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PECI graduation celebrates and honours Class of 2016

PECI-class-of-2016Graduates of PECI’s Class of 2016 were honoured as learners, and leaders, at Wednesday night’s ceremony at the arena in Picton.

“PECI graduates have character, they have courage, and they know that life will present them with many opportunities, and many challenges. They know that they are well-prepared for the occasion,” said Mandy Savery-Whiteway, director, of the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board.

Principal Darren McFarlane spoke of student achievement and excellence at the community school.

“To be a PECI graduate means you’ve developed a wide skill-set that will serve you well in the days to come as you take on those challenges and possibilities of today, and tomorrow,” he said. “To be a PECI graduate means to put others first, to exercise humility and to practice the golden rule. It means working in the service of others and doing the right thing.”

He illustrated with examples of students who helped seniors in the community and those who rallied to raise funds for a fellow Panther diagnosed with cancer, who in many cases, they hadn’t even met.

“When interviewed by UNICEF Canada, a Syrian refugee recently commented that ‘an immigrant leaves his home land to find greener grass. A refugee leaves his home because the grass is burning under his feet.’ My point is a PECI graduate is a person, who, along with an entire school, welcomes Syrian refugees into our school and shows them true inclusion, true caring, and also, and most importantly, the feeling of acceptance – all while leading, and learning together with their new-found friends.”

McFarlane noted the students engage, not because they are seeking recognition, but because they are of outstanding character.”

The evening honoured 122 graduates, 28 of whom earned standing as Ontario Scholars having earned an average of 80 per cent or higher in six Grade 12 courses.  There were 71 awards, bursaries and prizes presented.

Sara Evans received the Governor General's Academic Medal from Mandy Savery Whiteway, Board Director.

Sara Evans received the Governor General’s Academic Medal from Mandy Savery Whiteway, Board Director.

Sara Evans was the Class of 2016’s top academic student receiving the Governor General’s Medal, five subject awards and six bursaries and prizes. She also received a scholarship from McMaster University.

Megan-Foster-George-Elson-awardMegan Foster was named Best All-Round Student and received the George Elson Memorial Award. She also received two awards.

HPEDSB-awardsHastings and Prince Edward District School Board Awards were presented to Brock Jones, Laura Mitchell, James Pero, Gavin Ronan and Ryan Rosborough as deserving students proceeding to post-secondary education.

Panther-Pride-AwardsThe Panther Pride Awards, also for students moving on to post-secondary studies, were presented to Autumn Hill, Mack McFarland, Alyssa Roche and Courtney Steenburgh.

PECMH-Aux-awardThe Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Award for students proceeding to health sciences education, were presented to Sara Evans, David Forsyth, Briana Hudgin and Brittany Payne.

Megan-Fincham-Comm-Care-AwardMegan Fincham received the Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Foundation Maureen Finnegan Award for outstanding contributions to community, as well as three other awards.

Gavin-Ronan-Achievement-The Students’ Council Achievement Award for a student who combines excellence and outstanding achievement in studies and sports, or the life of the school, went to Gavin Ronan.

Salt-of-the-EarthSalt of the Earth Awards, presented to those who undertake major responsibilities in extracurricular activities and carry them out with exceptional devotion to duty and enterprise, were presented to Raelyn Comeau, Jacob Dey, Sara Evans, Isobel McDonald, Holly Tait and Nathalie White.

Jacob-DeyJacob Dey, the Class of 2016’s Valedictorian, spoke of “real respect, affection and inclusion” among its members.

“I think it’s the most important part of high school…We know it’s important and I am fortunate to be a member of the Class of 2016.”

While humourously noting he couldn’t possibly speak for each of the grads, he reminded them that everybody fails sometimes, but everyboy is responsible for their own success.

“You decide what your sucess looks like. Not anyone else. Not the teachers, not your parents, not your friends, and certainly, not me,” he said, noting that when failures happen they should be forgiven.

“What makes the Class of 2016 unique, he said, “is that when given the choice (for valedictorian) you voted for the goofy kid who plays harmonica and reads poems” – and he did, to great applause from his peers, and the audience.

Filed Under: cheersFeatured ArticlesHastings & Prince Edward District School BoardPECI - It's a Panther Thing

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  1. Paul Cole says:

    My Wonderful Niece in her Traditional Mohawk Regalia I am proud of you Autumn Hill

  2. Megan says:

    A really wonderful group of students, many of whom I was lucky enough to teach in elementary. Congratulations!

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