Annual Awards Presented at Wakaw School

As the school year winds to a close, the teachers, staff, and students at Wakaw School took an evening to acknowledge the academic and sports achievements of the student body. Parents and community members were invited to attend the annual Awards Night on June 5th. The ceremony began with two special recognitions. Mr. Morris Nemish was honoured for his many years of teaching and coaching at Wakaw School with an induction to the Wakaw School Wall of Fame. Mr. Nemish continues his involvement with Wakaw School as a substitute teacher and is considered a valuable part of the Wakaw School family.

The Governor General’s Bronze Medal is presented to the previous year’s grade 12 graduate with the highest average using their final marks following the specific criteria outlined by the Government of Canada, which averages all of the student’s grade 11 and 12-course marks. Mr. Dickson presented the 2023 Governor General’s Bronze Medal to Emma Peacock.

In March, Greta Kozak, a graduating student, was awarded a $24,000 scholarship from the University of Saskatchewan. The “Circle of Honour Entrance Scholarship,” will support Greta in enrolling in the Biomedical Science program at the U of S. The University of Saskatchewan reserves two Entrance Scholarships to be preferentially awarded as Circle of Honour awards. To be eligible for the scholarship, recipients must plan to enter university directly from high school and have a minimum high school average of 95 percent. Selection is based on the applicants’ leadership and contributions to their school and community.

In the 2021-22 academic year, the College of Arts and Science, in collaboration with the College of Medicine, introduced a new collaborative degree, the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences (BSc (BMSC)). Biomedical science is a vital field of knowledge and discovery that drives advancements in patient care. It provides a solid foundation, including essential courses for students aspiring to pursue graduate studies in biomedical sciences or health-related professional schools such as Nursing, Physical Therapy, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nutrition.

At the June 5 Awards Night, Greta was announced as the 2024 Valedictorian. The selection process for the valedictorian begins with the principal compiling a list of three to five potential candidates. Consideration is given to students’ academic standing which must be of Honour Roll status, and their leadership, cooperation, and participation in school activities. The list of candidates is presented to the grade 12 students for a vote. The candidate with the majority of votes is selected as the valedictorian.

A new award, the Cenaiko Foundation Character and Leadership Award, was presented this year. The award is given to a student enrolled in either Grade 11 or 12 who demonstrates high levels of character and leadership within the school and community. Leadership is defined as inspiring peers through actions, creating a collaborative environment, and maintaining a positive attitude. Character is shown through demonstrating perseverance, respect, integrity, and honesty. A person of character will do the right thing even when no one is watching. Ava Mourot was the inaugural recipient of this award.

The nature of the grading system for elementary students does not support Honour Roll awards. Instead, Kindergarten through grade five students receive recognition for the most improved reading skills, the most significant growth toward reader readiness for kindergartners, and the best attendance. The recipients were: Kindergarten Aria Kochan and Ella Goudet; Grade 1 Skylar Sawitsky and Brexton Liddicoat; Grade 2 Natalie Carrier and Malcolm Johnston; Grade 3 Paxton Ketcheson and Stella Mbah; Grade 4 Jillian Tarnowski and Hunter Carrier; and Grade 5 David Nguyen and Skylar Balone.

The Scholastic awards for grades six through twelve students include the Honor Roll, Best Attendance, and Most Improved. For the Honor Roll recipients, the student with the highest overall average is awarded a gold medal, the second-highest receives a silver medal, and the third-highest receives a bronze medal. The award for best attendance is self-explanatory but most-improved recognizes the greatest growth during the current school year. Growth is measured primarily through academic grades but also considers their work ethic, character, and efforts. The recipients were: Grade 6 Gold (G) Caliope Danku, Silver (S) Parker Hrapchak, Bronze (B) Cameron Larson, Most Improved (MI) Kianna Skiftun, Best Attendance (B-At) Katy Hoang; Grade 7 G - Jillian Mourot, S – Theron LeBlanc, B – Anson Huang, MI – Isabella Dupont, B-At Drake Kochan; Grade 8 G – Caeden Allen, S – Carlie Nickeson, B – Paisley Gaudet, MI – Averie Pingert, B-At – Carlie Nickeson; Grade 9 G – Emma LaBrash, S – Allison Frie, B – Olivia Korol, MI – Emily Hilkewich, B-At Sam Ward; Grade 10 G – Alison Huang, S – Anika Elgersma, B – Marti Burechailo, MI – Hunter Rudichuk, B-At – Mark Cholowsky; Grade 11 G – Makenna Elgersma, S – Sara Korol, B – Amaya Montiel McKeand, MI – Autumn Dutka, B-At – Amaya Montiel McKeand; Grade 12 G – Avery Zarysky, S – Greta Kozak, B – Ava Mourot, MI – Emma Nixon, B-At – Nora Nguyen

Grade 12 Class Award recipients were: Greta Kozak – ELA 30 and Chemistry 30; Avery Zarysky – Math 30, History 30 and Physics 30; Ava Mourot - Biology 30; Noah Skoworodko – PE 30.

The annual Awards Night also features presentations for sports activities including male and female Athlete of the Year at the junior and senior level who excel in multiple sports. The Athlete of the Year is an athlete who shows dedication, leadership, commitment and focus in at least two school sports, with preference given to those who hold school sports in precedence over non-school activities and is decided by the Wakaw School coaches. 2023-24 Senior Athletes of the Year are Noah Skoworodko and Greta Kozak and Junior Athletes of the Year are Micah Green and Makenna Hackl.

Individual sports awards were presented to: Trigg Romanchuk MVP, Kianna Skiftun MIP, Payton Kochan Sportsmanship/Hustle/Desire (SHD) in Grade 5/6 football; Eric Hoffman MVP, Reid Sander MIP, Manny Burechailo SHD in Grade 7/8 football; Micah Green Jr. golf; Noah Skoworodko Sr. golf; Jillian Mourot U13 cross country; Micah Green and Makenna Hackl Jr. cross country; Marti Burechailo Sr. cross country; Micah Green MVP, Brodie Hrapchak MIP, Will Standish SHD in Jr A boys volleyball; Olivia Korol MVP, Makenna Hackl MIP, Allison Frie SHD in Jr A girls volleyball; Paisley Gaudet MVP, Savannah Sawitsky MIP, Kinsley Hackl SHD in Jr B girls volleyball; Halle Gaudry MVP, Ava Mourot MIP, Greta Kozak SHD in Sr girls volleyball; Kate Mourot MVP, Alison Huang MIP, Madilyn Brophy SHD in JV girls volleyball; Micah Green MVP, Riley Hessdorfer MIP, Caeden Allen SHD in Jr boys basketball; Lee Niles MVP, Dayton Jackson MIP, Lucas Roy SHD in Sr boys basketball; Marti Burechailo MVP, Emma LaBrash MIP, Anika Elgersma SHD in Sr girls basketball; Sam Ward and Zoe Sander top male and female in Jr badminton; Noah Skoworodko and Greta Kozak top male and female in Sr badminton; Micah Green and Makenna Hackl top male and female in Jr track & field; Noah Skoworodko and Marti Burechailo top male and female in Sr track & field.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder