77 graduates make up the St. Thomas Aquinas Class of 2018 and they’re ready for the next journey in their lives.
The evening began with O Canada, prayers and greetings, followed by a variety of awards and medals including the Principal’s Academic Medals, which are awarded to the top averages of the graduates.
Katherine Marcine took gold with an average of 93.83%. Silver was tied as both Amy Warner and Hannah Hulagrocki earned a 93.66% average. Bronze went to Tyler Booth with 91.83%.
As the graduates crossed the stage, they were handed their diplomas and those who received bursaries and scholarships were announced as well, including Gabrielle Boulet who received five.
“There was so much! I’m so shocked and everything was a blur when I was crossing the stage. I’m super grateful. I couldn’t imagine the process in choosing the reward recipients and I’m so happy. So thankful,” she said.
Boulet received the Bishop Norman Gallagher Memorial Scholarship, Knights of Columbus Scholarship, Notre Dame C.W.L., Royal Canadian Legion Manitoba/Now Command District 7, and Royal Canadian Legion Branch Kenora #12 and Poppy Fund. Boulet will attend the University of Saskatchewan and work to achieve a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology.
The Valedictorians of the night were Matthew Favreau and Shelby Leroux, who were voted in by their graduating class.
“It’s really humbling when your peers choose you and think you’re the best at it. Obviously Shelby, too. It’s a privilege to do it with her but it’s also an honour to represent my grade,” Favreau said.
Favreau is an Ontario Scholar, achieving 80% or higher in the top six Grade 12 subjects in all levels, he received a total of six bursaries and scholarships and he says it was because of some help.
“I want to thank so many people, but it’s hard to put specific names. Everyone you know, friends, family and teachers, they all contribute so much to us getting here today. Everyone has worked hard to get me where I am,” he added.
He also wanted to relay a special message to his fellow graduates.
“Everyone always says that high school is the time of your life. Savour the moment and remember the memories you have made here because they define who they are. I hope that every graduate takes the memories of each other with them forever,” he said.
Favreau will be going to the University of Ottawa to pursue a degree in music and would like to become a teacher afterwards.
Michelle Sawa was announced principal of T.A in August of 2016 and this is her second year handing out diplomas to her graduates.
“I wish the class of 2018 all the best. We’re very proud of all of the students at St. Thomas Aquinas, but especially our graduates. Tonight couldn’t have gone any better. I’m proud of everyone – the team that pulled this together as well as all of the students,” she said.
Phyllis Eikre is the Director of Education for the Kenora Catholic District School Board and she has recently announced that after 37 years in education, she will be retiring.
“It’s the last time I will stand on the stage of St. Thomas Aquinas for a graduation and next year I’ll be able to sit in the audience. It’s bittersweet. I spent a lot of year here and this is one of my favourite places on earth, so I’m really going to miss it," she said.
Congratulations to all of the graduates!
St. Thomas Aquinas High School Graduation Information