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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Holy Name Hawks graduates ready to for high school

by Sylene Argent

After writing their final exams and handing in year-end projects, the grade eight students at Holy Name Catholic Elementary School were excited to gather as a class for their graduation ceremony, on Wednesday evening.

  During the event, students received their diplomas, reflected on the years spent as a Hawk, said goodbye to friends who will part ways going into high school, and thanked teachers for their years of guidance.

  The graduating class at Holy Name of Jesus, Teacher Mr. Bensette said, were excited to be able to receive their diplomas in-person this year. He described the year as a “whirlwind,” with teachers and students having to adjust to different COVID protocols, but everyone was excited to end the year on a great note.  

  Grade eight teachers, Mr. Bensette and Ms. Martin, wished their students well as they prepared for high school.

  As the graduates move forward into their secondary school education, they will always be able to pull on the lessons learned inside their elementary school. During the ceremony, the grads were urged to stand and look behind them, where their parents, guardians, and siblings sat. Those individuals, they were told, are the ones who have loved and supported them to date, and will continue to do so as they move forward to tackle the challenge of earning a high school diploma, grow as individuals, and put themselves on a career path.

  When Valedictorian, Ava Altenhof, learned she would be able to speak on behalf of her classmates, she was excited to create the opportunity to remind her classmates of how far they have come, since they first walked into the front doors of the school at four-years-of age.

  She spoke of challenges the students rose above in the past, like EQAO testing in the third grade. She hoped her valedictorian address would inspire her peers, send them off onto high school on a good note, and remind them of their capabilities, their work ethic, and problem-solving skills.

  Over the years as a Hawk, the students faced challenges and made many memories. One of those memories that will stick with her well into the future was when the entire school put on a Winter Olympics event.

  To Altenhof, graduation means there is plenty of change and opportunity on the horizon. Every one of her peers is on a different journey, but they all took their first steps on their path into the future together in their kindergarten class.

  “There is so much to look forward to in future years,” she said. “Good luck on all your endeavours. We made it.”

  During the ceremony, many of the students were presented with awards of distinction, including:

• French Award: Kole Griful

• Language Award: Grace Ondracka and Scotlynn McCormick

• Mathematics Award: Jimmy Hayes and Carter Kelly

• Science Award: Kevin Hubert

• History Award: Lyndon Souchuk

• Geography Award: Cadence Aris

• The Arts Award: Alexa Cziraky

• Religion and Family Life: Sydney DiRisio and Ethan O’Neil

• Health and Physical Education: Brendan Ledoux

• General Proficiency: Krystina Hunter and Carter Kelly

• Athlete of the Year: Jimmy Hayes and Isabella Gerard

• CSAC Hawk Pride School Involvement Award: Alexandrea Huntley

·       Spirit of Optimism: Tobey Trepanier

• Christian Fellowship Award: Lindsey Schmidt and Nathan Hanrahan

• Carl Bodnar Memorial Award: Jayden Grein

• Leslie Jackson Memorial Award: Ehren Gelinas

• David C. Nagy Leadership Award: Connor Ferguson and Isabella Gerard  


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