Kailey Russell, Brooke Winkels, Jacklyn Smith & Megan Rohfritsch, North Park Collegiate - Vocational School
Kailey, Brooke, Jacklyn, and Megan were members of the senior girl’s 4x50 medley relay swim team, which, last month, won gold at the OFSAA Swim Championships in Windsor. Through teamwork, cooperation and dedication to their sport, this team of young women has excelled in the pool, bringing further accomplishment to North Park Collegiate - Vocational School’s swim program, and pride throughout Grand Erie. The youngest team member, Jacklyn Smith, also won gold in the junior girl’s 100 individual medley in the next day of competition. Their perseverance and positive spirits are an example both at the pool and in the community.
Kiara Barrow, Delhi Public School
Since the age of six, Kiara Barrow has been stirring audiences throughout Norfolk County with her renditions of musical theatre and classical pieces. The Norfolk Musical Arts Festival has been a main stage for the young singer, where she’s earned scholarships including the Emily Hillyer Memorial Scholarship. Her talent is becoming widely recognized, with festival adjudicators encouraging Kiara to pursue her craft through competition at the provincial level, which is next on her list. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the arts is an inspiration, and she’s only just getting started.
Arabella Alton, Valley Heights Secondary School
This past summer, Arabella achieved a first-place finish in high jump at the Eastern Canadian Championships in Moncton, N.B., in a field of competitors from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces. The sport has taught her much about goal setting and perseverance, as she achieved a new personal best of 1.74 meters, beating her third-place finish at OFSAA the previous spring, her first medal at the provincial level. Aside from being a tremendous athlete, Arabella is a stand-out student, applying the same dedication and hard work to everything she pursues.
Doug Archer, Mt. Pleasant School
With a speech titled, “How Can We Improve the Media’s Perception of Canadian Agriculture,” Doug Archer took the top spot at the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition last fall. The national competition brings passionate, charismatic young people to the Royal Winter Fair to speak for five-to-seven minutes on a topic important to the agricultural sector. The art of persuasion and the confidence to speak in front of a crowd clearly runs in the family: Doug’s brother Maxwell, a student at Brantford Collegiate Institute, placed second. As last year’s winner, Doug will emcee this year’s competition, where he’ll be a role model for other young people.
Aidan Gavey, McKinnon Park Secondary School
As a competitive golfer, Aidan trains year-round for the short summer tournament season, and his passion and dedication have paid off. In June last year, Aidan won the CJGA Georgian College Junior Series in Barrie, a win which qualified him to represent Canada at the US Kids Golf Teen World Championship in South Carolina. He then competed in the Golf Canada Junior Boys Canadian Championship, qualifying at the regional and provincial levels to play. His greatest success came with a win at the American Junior Golf Association Junior Championship in August. Aidan’s integrity, sense of humility and responsibility are sure to carry him into future pursuits as he graduates this year.
Zach Thomas, Paris District High School
Last summer, Zach Thomas’ talent in the sport of rugby took him places few other Ontario players have been. Zach was one of just four Ontario athletes qualifying for the Canadian Rugby League Association’s Under-17 team, a feat achieved through a commitment to excellence he consistently demonstrates. Being selected for the Under-17 team gave Zach exposure to international competition, travelling to Jamaica where the Canadians defeated the Jamaican national team, adjusting to new sets of rules and a level of play they’d never experienced before. Beyond athleticism, rugby has been an outlet for Zach’s sense of responsibility, perseverance, and integrity.
Weibin (Benny) Liu, Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School
Weibin (Benny) Liu immigrated to Canada three years ago, and spoke very little English at the time – an experience that was lonely and isolating. It also gave him a unique understanding of the experiences and struggles of others. He joined the YMCA Youth Fusion, and soon made it his mission to help other newcomer youth while he continued to learn himself. His aim was to improve experiences for new Canadians to the area, building understanding and awareness to prevent feelings of isolation and instances of bullying. Last fall, Benny received the well-deserved honour of a nomination for the YMCA Peace Medal for his community-building work. He is a role model of compassion, cooperation, and inclusiveness.
