Lieutenant Governor's Awards 2015
Twenty-eight CCRSB students recognized for academics and leadership
On Thursday, May 14, 2015, 28 Grade 11 students from across the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal in recognition of their academic performance, leadership and service to their school and community.
Presented by His Honour, Brigadier-General, J. J. Grant, C.M.M., C.D. (Retired) Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, the ceremony was hosted at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche. CCRSB extends its congratulations to all those students who were honoured.
The Lieutenant Governor's Education Medals are awarded annually to one male student and one female student in Grade 11 from every high school. Students are nominated by their school based on academic performance and qualities of leadership and service demonstrated in their school and community.
The 2015 Medal recipients:
Courtney Marlene Benjamin, Advocate District School: Courtney is an academically strong student who maintains an average above 90%. Her mature and helpful manner is clearly evident at Advocate District School. She is the captain of the Girls’ Soccer and Senior Basketball teams and a member of the Badminton, X-Country, Softball and Track teams. Apart from athletics, Courtney is very involved in student life at school. She holds the position of co-editor of the yearbook, an activity she has been involved in since grade 6. She is the grade 11 representative for the Student Council and is on the Safe Graduation Committee. She is the elementary playground student supervisor; a position of responsibility that keeps her busy every recess and lunch period. She is quick to volunteer for just about any student activity held at school. Courtney is a Junior firefighter with the Advocate & District Volunteer Fire Brigade. She is passionately involved with all training and community efforts put on by the Brigade. It is her involvement with this organization and her tremendous work ethic that earned her one of the 14 province-wide spots at Camp Courage in 2013. Camp Courage is a sponsored camp that empowers young women aged 15 to 19 to explore careers in the fields of fire, police, and paramedic training. Courtney is learning to play guitar, enjoys the outdoors, and is an avid hunter.
Brandon William Nuttall, Advocate District School: Brandon is an outstanding member of the school community at Advocate District School. He is well respected by his peers and teachers, and demonstrates a mature, helpful manner during the school day. Academically, Brandon is an excellent student, managing to maintain an Honours with Distinction average while being extensively involved in extra-curricular activities and volunteering in his community. Brandon was nominated and selected to attend the May 2015 St. F.X. Math Camp. He is a member of the Senior Boys’ Basketball, Badminton, Track & Field, and Softball Teams. In Grade 9, he was the recipient of the Junior Boys’ Scholar Athlete Award. Brandon demonstrates his commitment to his community by volunteering as a Junior member of the Advocate & District Volunteer Fire Brigade. He has completed Level I in Fire Fighting, and plans to continue with his training. Brandon also volunteers at school events and community fundraisers.
Ashlyn Elizabeth Brownell, Amherst Regional High: Ashlyn upholds academic excellence in the Integrated French program at Amherst Regional High School, where she is involved with the Student Council, Me to We, and Nova Scotia Secondary Schools’ Association. She is also a member of the Senior Concert Band, Senior Stage Band and Choir. Ashlyn has become involved in her community by volunteering at a local nursing home. She is a member of the competitive Senior Troupe at Perpetual Motion Dance Studio, and participates in local music festivals playing the flute. Globally, Ashlyn has participated in two service trips to Guatemala, serving as a leader of a second team. She was instrumental in encouraging many of her fellow students to partake in this worthy service adventure. She is currently planning a third trip. Last summer, Ashlyn participated in a month-long French course in Paris, France, and she is looking forward to her involvement in the Shad Valley program at the University of Saskatchewan this summer.
Makenzie Stanley-John O'Quinn, Amherst Regional High: During his time at Amherst Regional High School, Makenzie has always been an Honours student and an active member of the school community. He is a member of the school’s music program, a major contributor to the Me to We program and sits on the Regional Cabinet of the Nova Scotia Secondary Schools’ Association. Makenzie has won awards for his work within the school such as his valuable contribution to the Band and Choir, his academic excellence, as well as being nominated for Student of the Year. Within his community, Makenzie devotes an immense amount of time to volunteer work. He is a leader at both a youth group for at-risk teens in the community and a summer camp for kids with chronic illnesses. He has also participated in studies, in collaboration with the IWK, aimed at finding a cure for Crohns Disease. Within his church, Makenzie has been active in delivering Christmas dinners to less fortunate citizens and can be found counselling at summer camp. He also leads services and spearheads his congregation’s Steubenville Atlantic group. Makenzie has graced the theatre stage on many occasions. He has had recurring lead roles in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, as well as being the Principal Male for a dance group that has performed with professional companies and been recognized nationally. Most recently Makenzie starred as Chachi Arcola in Happy Days: A New Musical.
