Tue, 23 Jun, 2015
At the June 23 board meeting, Trustees had the honour of recognizing sixteen outstanding nominees for the Michael A. Strembitsky Award of Excellence.
A gold ($1,000), silver ($500) and bronze ($250) medal and cash award are presented to three students who are completing their schooling and who best exemplify:
“Daniel Welsh is undoubtedly one of the most impressive high school students I have met,” says Principal Van Ginhoven, “He has mature, balanced confidence” and a “genuine and engaging personality…honed through a rich, wide range of challenging leadership roles.”
Daniel used his talents, energy, time, creativity and resources to drastically improve the lives and the communities in Edmonton and around the world.
He worked closely with a teacher leader to coordinated teams of students to stage a wide range of events for the whole student body of 1,500 students – everything from pep rallies and talent shows to Open House and Puttin’ on the Ritz.
He had exceptional skills chairing meetings, was a great motivator and was able to maximize positive relationships.
Daniel was the fulcrum of the Treehouse Project which supported an endangered community in the rain forest of Ecuador. He developed a video and website that campaigners could use when seeking sponsorship. This campaign was extremely effective as a total of $352,000 was raised – a Canadian school record! Daniel raised $18,000 himself – the highest single effort.
In athletics, he was a member of the volleyball, cross-country and rugby teams. He was also co-editor of the school’s year book.
In the summer of 2014, Daniel helped out with an iLab project in Liberia, to provide Liberians with internet access. He created a promotional video and website to help Liberians attract foreign donors. His skills were used to mentor and train a team of fundraisers. While in Liberia, he was also tasked with promoting a series of five women’s business courses. He produced and presented these materials.
Daniel is also involved in film making. He started Boreal Productions with the main goal of promoting Edmonton and all the great things this city has to offer.
During all this, Daniel maintained an average of well over 90 per cent.
Daniel has an intuitive and mature sense of doing the right thing. Principal Van Ginhoven says, “Daniel embodies Strathcona’s school motto: ‘As one who serves.’”
Principal Stiles says, “David is a gift to have in our school. He is a magnificent human being and really the ‘soul’ of our school.”
David is known for his outgoing nature and ability to build meaningful relationships wherever he goes. He has demonstrated this ability by his involvement with numerous school clubs and associations.
To name just a few of those…David is president of the school’s GSA, an executive member of the Interact club and Grad Council, lead tenor saxophone in the jazz band and a member of JP’s Changemakers club.
David was instrumental in helping MLAs and members of the public understand why GSAs are so important to students in our schools. He is articulate and media savvy, participating in TV interviews and conversations with politicians about this topic.
David also manages to achieve impressive academic results, maintaining Honours with Distinction and being one of just 50 students in Alberta to be accepted into the Heritage Youth Research Summer Program last year. This allowed him to work alongside university researchers in the U of A’s experimental oncology lab.
David’s passion for learning and commitment to social justice come together through his participation in FinAl, a partnership between the Finnish and Albertan education systems. His involvement has included student exchanges and a project to open dialogue about sexual and gender minorities, which will help lead to better supports for students and staff in the Finnish education system who identify as gender and sexual minorities.
Anika believes life is about seizing opportunities and gaining experiences to grow as an individual.
Principal Backs says, “Anika is an exemplary leader. Her involvement in school extended to almost every department including students’ union, fine arts, technology and athletics.”
She is a team player with amazing interpersonal skills. These traits have helped Anika excel academically as well as athletically. She’s a great asset on the many sports teams she’s been a part of: badminton, handball, track and field, and rugby. In addition to being a skilled athlete, Anika has a knack for analyzing students’ athletics performance and give them tips to help improve, so she volunteers as a track coach and swim team manager at a local junior high.
Anika’s many achievements off the field include being selected by the UNSECO Associated Schools networks to be one of four Canadian students to attend an international forum on education for sustainable development in Okayama, Japan in 2014.
That’s on top of receiving the Highest Academic Achievement award in Grade 10 and 11, and attending the Career Pathways symposium in October to help our District develop this exciting initiative. Anika is also very involved in her community outside of school, volunteering for events like the Festival of Trees, Edmonton Heritage Festival and the CIBC Run for the Cure.
Joey Supernault, amiskwaciy
Zeynep Ozdemir, Centre High
Abril Rodriguez-Valle, Eastglen
Johannah Ko, Edmonton Christian High
Natalie Eng, Harry Ainlay
Kelsea Sterling, J. Percy Page
David Campbell, Jasper Place
Taylor Mitchell, Lillian Osborne
Anika Wong, M.E. LaZerte
Edwina Liu, Old Scona
Spyridon (Spiros) Sakellariou, Queen Elizabeth
Callie Lissinna, Ross Sheppard
Daniel Welsh, Strathcona
Jordann Stevenson, Victoria
Zachariah Empson, Vimy Ridge
Margaret Tran, W.P. Wagner