| May 29, 2008

Feature Article - May 29, 2008

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Feature Article - May 29, 2008 CountyStudents Net 2 of 7 Limestone Board Achiever awardsBy Jeff Green

Award winners, back row: Emillie Gauthier, KCVI; John Abrams, LaSalle; Brittany Lee, Sydenham; Ben Landen, Bayridge. Front: Kara Irwin, Sharbot Lake; Melissa Hogeboom, Bayridge; Jane Casson, KCVI.

Each year, the Limestone District School Board hands out Student Achievers awards, to “recognise the outstanding achievements of those students whose exceptional accomplishments merit recognition beyond the separate categories of awards at the school level,” in the words of Jane Douglas, the Limestone Board’s communications officer.

The awards were given out at a Board of Trustee meeting in Kingston last week.

This year, Brittany Lee, a grade 12 student from Sydenham High School is one of the recipients, and Kara Irwin, a grade 11 student from Sharbot Lake High School is another recipient.

Brittany Lee knew “that the competition would be stiff”, for the Limestone Achievers Award, and said, “I had a feeling of utter disbelief when Mr. Howe, the vice-principal, called me into his office and told me I had been nominated”.

Teachers from each school in the board nominated 2 students from their school.

After learning of her win along with six other students in the Limestone District schools, Brittany says, “I’m still in shock!. My parents keep telling me that it was all of the hard work I’ve put in and the sacrifices that I have made…but I still find it hard to believe.”

Not so hard to believe when one looks at her long list of accomplishments: honour student for 4 years; winner of numerous SHS awards; a leader at the IAWAH Leadership Camp; peer tutor; participant in the 30-Hour Famine, the Respect Committee and Students Helping Students; a volunteer teacher’s assistant, camp counsellor and community caregiver.

Her teachers are less surprised by her win. Mr. Shaun Kennedy explained that, “When you look at Brittany’s work or observe her in class, you can see that she really believes in giving her best effort all of the time.”

Visual arts are important to Brittany and she excels in painting, sketching, and photography. She has won the President’s Scholarship to Nipissing University in North Bay, where she plans to pursue her passion for history, fine arts and teaching. She could be back at Sydenham High School as a practice teacher in the next couple of years.

Alhough she still has one year left at Sharbot Lake High School, Kara Irwin (left with Principal Janet Sanderson) has already distinguished herself by taking on whatever challenges have been available to her for three years, and by being a driving force at school and community initiatives.

Kara has served as a grade representative to Students’ Council since Grade 7. She is an organizer of Earth Day, a dance convener, member of the leadership camp organizing committee, and leader for Grade 7/8 orientation. Kara currently serves as vice-president of Students’ Council. In addition to these roles, she has been a member of the organizing committee for the 30-Hour Famine. Over the past two years, more than $12,000 has been raised by this Sharbot Lake event, for which Kara served as co-chair this year.

In addition to her school activities Kara has been on the honour roll since the beginning of her high school career. She does not know what subject she will specialize in, but she plans to attend university after grade 12.

Kara is also involved in her community. She was involved in the fundraising activities for Mike Morrow after he suffered a debilitating injury last year. In addition, Kara has volunteered at the Treasure Trunk, and as support staff for the local Relay for Life.

“I enjoy being really active, being really busy and taking things on,” Kara said, “and I thank Mr. Russell, Miss Bartlett and our principal, Mrs. Sanderson for putting my name in for the award. I was really surprised when I found out about it a couple of weeks ago, and I was nervous when I went to get the award, but it was great.”

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