Students and parents celebrated hard work over the year during Ponoka Secondary Campus’ awards banquet Wednesday, Nov. 4.
The event is a way to recognize the dedication of students, said vice-principal Ron Rarick. “What I’m most proud of is the number of students and the quality of students that we pick from.”
There were numerous Grade 10 to 12 honours and special awards offering either cash prizes or scholarships to recipients. “Every year seems we get really good kids that are selected for the awards,” Rarick added.
Several years ago, the school changed the format from a formal event to the banquet to include parents in the night.
“It just becomes more of a family, social kind of affair,” said Rarick.
Seeing the large number of honours students and awards presented, it gives some confirmation to Rarick that educators are working with students to meet their needs. For the Grade 8 and 9 honours breakfast on the same day, he said there were close to 100 students up for an award of some kind.
He was reluctant to single one student out at the night, choosing more to focus on the student population as a whole for dedication to their high school education. He said there are some schools that have gone away from awards nights but suggests there is strong community support for students in Ponoka.
One student, Virginia Harvey, earned close to $7,000 in cash prizes and tuition support. “It doesn’t take long to use that money up,” said Rarick.
He suggested the cost for books alone can make a post-secondary education rather costly. Despite those costs, Rarick is proud of their hard work. “They’re being successful and it’s great that they pop into the school … the awards definitely help them out.”
He added that he is pleased it is a social event that celebrates the school and students.