Mary Clarissa MacLean, Cobequid Educational Centre: Mary is an extremely active and outgoing student of Cobequid Educational Centre. In addition to consistently producing academic work of high quality in the French Immersion program, Mary is a successful athlete and a key contributor to both school and community activities. She is a Big Sisters Peer Mentor, and has been chosen as the CEC student representative for the Truro Rotary Club, the Minister of Education forum, and the Student Advisory Council. She is president of the United Way Youth Committee for Colchester County, captain of the CEC Cross-Country team, and key member of the CEC Student Council, the Interact Club and the Anti-Bullying Committee. Somehow Mary also manages to work part-time, volunteer at the hospital, local food bank, and Truro Homeless Outreach Society. The most extraordinary aspect of her involvement in these and many other activities not mentioned is that for each and every one, Mary gives her all. She demonstrates genuine caring, dedication and unwavering commitment to doing her very best at everything she does. She is an extremely positive force in our school and our community who embodies the qualities of quiet leadership and tireless service to others.
Fraser Lloyd Robinson, Cobequid Educational Centre: Fraser has been an academically outstanding and highly involved student at Cobequid Educational Centre. He consistently maintains Honours with Distinction standing in the IB program and ranks at or near the top of his classes. His work ethic, attention to detail and willingness to learn make him a pleasure to teach and have in class. He is highly respected by his peers and looked up to for his willingness to help and share with other students. Fraser is an active member of CEC Student Council, Boys Soccer Team, and member of the Reach for the Top/SCHOOL REACH club team. Outside of school, Fraser has competed in the FIRST Lego League at the national level and coached younger students in the same discipline. Fraser is an avid guitar and strings player and enjoys playing with his church youth group. Fraser mentors younger musicians, passing on what he knows to them. Fraser is the complete package of what a student-athlete-citizen should be. He is humble about his achievements and richly-deserving of any accolades which come his way.
Nicholas Anthony Balzan, Hants East Rural High: Nick is a model student as well as an active participant with the Earth Keepers in his community for the last 3 years. He is an honours with distinction student who also strives to be active in his school and community. He has competed in the University of Waterloo as well as the Pascal, Cayley and Fermat Math competitions. Nick also participates in Track and Field and Ski Club as well as the Science Fair. He attended the World Wide Science Fair in grades 9, 10 and 11. Nick is also a devoted member of the soccer program in his community for the past 12 years, both as a player and as a referee. He has also played winter soccer for the past 4 years and this winter played for the East Hants Under18 team.
MacGillivray Monica Smith, Hants East Rural High: Hants East Rural High is honoured to be represented by MacGillivray as the school’s female recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal. MacGillivray is not only exceptionally strong academically but also incredibly active in her school and community. While she maintains an honours with distinction average she still finds the time to take part in school events such as Jazz and Concert band, softball, Nova Scotia International Student Program Student Ambassador, “Shave for the Brave” organizer, participant in school wide science fair and a Student Council Representative. MacGillivray is also a national competitor in Women’s Air Rifle Target Shooting and represented Nova Scotia in the Canada Games in February. She will also be receiving the Female Athlete of the Year award at the RICOH Sport Awards. MacGillivray has had many volunteer opportunities including Relay for Life, Penguin Run and as well as participating in the Purina walk to raise money for seeing eye dogs.
Brandon Eric MacPhee, Hants North Rural High: Brandon is an academically strong student who is highly respected among his peers and teachers. Brandon consistently seeks out opportunities to participate in academic and cultural endeavors, attending Acadia Huggins Science Seminar, St. FX Math camp, Elder’s Conference on Social Justice, and this year’s March break trip to Europe. Brandon was an enthusiastic participant in the Junior Achievement Company Program and was elected President of Lil Chappy, this year’s business. He has been a valued member of the We Act committee, organizing and participating in a wide variety of local and global initiatives such as We Scare Hunger and We Bake for Change. Brandon has been an active member of ONSTAGE – a theatre group that performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. Outside of school, Brandon volunteers his time at the Gore Fire Department, Rawdon Hills Cemetery clean-ups, and Rawdon Hills Health Centre fundraisers and participates each year in summer soccer.
