By Jasmine Franklin
“Failure it not an option,” principal Ian Rawlinson told the audience at Ponoka Composite High School Oct. 23.
Celebration Day proved that statement. With more than $60,000 in awards and scholarships, students piled into the high school gymnasium to receive their recognition of achievement for the 2008/2009 academic year.
“If you stop learning, you stop growing,” said Dr. Del Litke, deputy superintendent of Wolf Creek Public Schools. “Learning does not stop when you get your diploma or degree.”
One student in particular, Kelsey Slater, took the audience by surprise after receiving almost $8,000 in awards and scholarships, including the Governor General’s Award for the highest academic average and a $6,000 Glenrose Resources Scholarship.
“I had to work hard to earn all of this,” Slater said with a smile. “But in the end my hard work paid off.”
Slater is attending at the University of Alberta taking general science and plans to transfer into pharmacy in two years.
“No matter how low you feel always push through because in the end, it’s rewarding,” she said. “It’s not about what other people think about you, it’s about what’s good for yourself.”
Other big winners include Grade 11 Kai Thompson for the PCHS Award of Excellence; Wolf Creek Public Schools scholarships to Brittney Matejka, Anika Siewecke, Syndi Seibel, Katlynn Skeels and Kati-ann Kirchner, who was also awarded the Local Teachers award along with Melissa Raugust. The Chamber of Commerce Award went to Anika Siewecke and a $1,000 Community Savings Scholarship to Nicole Muyser. Nola Curran was the winner of a $1,000 Katelynn Cook Inspiration Award and Brittney Matejka also won the Government of Alberta High School Citizenship Award.