm)

Where: Hap Parker Arena

What: Some of the Grade 12 recognitions will be incorporated as part of the evening. Dry Grad festivities will follow.


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