Megan Vanessa Payne, Hants North Rural High: Megan has maintained Honours with Distinction throughout senior and junior high school while participating in academic opportunities such as Acadia Huggins Science Seminar and St. F.X. Math camp. As part of Junior Achievements’ Company program, Megan held the title of VP Human Resources within Lil Chappy, this year’s business. She is a trained facilitator for the Healthy Relationship for Youth program teaching sessions within the grade 9 health class. For the past two years, Megan has been a leader in the We Act Committee, organizing a monthly breakfast program at Kennetcook District Elementary while participating in global initiatives such as We Are Silent and We Bake for Change. Megan has been a member of the Girls Volleyball team as well as the Kennetcook club volleyball. Outside of school activities, Megan has been a dedicated member of ONSTAGE, a community theatre group that had the distinction of performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. In addition to this commitment, she volunteers as a summer camp counselor and at Kennetcook Days Festival.
Noah Robertson Bush, North Colchester High: Noah consistently ranks at the top of his class academically, receiving Honours with Distinction each year he has spent at North Colchester High School. His interest and involvement in both the school and community are reflective of a student who looks to make a positive contribution and is viewed as an excellent role model among his peers. In school, Noah has 5 years of Student Council service, is a member of the Boys Leadership group, and has helped to develop a mentor program for elementary students. Noah has also been a valuable member of the Reach for the Top Team, Math League as well as the Soccer and Softball teams. Noah is also actively involved in his community serving as the president of his local 4H club, as well as serving as Junior Livestock leader. He is a Minor Hockey official and spends much of his time on weekends at the rink either playing or refereeing. During the summer, Noah spends his spare time competing in horse jumping events and volunteering at the Malagash Bible Camp as a cabin leader.
Sara Janelle Veno, North Colchester High: Sara is an excellent student and is a testament to the fact that hard work pays off. She has been able to maintain her grades while managing a demanding schedule both at home and in the community. She has been involved in a variety of school activities including Reach for the Top and the Student Advisory Council, and recently returned from a school trip to Belize that has fuelled her desire to see the world. Sara is a Student Supervisor at the local Foodland and loves to help people whenever she can, never hesitating to get involved and make a positive contribution. She is an excellent role model for other young girls and is the first to stand up for anyone that struggles with self image. Anyone who knows Sara can vouch for her character and enjoys her wonderful sense of humour.
Emma Briand Curley, North Nova Education Centre: Emma is an exceptional person! In addition to her honors academic standing, Emma is an active tri-athlete, accomplished musician, dancer/choreographer and community leader. She is Co-Chair of Registration for the annual Johnny Miles Marathon in New Glasgow and volunteer/participant in numerous other charity athletic events. Emma is a Junior Counsellor at YMCA youth camps in Pictou County, supervises child safety at the Funtopia indoor playground and is an assistant dance instructor. In her school community, Emma is on the Student Council and active in musical and dramatic arts having received the Ken Roy Memorial Award for Passion and Dedication to the Performing Arts. To exemplify Emma’s time management skills, she also holds down a part-time job.
Kaelan Daniel Patrick Schmidt, North Nova Education Centre: Kaelan is an outstanding student both academically and as a leader. He continues in High School the legacy he set for himself in Middle School with three years designated Athlete of the Year and Highest Average. Kaelan is an accomplished athlete and is the recipient of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation’s Ron O’Flaherty Scholar-Athlete Award. He is a gold, silver and bronze medalist in high jump and triple jump these past two years at the Legion Youth Track and Field meet in Langley, British Columbia. Kaelan is an annual participant at the New Glasgow Music Festival and has received prizes in voice, piano and violin.
James Garfield Lees, Northumberland Regional High: James is an International Baccalaureate Program student who has demonstrated excellence in academics and dedication to the school and community. He has consistently achieved Academic Excellence as a Pre-IB and IB student while actively involved in, and in many instances leading, numerous school clubs and committees. Currently, James is the Editor of the school paper, the Co-Head of the Communications Committee, the Co-Head of the Gamers Club, and a member of the Students Council Executive, in addition to past involvement in Robotics and acting school president. His hard work and success has not been limited to the classroom and school clubs and committees; in recent years James has been the recipient of multiple prestigious awards as well as scholarships and bursaries. Most notably, James has been awarded recognition in the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia for Scientific Achievements, The Australian National Youth Science Forum Award, and a Silver and Bronze Medal of Excellence at the Canada Wide Science Fair. In addition to these awards, James has also received an EF Global Citizen Scholarship and scholarships to Saint Mary’s University and Western University.