Ryan McCulligh, Waterford Public School
Ryan McCulligh is one of the younger members of the Delhi Pop n’ Jay Men’s Archery team; in fact, most of his teammates are adults while he is in Grade 7. But it was Ryan’s skill that led the team to victory last spring at the national championship, bringing home the top trophy for their merit. This was no small feat, and is a testament to the maturity, perseverance, and cooperation Ryan exhibits. Archery is its own lesson in physics, coordination, and precision, and Ryan is right on the mark.
Olivia Soden, James Hillier School
Olivia ran in the Classic Run on April 24, 2016 and raised over $2100 with her family. Last year, when Olivia was in grade one, she represented her school well when participating in this run by showing cooperation, humility, inclusiveness and responsibility. Olivia’s brother benefits from the Rotary resources and Olivia and her family wanted to show their appreciation for the organization by fundraising for the Classic Run.
Daunte Henriques, Delhi District Secondary School
Daunte, a grade ten student, did exceedingly well in the school track and field season. At OFSSA, he took the silver medal in the 200m race and the bronze in the 100m race. At the Legion’s National Championships this summer, Daunte took the silver in the midget 200m and gold in the midget 300m. He demonstrated perseverance and responsibility and has shown true Raider spirit in his sport.
William Lander, Paris District High School
William, when in grade eight at North Ward, won multiple awards in national and international level mathematics and computing competitions through the University of Waterloo. He received gold medals between 2015 and 2016 in the Grade 9 Beaver Computing, Canadian Intermediate, Mathematics Contest, Canada Computing Competition, Pascal Contest, Fryer Contest and the Gauss Contest. He also competed in the Google Code Jam Computing Contest and is the recipient of the science and mathematics award at the grade 8 graduation ceremonies.
Rylan Marr, Dunnville Secondary School
Rylan finished first at the Ontario Power Lifting Association’s provincial championships last year. He took the first place title for his squat, deadlift and total records. Rylan has been powerlifting for the past three years, his inspiration in the sport stemming from his older brother Kyle Marr. While at the provincial championship last year, Rylan also surpassed the national deadlift record. Rylan is attending Niagara College in the Border Security Program this year. Rylan was presented his certificate by last June with his coach
Near the end of her grade 10 school year, Darienne submitted a poem she wrote to the James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award competition. It was based on a fictional character, depicting Six Nations’ traditions and culture as seen from a female’s perspective, through the stories told to her by her grandfather. In September, 2015, she was chosen as the first place prize winner. She was invited to the awards luncheon, which was held in the Lieutenant-Governor’s General Chambers at Queen’s Park, with James Bartleman himself. Darienne was also awarded with $2,500 for first prize.
Mila Gretzky & Simran Grewal, North Park Collegiate-Vocational School
Mila and Simran started playing competitive soccer together in 2010 when they were on the Paris Fc u9 Girls Soccer. Throughout their soccer years, the two became the best players in their own league which granted them 17 tournament championships, league cups and multiple MVPs. They also played for Saltfleet Stoney Creek soccer club. When their elite league season was over, they were undefeated champions, league cup winners and the Ontario Cup Champions, which gave their club a name as the number one team in Ontario. After all of their hard work and dedication the girls had become Ontario Champions.
Ryerson Leenders, Jarvis Public
A year after playing his first game of hockey, Ryerson Leenders has been identified as one of the best AAA goalies in the region. The Jarvis Public School student was honoured to be chosen as the goalie for the 2016 Toronto Bulldogs’ Brick Team that traveled to Edmonton in July. He earned a Star of the Game trophy in his first game, in addition to being invited to the final skills competition and winning the overall shoot-out. His team was headed to Finland and Sweden this past summer to compete in the Europe Cup, but the trip was postponed for one year due to travel rules. Ryerson’s spot on the team is secured and he will be venturing to Europe next summer.
Aaron Barton, Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School
Aaron Barton won the midget boys triple jump event at the OFSAA track and field meet in Windsor on Saturday, June 4, 2016. He qualified by winning at BCSSAA and coming in 2nd place at both the CWOSSA and OFSAA West regional track meets. He improved each week as he progressed through the meets. He jumped 12.87 meters to win the gold at OFSAA. Aaron has been training at PJ since March Break last year and recently has been training with the Brantford Track and Field club since last spring.