(L-R) Kiara Johnson, Daniel Ten Haaf and Lyrra Matira pose with Pam Hoffman after receiving their Archbishop Richard Smith award for the top Grade 11 overall average and at least giving 20 hours of service to the community.

Ponoka’s St. Augustine students distinguish themselves with awards

Catholic school students recognized for achievements from last school year

Recognizing student achievement is an important part of proving that success can be measured in a variety of fashions.

St. Augustine School handed out more than two dozen awards, scholarships and bursaries at its annual award ceremony on Oct. 21, featuring academic, athletic and community involvement awards for junior and senior students from the last school year.

Two graduates stood out from among the more than 100 award winners — Angela Nepomuceno and Lauren Wine.

Both demonstrated that hard work, determination and strength of character are what keeps them going.

For Nepomuceno, she wasn’t quite certain what career she should follow, but remained motivated to do her best in class.

“I definitely feel blessed with these awards and that definitely helped with the motivation to continue going forward toward my goal,” Nepomuceno explained, who is in pre-dentistry at Red Deer College.

“I was unsure of what I wanted to do and, following my parents’ suggestion, I felt dentistry felt like the best match. I also hope to provide people who need it, especially those in the Philippines.”

Nepomuceno’s accomplishments include the prestigious Governor General’s Medal plus the St. Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic School division award, Pope John Paul II Academic Excellence award, Jimmy Rawji Senior High Science Award, Rowland Parker & Associates Math 30 award and the Bob Ronnie Catering Physics award.

“I think a lot of it is motivation and community,” said Wine of her awards. She is going to MacEwan University to be a psychiatric nurse.

“Health has always been important to me as has giving back to my community.”

It is that focus on a health-related career and commitment to community that earned Wine the Ponoka Fire Brigade Society Award, Ponoka Hospital Auxiliary award, Rotary Scholarship and the Knight’s of Columbus Student of the Year.

STAR Superintendent Dr. Troy Davies was also on hand to provide a few words of encouragement and to speak about the determination needed to succeed.

“Commitment requires hard work, determination, sacrifice and I admire that, but always remember that your success is also made possible by the people around you,” he said.

“It’s that support team of teachers, other staff, parents, family and friends that are always there to cheer you on. So, these awards honour you, but they also serve as a tribute to those who surround you.”

Board trustee Dan Svitich added his congratulations and followed up on Davies comment regarding the students’ support structures.

“It’s a pleasure to celebrate the accolades of our students here today, but I also want to extend a sincere thank to the principals, teachers and parents for raising these fine young talents with a giving and caring heart,” he said.

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(L-R) Dominik Kustiak and Lauren Wine respectively receive the junior senior high Knights of Columbus award from Russell Hemingson for their contributions to the school and community.

St. Augustine teacher Erin Fleck gets as much of a surprise out of presenting the Heart award as her daughter Madison was in being recognized for illustrating great citizenship qualities. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Angela Nepomuceno stands with STAR superintendent Dr. Troy Davies after receiving both the STAR Catholic division award for St. Augustine and the Governor General’s award for the school’s highest academic average in Grade 12. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

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