Katelyn Emily Warren, Northumberland Regional High: Katie has demonstrated academic excellence and superior school, community, and global involvement. Katie maintains Academic Excellence while still participating in Encounters with Canada, the Pictou County Athletic track team, the school’s track and ski teams, band, Nova Scotia Secondary Schools’ Association and the Subway Sharks Swim Team as well as actively volunteering on a regular basis. Katie organized a soup kitchen, served as a camp counselor, taught Sunday School, worked to help raise funds for Coldest Night of the Year, is a Co-Head of the school’s SALT program, and serves as a peer tutor. She is currently planning a mission trip to Philadelphia this summer. With all of these activities, Katie has received several awards including the Shawna MacBeth Award, the second highest average in grade ten pre-IB, second place in Chignecto Regional Science Fair, an Agricultural Awareness Award, Cross-country top female athlete, Subway Athlete of the month, Silver at the Summer Atlantic championships, won the Kejimukkujik short story and photo contest and had two short stories published by Polar Expressions.
Rhyse Christina Anne Black, Oxford Regional Education Centre: Rhyse is an academically strong student with a wide range of interests and achievements that make her an ideal candidate for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal. Rhyse is actively involved in her community. She serves as a member of the Oxford Youth Town Council and volunteers at the local nursing home. She is a mentor serving as the assistant coach of the Junior Boys’ Basketball team and tutoring younger students. In addition to all of her volunteering, Rhyse is a member of the school’s soccer, basketball, badminton and track and field teams.
Connor Donald Patriquin, Oxford Regional Education Centre: Connor Patriquin is an excellent academic student whose dedication and commitment to doing well made him an ideal candidate for this award. In his Grade 10 year, Connor was selected to attend the St. F.X. Math Camp. He is a member of the Senior Boys’ Basketball, Soccer Track and Field, Badminton and Table Tennis Teams. His positive academic career has allowed him to act as a mentor for younger students within the school in both tutoring and assisting with the Elementary Ski Program.
Rhianna Leigh Odlin, Parrsboro Regional High: Rhianna is an active and outstanding student who maintains an academic standing of honors with distinction and her involvement with school and community is diverse. As a dedicated and enthusiastic co-president of the Student Council Executive, Rhianna has organized many school-wide events including spirit weeks, the “We Act” group and a Remembrance Day Ceremony. She also competes on several varsity sports teams including basketball, soccer, badminton and volleyball. Within her community, Rhianna volunteers at her church assisting with various programs. She is a strong advocate for youth as Program Assistant for the Parrsboro Skating Club, a leader with the YMCA Youth on the Move Program, and a Warrant Officer 2nd Class with her local cadet squadron. She has also been involved in her school’s Drama Club as well as the local Ship’s Company Theatre productions. In March, Rhianna was one of 6 Parrsboro Students who participated in a “Me to We” trip to the Dominican Republic where she volunteered in a community helping to build a school.
Aran Emma-Margaret MacDonald, Pictou Academy: Aran is very active in all aspects of school life while maintaining a high academic standard. She is currently serving as Vice President of Student Council and has been active in promoting sport and spirit as a member of many school teams and committees. Aran loves to sing and act. She has performed in the annual school musical production each year since grade seven. Outside of school, Aran enjoys her volunteer work within the community. She is active in her church by singing in her church choir and teaching Sunday School. She attended the Presbyterian Synod Conferences each of the last two years and is one of two Canadian youth leading the preparations for the Canada Wide Youth Ministry Conference to take place at Brock University in 2016. Aran recently received the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award at a ceremony at Government House.
Makayla Breanne Ferdinand, Pugwash District High School: Makayla is highly involved in her school and community through her participation in sports, coaching, and volunteering with seniors and disabled adults. She works part time as a babysitter for several families and works in customer services at the village pharmacy. She is described as trustworthy and hard working with perseverance and determination. She goes above and beyond what is expected of her, is organized and handles every task with confidence. She describes herself as a calm and inspirational leader with good time management and organization skills. She has compassion that is obvious in her work with seniors and disabled adults and through her coaching of the elementary school basketball team.
Fisher Douglas Goldie, Pugwash District High School: Sgt Fisher Goldie is an active member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. He is highly recommended by his Commanding Officer in his role of volunteering, creativity, ethics and teaching skills which has led to an effective Squadron. Fisher is an academic student with an interest in acting in a local theatre group. He volunteers regularly through his church and cadets as well as participating on school teams such as Reach for the Top and Track and Field. He is proud of his skills as a referee during summer sports where he handles situations with a calm fairness that established his leadership and ability to handle difficult situations effectively.
