Celebrating the Class of 2012 0
PETAWAWA - They may be embarking on uncharted futures in the wide world that lies beyond high school but no matter where life takes them the Class of 2012 will always have the friends and memories they made at General Panet.
That sentiment was keenly felt Thursday afternoon as 77 graduating Panthers celebrated their experiences and accomplishments over the past four years, while anticipating the opportunities that await them.
Family, friends and faculty packed the Petawawa Civic Centre to watch the graduates mark their final moments as high school students as they strolled across the stage to receive their long anticipated diplomas.
In his final remarks to the Panthers of 2012, and his last speech as an educator after 33 years, Principal John McIver challenged them to seek out what they want to do in life and determine what it takes to accomplish their goals. He reminded them that it was their parents, teachers and mentors whose support got them to this point in their young lives.
“They have made it better for you. Pass that on. Make the world a better place. Success will definitely follow,” Mr. McIver told the hushed arena. “By supporting others you grow yourself. You are in the Panet House of Education and sitting in the front row. You are the guest of honour. Congratulations and good luck.”
Opening her address, valedictorian Ashley Buske told her fellow graduates they have reached a crossroad where they leave behind their adolescence and begin their journey into adulthood. She asked them to reflect on what their years at General Panet have meant.
“It seems like not too long ago when we first entered Panet. I remember how we all groaned about how long these four years would be,” recounted Ms. Buske. “We crowded the hallway in our groups from elementary, scared that the Grade 12’s would eat us or we’d get lost in such a big school. High school was very different even a little frightening because of all the changes that were occurring.”
The high school senior, who received the 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signals Squadron and 2 Area Support Group valedictorian shield from base commander Lt.-Col. Chris Moyle, reminded everyone that they have made mistakes but have learned from them. She shared an anecdote about injuring her ACL tendon but returning to sports competition before the injury fully healed.
“Each and everyone of us has experienced different things over the past four years, some have torn us down, challenged us, encouraged us and none the less made us who we are today,” said Ms. Buske. “These lessons that we have learned through our past have given us the skills to help guide us through the future.”
“Panet has always been a small school, but that has always been a plus side for me. To be able to know everyone in your graduating class is quite special. When you’re able to walk down the hallway and always know someone, you’re able get to get to know people very quickly. After so many years together you form a bond.”
As her fellow classmates listened intently, Ms. Buske cautioned the graduates not to forget their time here at Panet.
“We must remember the joyous times we had with our friends, laughing and sharing memories,” she said. “We must learn not to dwell on the imperfections for life is too short. How you got here today is something you should embrace for it influences where you could be heading in the future.”
On behalf of the Class of 2012, Ms. Buske thanked the teachers and staff for giving up so many extra hours to help them succeed in athletic and academic achievements adding their words of wisdom will stay with them always. Then she turned her attention to the home front.
“To all the parents, family members and friends here today, we thank you for your guidance, patience, love and unwavering support, no matter what condition or stage we were in” concluded Ms. Buske. “You always believed in us and that has helped us reach where we are all today. We couldn’t have done it without all of you.”
The top accolades went to Jessica Rolfe, who was the recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Award which recognizes the student with the highest academic standing in the graduating class. Mr. McIver also presented Ms. Rolfe with the Ontario Principal’s Council Award for Student Leadership which recognized her as the student who most demonstrated excellent leadership and who participated in numerous extra-curricular activities.
The Renfrew County Grade 12 Medallion, awarded to those top ranking grade 12 scholars who achieved a minimum of six credits at a level four standing, was presented to Caitlin Beaumont, Elise Bickel, Shannon Boldt, Ashley Buske, Shelby Eastwood, Lauren Gibson, Taylor Hermiston, William Leblanc, Rebecca Lockley, Jonathan Phillips, Jessica Rolfe, Hannah Schruder-Tate, Kelsey Serviss and Victoria Traill.
High Skills Major diplomas, awarded to students who have focused their learning in a specific sector accumulating eight to 10 credits in this area and obtained sector-recognized certifications, were presented to Ashley Buske, Jessi Cassista, Ty Lebannister, Nicholas Oland, Natalie Turgeon and Cody Videto.
