PETAWAWA – The graduating class at Valour JK-12 School closed one chapter and will now be embarking on a new adventure after completing high schoolOn June 27, the high school journey came to an end for some 97 graduates, who crossed the stage of the school gymnasium, cheered on by family, friends and faculty members who celebrated the accomplishment of becoming a high school graduate after four years of hard work.Class valedictorian Claudia Houston said school doesn’t just teach students about science and math, or English and history; it teaches them to do things they don’t particularly like and put up with people we don’t necessarily want to be around, lessons that will serve them well in the years to come.
Claudia Houston was the valedictorian for the 2019 graduating class at Valour JK-12 School.
Tina Peplinskie /
“School helps us build an understanding of the basic responsibilities of everyday life,” she said. “Life isn’t always perfect, we won’t always have the best boss or constantly be doing the things we want to be doing. Valour has prepared us for the future. We have been taught more than we have realized. We have learned skills that will help us in every aspect of life.”Houston’s hope for her fellow graduates, that they will each find a path that they love, but warned even the best trail will inevitably have a couple bumps.“Even when it seems as if nothing is going the right way, it will eventually,” she said. “You didn’t get the job you wanted? Keep working! It may have been because you are destined to have a better one. It’s a little cliche, but I truly believe that doing your best is always going to be enough for something. Take chances, roll with the punches, keep trying.”As the graduates gathered all together for one last time, Houston offered some advice and reflections.“Remember all the amazing memories we’ve made in this building, all the adventures we went on with friends, and the stories we probably shouldn’t tell our parents,” Houston said. “Keep these experiences with you and get ready for a whole new set of stories that are just around the corner.”Col. Jason Adair, commander 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, offered some advice for the graduates, saying it is amazing what happens when people work hard.“Remain curious, pursue knowledge, strive to the be best and don’t sell yourself short,” he said. “Your attitude is the only thing you can control. Enjoy the beauty of the unexpected.”He also warned them there will be surprises along the way, stumbles and falls but also great successes.“Your horizons are limitless,” Col. Adair said. “Now that you’ve graduated your life begins. Grab it and go for a ride. Face your fears and keep the faith.”Top academic accolades went to Keely Patrick, who received the Governor General’s Academic Award. She also received the University of Toronto National Book Award. The RCDSB Technical Medallion went to Luc Lessard, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Community Volunteer Award was presented to Rylan Hathaway and the Ontario Principals’ Council – Principal’s Award for Student Leadership went to Nicholas McKay.The Renfrew County Grade 12 Medallion was presented to Eric Barks, Breanna Bartlett, Zac Barvestal, Catherine Bell, Jordan Blair, Mac Douglas, Tobias Gallas, Brenna Gardiner, Kelsey Halter, Rylan Hathaway, Alyssa Hicks, Claudia Houston, Chantelle King, Remi Lavoie, Kyle Leach, Caitlin LeBlanc, Noah LeBlanc, Dawson MacDonald, Sam Mahinpoor, Natalie Martinook, Lauren McCabe, Nick McKay, Olivia Neff, Aidan Neville, Keely Patrick, Gabrielle Peebles, Jessica Rannou, Madalyn Richards, Kari Sprague, Fiona Thomas, Brent Towstuk, Matthew Unrau, Elizabeth Van Horne-Wall, Carter Walsh, Hayden Weisenberg, Ulash Yildir and Hannah Young.Ontario Scholar were presented to Eric Barks, Breanna Bartlett, Zac Barvestal, Catherine Bell, Jordan Blair, Mackenzie de Ruiter, Winnie DeGeer, Tana Doughty, Mac Douglas, Tobias Gallas, Brenna Gardiner, Taylor Habraken, Kelsey Halter, Kaya Hamilton-Trkulja, Claudia Houston, Dawson, Ingalls-Crawford, Taylor Jessup, Chantelle King, Scott Knowlton, Remi Lavoie, Noah LeBlanc, Sam Mahinpoor, Natalie Martinook, Dorian Mae, Lauren McCabe, Nick McKay, Maggie Mohns, Olivia Neff, Aidan Neville, Keely Patrick, Gabrielle Peebles, Lillian Phinney, Selena Proulx, Jessica Rannou, Madalyn Richards, Carter Schardt, Samuel Shamess, Kari Sprague, Sarah Stacey, Fiona Thomas, Brent Towstuk, Matthew Unrau, Elizabeth Van Horne-Wall, Carter Walsh, Brianna Watson, Hayden Weisenberg, Tara Wells, Ulash Yildir and Hannah Young.Specialist High Skills Major Diplomas were presented to Breanna Bartlett, Viktor Brown-McKie, Samantha Bucci, Mackenzie de Ruiter, Winner DeGeer, Joe Fisher, Breanna Gardiner, Melanie Gaucher, Alice Harvey, Rylan Hathaway, Liam Hogg, Scott Knowlton, Drew Lapierre, Kyle Leach, Caitlin LeBlanc, Keegan Lockley, Kyle Luloff, Dawson MacDonald, Natalie Martinook, Olivia Neff, Addison Oelke, Jessica Rannou, Madalyn Richards, Carter Schardt, Samuel Shamess, Tuesdae Slobodian-Doyle, Brent Towstuk and Elizabeth Van Horne-Wall.Diplome d’etudes en langue francaise certificates were presented to Jordan Blair, Samantha Bucci, Ridge Chartrand, Antoine Dupont, Tobias Gallas, Colby Gillard, Dante Hoffman, Claudia Houston, Taylor Jessup, Remi Lavoie, Noah LeBlanc, Olivia Neff, Gabrielle Peebles, Lillian Phinney and Sarah Stacey.French Immersion certificates were awarded to Jordan Blair, Ridge Chartrand, Colby Gillard, Claudia Houston, Remi Lavoie, Sam Mahinpoor, Gabrielle Peebles and Sarah Stacey. Technical Studies certificates were presented to Eric Barks, Viktor Brown-McKie, Joe Fisher, Scott Knowlton, Kyle Leach, Caitlin LeBlanc, Luc Lessard, Kyle Luloff and Dawson MacDonald.