Zachary Taylor Mills Creese, River Hebert District High: Zachary is an active participant in the school’s academic and social programs while maintaining an academic honours standing. He is a passionate volunteer and enjoys mentoring Elementary students in various athletic disciplines and in the Elementary YMCA After School Program. He is also on the Yearbook committee which is developing their first digital yearbook. Zach is a team player inside and outside of the classroom, receiving awards for leadership, sportsmanship, and athletic contributions in all the school’s sports. He also enjoys organized team sports with Fundy United Soccer, Cumberland Wolfpack Football, and Basketball Nova Scotia. His dedication to healthy choices extends to the environment, serving with Clean Nova Scotia’s Youth Conservation Corps and learning about environmental policies and responsible practices to design and maintain pollination gardens at the Joggins Fossil Institute. Zach recently returned from the Terry Fox Youth Centre: Encounters with Canada’s Sports and Recreation program.
Kenedy Paige Porter, River Hebert District High: Kenedy is an active member of the school and maintains a high academic honours standing. She serves a prominent role on her school’s committees, such as Yearbook, Prom, and Student Council. Outside of school, Kenedy is employed by the YMCA where she assumes a leadership role in the Elementary After School Program. Knowing all the daily challenges of living with Type 1 diabetes, Kenedy also donates her time and efforts to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is currently enrolled in, and enjoys, multiple science courses and plans to pursue a career in the medical field in the future.
Jenna Rose Bekkers, South Colchester Academy: Jenna is a very high achieving academic student. In many aspects of her life, she has grown as a leader. She has participated in weekend leadership workshops with Nova Scotia Secondary School Students' Association and attended an arts and culture program with Encounters with Canada in Ottawa. She has been an active member of the 652 Milford and District Lions Air Cadet squadron for 5 years. Her focus in this organization has been drill, sports, ground school, leadership and summer training. She has attended numerous summer courses in both aviation and survival. Recently, she earned a glider scholarship and this summer will train to become a glider pilot. She has completed many requirements for the Duke of Edinburgh program. Jenna also volunteered with the public library and serves meals with the local Legion and Lions Club.
Connor Liam Patrick Murdock, South Colchester Academy: Connor is a hard working Honours student who consistently excels academically. He has played trombone in his school bands since Grade Five and has had the opportunity to travel to Toronto and Chicago to perform. Connor enjoys performing at local Remembrance Day ceremonies each year. As an athlete, Connor has been a valued member of the school volleyball team winning the Coach’s Award and Athlete of the Month for his efforts. Connor committed several years to the Royal Canadian Air Cadets earning awards for Best First-Year Cadet, and Top Junior Marksman. Cadets instilled in Connor an interest in community volunteerism and a love of aviation. In Grade Nine, Connor was selected to participate in a one-week Enrichment Mini-Courses Program at Carleton University, where he attended the Humans in Space course, within the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His hopes are to someday work in the aerospace industry as an engineer.
Christopher William Douglas Beaton, Springhill Jr./Sr. High School: Christopher has consistently been an academically outstanding and highly respected student. While balancing academics and sports, he has managed to hold a part time job at Fat Floyd’s Pizzeria, while continuing to enjoy, and appreciate time with his friends. Christopher has received many awards, including the Troy Canning Award, the Ron O’Flaherty Scholar-Athlete Award, Honours and Honours with Distinction in recognition of hard work in academics and sports. He has been selected to participate in the Canadian Red Cross Anti-bullying Program. The goal of this program is awareness and prevention, by hosting presentations at the elementary schools.
Moya Kathleen MacDonald, Springhill Jr./Sr. High School: Moya has consistently demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and extra-curricular involvement. She participates in the We Act Committee; assisting with humanitarian activities, and volunteers at both the school library and local hospital. Moya is a member of the school’s alpine ski team. She won third place at Regionals and eighth place at the Provincial Nova Scotia School Athletics Federation ski competition. Outside of school, Moya is on her toes, literally, on a daily basis. Moya has studied ballet since she was six years old, during the past five years, she has been expanding her repertoire with Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Hip-hop and Character (Spanish/folk). Moya has competed twice at both the National and “Dance World Cup” competitions. She also teachers Hip-hop to 6 to 10 year olds at the Atlantic Dance Academy. Along with her academic and extra-curricular accomplishments, she also works part-time.