Media Release: Celebrating Student Success with the Grade 8 Award of Excellence

On the evening of May 18th, 23 Grade 8 students with Lakehead Public Schools were awarded the Grade 8 Award of Excellence at a banquet-style event hosted by the Board. One Grade 8 student from each school accepted their award in front of family, Grade 8 teachers, and school administrators.

The evening was led by Lakehead District School Board Student Trustee Mehar Mago and Indigenous Student Trustee Alexa Sagutcheway and welcomed several dignitaries to the podium, including MPP Lise Vaugeois, MPP Kevin Holland, Acting Mayor Andrew Foulds, Chair of Lakehead District School Board Ellen Chambers, Chair of Lakehead Public Schools Foundation Jordan Lester, and Director of Education Sherri-Lynne Pharand. Principal of École Gron Morgan Public School Erin Aylward and Lakehead Elementary Teachers of Ontario First Vice-President Sarah Lane had the honour of presenting the awards.

Sophia Marcon, winner of the Grade 8 Award of Excellence for Nor’wester View Public School, said it takes a lot of hard work to win this award.

“I volunteer by refereeing soccer and I also fundraise for the Polar Plunge. I help out a lot around the community and in school and I’m really dedicated to helping others and everyone around me,” said Sophia Marcon.

The Grade 8 Award of Excellence recognizes individuals who have achieved high standards of academic excellence as well as demonstrated leadership within the school and community.  Through their daily actions within their school and community, the students truly personify the Lakehead Public Schools values of: Inclusion, Respect, Integrity, Empathy, and Responsibility.

Director of Education Sherri-Lynne Pharand said the Grade 8 Award of Excellence has been celebrated annually for decades.

“We feel it is really important to recognize excellence in our students. We know that when they go to high school most of these students will be the student leaders in the schools and many of our Grade 8 Award of Excellence winners go on to be the next leaders in our communities and other communities so we’re thrilled to be able to recognize their hard work,” said Pharand.

The Grade 8 Award of Excellence is presented by the Lakehead Public Schools Foundation in partnership with Lakehead Elementary Teachers of Ontario, Ontario Principals’ Council, and Lakehead Public Schools.

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2023 Grade 8 Award of Excellence:

Klara van Duyn, Crestview Public School

Alexa Paternoster, Ecole Elsie MacGill Public School

Carson Ambury, Kakabeka Falls Public School

Kayla Feletto, Kingsway Park Public School

Sybella Rytkonen, Lakehead Virtual Elementary School

Emma MacLean, McKellar Park Central Public School

Sophia Marcon, Nor’wester View Public School

Graysonn de Franceschi, Ogden Community School

Danis Suganaqueb, Sherbrooke Public School

Noey Sameshima, Valley Central Public School

Dara Onireti, Westmount Public School

Daphne Vanlenthe, Whitefish Valley Public School

Kobain Morgan, Algonquin Avenue Public School

Michelle Gauvin, Armstrong Public School

Olivia Ponka, C.D. Howe Public School

Sophia Parks, Claude E. Garton Public School

Khushi Shrestha, Ecole Gron Morgan Public School

Dominic Lombardo, Five Mile Public School

Talan Douglas, Gorham & Ware Community School

Ava Wintermute, McKenzie Public School

Sage Ruby, St. James Public School

Lilly Modin, Vance Chapman Public School

Kendall Levesque, Woodcrest Public School