This year’s St. Augustine School Premier’s Citizenship Award goes to Emma Wittal, who was presented with a certificate from Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr during the school’s fall awards ceremony on Oct. 20. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Hard work recognized at Ponoka’s St. Augustine school awards

Students were recognized not only for academic achievement but also for their involvement

The hard work of St. Augustine School students was in the forefront this week.

The school held its annual awards ceremony Oct. 20, which recognized not only academic achievement but also involvement in sports, the community as well as in CTS learning. For principal Kevin Prediger it’s a celebration of diversity, not only of the students but of the awards and sponsorship support that comes to the school.

“In the heart of rural Alberta, this is inclusive education,” he said.

He enjoys seeing many post secondary kids return to the school for the ceremony, which he feels shows a real sign of gratitude among students. For some of the older kids, the awards also mean some financial support for post-secondary education, plus a bit of a confidence boost.

“I keep telling the kids that’s not the most precious component of an award. It’s that recognition that they get,” he explained.

“I just love that we recognize the skills of everyone.”

Among some of the awards are for kids who showed the most improvement in the last school year, which Prediger feels is an important thing to recognize. He made a point to shake the hands of those students.

“We’re just happy to contribute to this community,” said Prediger.

He’s proud that in Alberta kids have choice in education.

Speaking to that choice was Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr who praised students for choosing to work hard and for doing their best while in secondary education learning.

He is also proud of the fact that Albertans have choice in education and he wants to preserve that focus. “There are some who would seek to diminish choice. There are some who would seek to amalgamate public education.”

“I don’t think that would be helpful or beneficial to either of the school systems,” said Orr, adding that families having a choice is an important part of living in Alberta.

Helping celebrate students’ achievements was Laurie Kardynal, assistant superintendent of STAR Catholic. She took time to acknowledge teachers, administrators, parents and families for supporting students. She also praised the students themselves for their hard work

“Be it academic, vocational, in the area of sports or arts, whatever it may be, these students have worked hard to accomplish what they have,” said Kardynal.

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