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EDHS recognizes Proficiency Award winners


by Sylene Argent

photos submitted

Last week, Essex District High School’s top students were recognized for the outstanding effort they demonstrated inside the classroom during the 2019-2020 school-year.

  During the annual Academic Awards ceremony, the student in each grade who earned the highest average was presented with the prestigious Proficiency Award.

  The award, for these determined students, was earned during a challenging year, filled with social distancing, mask wearing, cancellation of sports and clubs, and shifting back-and-forth between in-school and online learning.

  Edua Marczinko was the grade 11 award winner for last year. She doubles as one of the Town of Essex’s Youth Council Reps.

  “I was definitely surprised,” she said of when she learned she earned the award. She was not sure what to expect, having to weather the challenges of online learning.

  Marcuinko especially enjoyed the geography and world studies classes last year, as she likes learning about the world. “I would like to travel a lot one day,” she said, adding she hopes to even study in Europe, after she graduates high school.

  This is the second time Marczinko has won the Proficiency Award, as she also earned the honour in her grade nine year.

  Megan Colasanti was recognized as the grade 10 Proficiency Award recipient. She especially enjoyed the math and science classes, with a special interest in chemistry, as she hopes to one day attend the University of Toronto to study medicine or something within the science field.

  Earning the award, she added, has certainly given her a boost in confidence and she hopes to keep the pace to impress universities when she is ready to apply.

  She was pleased with her overall average of 98 percent, and credits her academic outcome to her will to do well in the classroom.

  Colasanti noted switching between online and in-class learning was tough, especially with the longer time frame committed to each class. She prefers in-class studying as it is easier to ask questions of her teachers.  

  “My teachers were really great last year,” she said, adding they seemed to go out of their way to help their students during the online learning.

  Colasanti spends a lot of time studying, asks a lot of questions, and puts school first. She was glad her methods worked to bring her out on top as she said there are many really smart individuals in her grade.

  Having earned a 99 percent average last year, Grace Van Wijngaarden earned the grade nine Proficiency Award. She said there are many teachers in her family, and because she knows how much effort they put into educating their students, she always wanted to show her own teachers the respect they deserve and do her best; everyday.

  “It makes me want to do good for them, because I see all they go through and put up with,” Van Wijngaarden said. “All of my teachers last year were so amazing. They made me want to persevere through all the challenges and excited to go to the classroom to learn about the subject they were teaching.”

  It was a pleasant surprise for her to learn she earned the honour.

  She noted last year was difficult, with having to switch between online and in-school learning. She said what helped her keep on top of her academic game was just making sure she stayed on top of her workload. She found when it came to learning from home, it could be difficult to stay motivated, but she stuck to her self-advice to do her work to the best of her ability.

  “I have always liked school. I love learning,” she admitted, adding she has enjoyed being back in the classroom this year, where she has found it easier to connect with her teachers about questions she may have had about her school work.

  Van Wijngaarden said she has always been a fan of math class. “I don’t know what it is, but I love working with numbers and solving equations.” Though she still has quite a bit of time before she has to fill out post-secondary applications, she can see herself getting into a profession, like engineering, where she could use math on a daily basis.