Ontario Scholar Awards, handed to a scholar who obtains an aggregate of at least 480 marks in any combination of six grade 12 courses, were presented to Alex Berney, Jessi Cassista, Rikki-Leigh Clark, Holli Croucher, Laura Dennique, Shelby Eastwood, Nicolette Gignac, Taylor Hermiston, Rebecca Langille, Jacob Latham, Tia McGrady, Bryan Neigel, Jessi Odaisky, Jonathan Phillips, Jessica Rolfe, Hannah Schruder-Tate, Victoria Traill, Elyna Tremblay and Carolyn Ward.
French Immersion certificates, given to graduates who have accumulated 10 credits in French Immersion, were awarded to Shelby Eastwood, Nick Layden, Alisha Perreault, Bryan Neigel, Jonathan Phillips and Jessica Rolfe.
Technical Studies certificates, for those graduates who have at least four credits in senior technical studies with a mark of 80 per cent or higher, were presented to Nicholas Amirault, Thomas Burke, Taylor Hermiston, Adam James, Christian Mullins, Stephan Murphy, Colin Dunn, James Wolfe, Kiefer Hepditch, Codie Lance, Brandon Merson and Victoria Traill.
Recipients of awards, trophies and bursaries from General Panet are as follows:
Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award - Bryan Neigel; General Panet High School Music Award - Bryan Neigel and Robert Schamehorn; General Panet High School Environmental Award - Kiefer Hepditch; Bruce G. Jones Forest Products Award - Thomas Burke; Student Success Pathways Award - Rikki-Leigh Clark and Trenhaile.
Paul Edward Hanna Memorial Bursary - Jessica Rolfe; County of Renfrew Expo 150 Bursary - Nicolette Gignac; Corporation of the Town of Petawawa Bursary - Bryan Neigel; EGM Insurance Brokers - Lisa Edmonds Bursary - Shelby Eastwood and Karl Harju; Emily Watts Bursary - William Guthrie and Kaitlin Tennian; General Panet High School Alumni Reunion Bursary - Taylor Hermiston, Jessica Rolfe and Morgan Wilson; General Panet High School Staff Bursary - Alex Moore.
Order of the Eastern Star Bursary - Jessi Odaisky; Kiwanis Club of Pembroke Bursary - Taylor Eichstaedt; Re/Max Pembroke Realty Ltd. - Judy DeGeer Bursary - Stephan Murphy and Victoria Traill; Rotary Club of Petawawa Bursary - Natalie Turgeon; Lauren Simon Bursary - Elyna Tremblay.
Kings Sports (Pembroke) Inc. Bursary - Carolyn Ward; Silver Threads Seniors Club of Petawawa Bursary - Hannah Schruder-Tate; Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517, Petawawa Ladies Auxiliary Bursary - Laura Dennique; Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517, Petawawa Bursary - Nicholas Hunt.
Canadian Nuclear Society - Chalk River Branch for Academic Excellence - Nicholas Amirault and Jonathan Phillips; Business Community of Petawawa Bursary - Alisha Perrault; KFC Petawawa Bursary - Caitlin Beaumont; Skelhorn Bus Lines Limited Bursary - Cody Sylvestre; Valley Transportation Bursary - Robert Schamehorn; Mulvihill Drug Mart Bursary - Rebecca Langille.
Paramount Kitchens Bursary - Adam James; The Petawawa Horticultural Society Bursary - Nicholas Schruder-Tate; Petawawa River Inn and Suites/Pronto Foodmart Bursary - Holli Croucher; Northern Credit Union Limited Bursary - Jessi Odaisky;
Nick Stillman Memorial Bursary - Colin Dunn; Cut-Rite Family Hairstyling Bursary - Alanna Maher; Deni’s Automotive Repair Bursary - Codie Lance; Moncion Grocers Petawawa Market Bursary - Tannis Parkinson; Petawawa Pizzeria Bursary - Ashley Buske; Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation Bursary - Lauren Gibson; Petawawa Chiefs Bursary - Cody Videto;
Petawawa Toyota Bursary - Elsie Bickel; Yogi’s Sports Bar Bursary - Conor Scott; Wizzard’s Den Bursary - Taylor Hermiston and Elyna Tremblay; Petawawa Troyes Cinema Bursary - Alex Berney; Jimmy Lapointe Pembroke Honda Bursary - Jacob Latham; Jimmy Lapointe Chrysler Bursary - Hailea Sewell.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist