Mackenzie's Class of 2012 taking on new world 0
SEAN CHASE Mackenzie Community School principal Terry Hughes congratulates valedictorian Chloe Fleury (right) and Governor General's Award recipient Daria Turner during commencement ceremonies Thursday in Deep River.
DEEP RIVER - Mackenzie Community School's Class of 2012 headed out into a big, uncertain world Thursday taking their first steps as the leaders of tomorrow.
In front of proud family and friends inside the Childs Auditorium, 87 graduates wore wide, beaming smiles as they received their high school diplomas.
In his opening remarks, Principal Terry Hughes congratulated the students for patiently putting up with disruptive classmates, boring lessons and over 2,500 early morning alarm clocks. He noted the expectations required for an Ontario Secondary School diploma might be viewed as overwhelming but they should be proud that they have done it and overcome all obstacles to hold that graduation scroll.
"Tonight you will receive that diploma that you worked so hard for. You can now count yourself among the worlds most educated people. Your future awaits. Your next journey is about to begin," said Mr. Hughes. "I sincerely do hope you do change the world for the better. This is my fervent hope. I promise you that everything I do here at Mackenzie Community School is directed towards ensuring that you will make this world a better place when you leave here. I know you can do it. Please don’t let the obstacles stand in your way."
Addressing the packed auditorium, valedictorian Chloe Fleury, who also received the Lieutenant Governor Community Volunteer Award, opened by saying today is a day they celebrate the end of a high school journey which began in the fall of 2008.
"Over the last four years each of us have learned some very important life lessons, along with what little we've hopefully retained from our exams," she remarked. "We have grown together and apart; we've laughed, played, cried, caused havoc on Deep River, and given the adults in our lives those few gray hairs they were missing."
She reflected on their infamous grade nine trip to Camp Lau-ren and their first pep rallies, football games and school formals. Ms. Fleury noted that they made their mark on the world with a humanitarian trip to El Salvador, while at home they staged a production of "The Wizard of Oz" for the community. She recounted how many of the graduating class expanded their minds with a trip to Paris. Through it all they've had mentors to guide them, the graduate added.
"Each of us have been touched by different leaders through our high school career and our experiences have shaped who we are and who we wish to become," Ms. Fleury said. "It is our job to go out into the world and, as cliche as it sounds, be the change we want to see in the world. We are the new leaders, the inspirers, the dreamers, and the changers."
She remarked that their final year has gone by so quickly that it seems like a blur. As a school community they have worked hard and they have played hard, the valedictorian added. She then thanked the teachers, staff and parents for navigating them through their young lives and teaching them to embrace their mistakes and learn from them.
"High school has been such a blast - it's surreal to think that it's coming to a close. In the next few years as we continue to explore and create our own lives we must remember to keep dreaming big," concluded Ms. Fleury. "This is our time to go out into the world and have our own beginnings, to travel places we never thought we'd end up. Live your dreams because we don't know how long we'll have to pursue them, and know that your biggest screw-ups often end up being the best stories in the end."
The Renfrew County Medallion, given to Grade 12 students with six level four credits, were awarded to Stephanie Birney, Meghan Burton, Hannah Bushby, Melissa Cox, Eric Donders, Alex Ells, Vytas Fidleris, Chloe Fleury, Megan Hamilton, Janou Horne, Vasudha Kannan, Megan Kelly, Chantal Lussier, Cole Merrill, Shawn Sullivan, Daria Turner, Trett Veley, Alex Whitlock and Sezen Yetisir.
Dillon Chasse received the Renfrew County Technical Medallion, awarded to the student with the highest average in five senior technical credits. The Technical Certificate, awarded to graduating students who have accumulated at least four senior technological studies credits with a mark of 70 per cent or higher, was given to Dillon Chasse, Tyler Pace and Shawn Sullivan.
The Renfrew County French Achievement, awarded to students who accumulate at least four credits in Core French, was presented to Jessie Barkley, Hannah Bushby, Melissa Cox, Ewan Craig, Gwen Griffiths, Janou Horne, Vasudha Kanan, Laura Moore, Daria Turner, Johnathan Watts and Stephanie Wilkin. The Governor General’s Academic Medal, which recognizes students who have achieved the highest academic average, was given to Darian Turner. Kristen MacLean received the Ontario Principal's Council Award.
Winning the subject awards, for those graduates with the highest mark in each subject area, were: Ashley Ryan and Gwen Griffiths (Biology), Eric Donders and Jenny Malott (Chemistry), Eric Donders (Computer Science), Daria Turner (Drama), Annie Lam, Kyle MacKinnon and Ashley Ryan (English), Janou Horne (French), Melissa Cox and Johnathan Watts (Law), Sarah Beemer, Eric Donders, Gwen Griffiths, Annie Lam and Trett Veley (Math), Zackery Lampman (Media Arts), Stephanie Birney (Photography), Gwen Griffiths (Physics), Ewan Craig and Daria Turner (Social Sciences), Dillon Chasse (Transportation Technology, Construction).
Ontario Scholar certificates, awarded to a graduating student who has obtained an aggregate of at least 480 marks in any combination of six courses, were presented to Jessie Barkley, Sarah Beemer, Stephanie Birney, Christian Desautels, Ewan Craig, Hannah Bushby, Meghan Burton, Dillon Chassé, Melissa Cox, Eric Donders, Alexander Ells, Graham Felix, Vytas Fidleris, Chloe Fleury, Natalie Goyette, Gwen Griffiths, Megan Hamilton, Janou Horne, Annie Lam, Vasudha Kannan, Christine Howat, Hillary Landrigan, Alex Legere, Kristen MacLean, Jennifer Malott, Cole Merrill, Laura Moore, Tyler Pace, Eric Ruhnke, Daria Turner, Trett Veley, Johnathan Watts, Alex Whitlock, Stephanie Wilkin, Callie Wilson and Sezen Yetisir.
Recipients of awards, bursaries and scholarships from Mackenzie were: Algonquin Forestry Authority - Cole Merrill; Artisans' Cooperative Scholarship - Jessie Barkley; Canadian Nuclear Society - Chalk River Branch Award for Academic Excellence - Eric Donders and Gwen Griffiths; Chalk River and Area Lions Club - Samantha Brazeau and Christine Howat.
Champlain Dog Club Education Bursary - Cole Merrill; Chemical Institute of Canada Deep River Section - Eric Donders; Colin Hood OFSAA School Sport Award - Hannah Bushby and Ewan Craig; County of Renfrew Expo 150 Bursary - Gwen Griffiths; Deep River Community Association Award - Janou Horne and Rowan Thornborrow; Deep River and District Chamber of Commerce Award - Meghan Burton and Hillary Landrigan; Deep River and District Hospital Auxiliary Award - Christine Howat.
Deep River Players Theatrical Arts Bursary - Sam Sullivan and Daria Turner; Kinsmen Award - Chloe Fleury; Knights of Columbus Awards Branch 5649 - Marie Gayda and Cole Merrill; Lemire Family Love of Learning Award - Ashley Ryan; Mackenzie High School Reunion Award - Meghan Burton and Ewan Craig; Northern Credit Union Bursary - Ewan Craig.
Ontario Power Generation Award - Meghan Burton and Hannah Bushby; OSSTF District 28 Bursary - Meghan Burton; Rotary Club of North Renfrew Award - Vasudha Kannan; Royal Canadian Legion Awards - Deep River Branch - Ewan Craig, Hillary Landrigan, Dillon Chasse, Marie Gayda and Cole Merrill; Student Success Pathways Scholarship - Shawn Sullivan; Valley Transportation Award - Samantha Brazeau; World Awareness Award - Daria Turner; Chi Hui Seo Memorial Scholarship - Melissa Cox; Danusia Oczko Memorial Scholarship - Laura Moore; duManoir Memorial Scholarship - Brittany Lance.
Elizabeth Hegney Memorial Scholarship - Sarah Beemer; Elliott Memorial Award - Gwen Griffiths; Jouce and Jim Howard Memorial Scholarship - Kristen MacLean; Lounsbury Memorial Scholarship - Daria Turner; Margaret McWilliam Memorial Scholarship - Meghan Burton; Oona R. Shields Memorial Scholarship - Janou Horne; Paddy Chapman Memorial Scholarship - Jessie Barkley; Rachel Irene Merredew Memorial Scholarship - Sarah Beemer; Rena Purdy Memorial Scholarship - Eric Ruhnke; Renee Allison Kiteley Memorial Scholarship - Dillon Chasse. The Mackenzie Staff Award - Eric Donders and Gwen Griffith.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist