High school is a stepping-stone for many youths as they work their way towards a career; some take those in leaps and bounds.
There was one student who stood out during Ponoka Secondary Campus’ (PSC) fall awards ceremony last week: Presley Waknuk received eight awards including Grade 12 honours, the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship and Glencoe Resources Scholarship, valued at $6,000.
Waknuk will receive $1,500 a year for four years for her high academic average in English and four other diploma courses. She also received the Governor General’s Award for achieving the highest academic average — Waknuk was PSC’s valedictorian of the last academic year.
She was a competitive swimmer with the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club and was busy practicing nine times a week and managing schoolwork.
“It makes you prioritize. You have to have time management,” said Waknuk.
Now that she has entered a Bachelor of Science program at the University of Alberta, the scholarships received will help pay for her education. “I’m also thinking about nutrition,” she said in reference to her options as to what she could end up specializing in.
Her secret to strong results: “You have to put in what you want to get out of it.”
For students who want to excel in their education, Waknuk advised they make school work a priority. The discipline she received as a swimmer appears to be helping in her post-secondary education; Waknuk spends many hours every day studying so she can advance her education.
Doug Geeraert, executive vice-president of Glencoe Resources, was impressed with Waknuk’s resume and congratulated her for “her outstanding academic achievement.”
“In addition to that her resume speaks to how much hard work and persistence really feeds it and eventually becomes a success,” he added.
Academic achievement is just one part of creating a strong resume and Waknuk’s dedication to swimming helped mould her persistence, explained Geeraert.
“The sport of swimming teaches something about setting goals,” he said.
Those goals help a person’s drive to do better even if they do not make those initial plans. “She needs to keep that with her when she’s in her university years.”
Geeraert feels Waknuk will have some challenges in university but the discipline of swimming will help her in those trials. “She will succeed.”