Piper Master Cpl. Mike Ahronson of the 2 CMBG Pipes and Drums Band leads dignitaries and graduates into the school gymnasium ahead of the Valour JK-12 School graduation ceremony June 27.
Tina Peplinskie /
Recipients of awards, trophies and bursaries were as follows: Bruce G. Jones Forest Products Award – Viktor Brown-McKie and Lily Nolan; Butler Chevrolet Buick Cadillac Ltd. Bursary – Mackenzie de Ruiter; Century 21 Aspire Realty Bursary – Nick McKay; C.F. Vaudry Bus Lines Ltd. Bursary – Kari Sprague; Corporation of the Town of Petawawa bursary – Catherine Bell; Deni’s Automotive Repair bursary – Scott Knowlton; Do-All Construction bursary – Joshua Hartwick; Dr. Kim Armstrong bursary – Keely Patrick; EGM Insurance Brokers – Lisa Edmonds bursary – Rylan Hathaway; General Panet High School alumni reunion bursary – Maggie Mohns.H&H Construction Inc. Bursary – Carl Larocque Memorial bursary – Noah LeBlanc; Hopkins Scholarship for the Arts – Brenna Gardiner; Jordan and Jacqueline Beattie Scholarship – Claudia Houston; Kings’ Sports Pembroke Inc. Bursary – Emmily Egers; Kiwanis Club of Pembroke bursary – Alice Harvey; Knights of Columbus Petawawa Council 11932 educational bursary – Selena Proulx; Megan Hyska Memorial Scholarship – Olivia Neff; Mulvihill Drug Mart Chemistry Award – Madalyn Richards; Ontario Secondary Teachers’ Federation Award – Keegan Lockley; Ottawa Valley Physiotherapy bursary – Samantha Bucci; Paramount Kitchens bursary – Lillian Phinney; Pembroke Mitsubishi bursary – Taylor Habraken; Petawawa Chiefs Old Timers Hockey award – Addison Oelke; Petawawa Kia bursary – Matthew Unrau; Petawawa Legion Branch 517 bursary – Carter Walsh; Petawawa Legion Branch 517 Ladies Auxiliary bursary – Breanna Bartlett; Petawawa River Inn and Suites/Pronto Foodmart bursary – Taylor Jessup and Tuesdae Slobodian-Doyle.Petawawa Troyes Cinema bursary – Brianna Watson; RBC Petawawa bursary – Hunter Baillie; Renfrew County Road Supervisors Association bursary – Carter Schardt; Roch Brazeau Legacy award – Kaya Hamilton-Trkulja; Rona Petawawa bursary – Chantelle King; Rotary Club of Petawawa bursary – Jordan Blair; Sgt. Neil Paquette Memorial award – Hannah Young; Silver Threads Seniors Club of Petawawa bursary – Zac Barvestal; Strathy Memorial Award presented by the Petawawa Horticultural Society – Mac Douglas and Gabrielle Peebles; Subway Petawawa bursary – Aidan Neville; Supplement King Athletic Scholarship – Fiona Thomas; Terry Waito Homes award – Kyle Leach; Valley Transportation bursary – Sarah Stacey; Valour JK-12 School Council student volunteer bursary – Elizabeth Van Horne-Wall; Valour JK-12 School Inkjet Recycling award – Casandra Collins; Valour JK-12 School Specialist High Skills Major bursary – Samuel Shamess; Valour JK-12 School staff bursary – Remi Lavoie and Laurent McCabe; Zac Lapointe Memorial bursary – Hayden Weisenberg.TPeplinskie@postmedia.comTwitter.com/TPeplinskie