5 notable alumni from Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga


Published March 10, 2023 at 4:42 pm

boman martinez reid
Boman Martinez-Reid at the Oscars in 2022. Photo via @bomanizer

Known for its arts program, Cawthra Park Secondary School has produced a long list of alumni who have gone on to careers in theatre, music and dance.

Cawthra Park Secondary School, located in southeast Mississauga, is one of two schools to offer a Regional Arts Program in Peel region.

The program provides a comprehensive education in the arts, while students complete the regular Ontario curriculum. Students can choose to focus on dance, drama, music or visual arts. Students must audition for the program.

The school was built in 1972 and now has more than 1,000 students enrolled.

Each year (aside from the pandemic years), the school puts on a fall musical and a spring play. No doubt those productions inspired a few students to go on to careers in the arts.

Here are five notable alumni from Cawthra Park Secondary School:

Wali Shah

Wali Shah is a poet and public speaker who was Mississauga’s poet laureate from 2017 to 2019.

Born in Pakistan, Shah’s family moved to Toronto when he was three years old and Mississauga when he was nine, according to U of T Mississauga. He face racism growing up after 9/11 and got into a bad crowd. After being arrested for an assault as a teen, he turned his life around with poetry.

In Grade 11, a teacher at Cawthra Park, Melanie Riley, loaned him a book of poetry by Tupac Shakur, The Rose that Grew from Concrete, and he became immersed in writing, according to a profile in the Toronto Star.

Shah has delivered TED talks, spoken at hundreds of schools and colleges across North America, and closed out President Barack Obama’s 2020 visit to Toronto, with a poem written for the event.

wali shah

Daria Werbowy

Daria Werbowy is a supermodel who has been featured in ads for many well-known brands such as Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton. Since her career started in 2003, she has appeared on the cover of many magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, GQ and Vogue.

Werbowy was born in Poland and holds dual Canadian and Ukrainian citizenship. Her family moved to Mississauga when she was three years old. She attended St. Sofia Elementary and Cawthra Park Secondary schools.

Now retired from modelling, she is now reportedly living in Ireland.

daria werbowy

Andre Dae Kim

Andre Dae Kim is one of several Cawthra Park alumni who appeared in the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi. Actors Adam Ruggiero, Deanna Casaluce, and Amanda Stepto are also Degrassi stars who reportedly went to Cawthra Park.

Born in Edmonton, Kim landed a role on  Degrassi: Next Generation while he was in Grade 11 at Cawthra Park, according to a University of Toronto Mississauga profile.

Since then Kim has gone on to appear in many TV shows including Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and most recently Vampire Academy, according to IMDb.


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Boman Martinez-Reid

Boman Martinez-Reid (Bomanizer) rose to TikTok stardom during the height of the pandemic. His videos parody reality television with overly dramatized fights featuring his family and friends. He now has two million followers on TikTok and more opportunities on the horizon.

He was signed to the Creative Artists Agency based in Hollywood which also represents Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Reese Witherspoon. He has also been invited to several red carpet events including the Oscars.

He told the Toronto Star that he felt fortunate to be a part of the theatre program at Cawthra Park. “I loved it,” he said.

Isaiah Peck

Isaiah Peck began dancing at the age of nine and in 2015, he booked his first lead role as Henry in the show The Next Step, a Canadian teen drama series on the Family Channel. 

He joined the cast on their international Wild Rhythm & Live On Stage tours across Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.

CBC calls him a “vibrant entertainer” with a love for music, dance and acting.

He has had appearances in shows and movies such as American Girl – Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight and TVO Kids – The Power of Play and Backstage. He has also starred in the drama short Transitions the Netflix series Ginny and Georgia.


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