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Hats off to Prince Edward Collegiate’s Class of 2015

PECI-hats-offPrince Edward Collegiate Institute’s Class of 2015 was honoured and encouraged at graduation ceremonies Thursday night inside the Prince Edward County Community Centre.

Principal Darren McFarlane told the students it is critical they are competitive in the global world and more than ever before, to never stop learning.

“I urge you to swing for the fence every day and never settle for less than you are capable of. Good enough is never good enough. You are entering a highly competitive world… Strive for more. Put your head and heart into it. It’ll make a difference.”

grads-face-teachers,-parentsMark Fisher, Superintendent of Education, spoke of a night of reflection, expressions of gratitude and the celebration of achievements. He asked the graduates to reflect on their most positive memory of their time at PECI, then asked them to stand, turn and face their teachers, friends and family members to acknowledge the people that brought you here to this very special time.

“It is a collective effort and tonight you have reached the end of a very important journey – one you should be commended for because you have accomplished an essential milestone. As you move forward, have high expectations of yourself and constantly strive for progress, not perfection and persevere until you have success in whatever endeavour or field you choose to pursue.”

He concluded sharing a quote from tennis legend and activist Arthur Ashe: “Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.”

Valedictorian Brett Abram

Valedictorian Brett Abram

Brett Abram, valedictorian, gave a humourous and light-hearted look at the past four years, referencing family, fellow students and teachers.

“This night is to celebrate how far we have come together,” he said, adding there are many to thank for their never-ending support, including parents, guardians and other family members and staff. “No matter how cranky, or unthankful we have been at times, you’ve always been there for us and provided us with all the opportunities necessary to succeed.”

On behalf of the Class of 2015, he thanked a number of teachers, media and the community for support over the four year journey.

“No matter how far we go from Prince Edward County, we will always be County Girls and County Boys, with County blood running through our veins.

“Tonight it’s time to take another big step forward in our lives. We can take comfort knowing the knowledge and skills we obtained at PECI have prepared us for wherever that step will take us, and the challenges that will entail.”

Abram was the recipient of the George Elson Memorial Award for the best all-round student at the school. He also received the Chuck Slik Memorial Award for positive contributions and shared the PECI Spirit Award with long-time friend Alex Tucker.

Elizabeth Forsyth received the Governor General's award from principal Darren McFarlane

Elizabeth Forsyth received the Governor General’s award from principal  McFarlane

The Governor General’s Academic Medal for highest standing was presented to Elizabeth Forsyth, also a multiple award winner, receiving four subject awards; The Rotary Stark Foundation Award, The Canadian Federation of University Women scholarship and the YH Wong Memorial Award.

There were 110 graduates honoured. Thirty-five received designation as Ontario Scholars having earned 80 per cent or higher in six Grade 12 courses. Arts, Business and Technology certificates were also presented. Forty-eight subject awards and 76 bursaries and prizes were presented; followed by six Students’ Council Awards – including the new “Lifetime Panther Award” presented to Caryn Phoenix-Renz, retiring this year from the guidance office.


Sarah Reddick received the Citizenship Award from teacher Greer Koutroulides.

Sarah Reddick received the Citizenship Award from teacher Greer Koutroulides.

Sarah Reddick was presented the Daryl Kramp Citizenship Award for exemplary service to school and community. She was also on stage numerous times, sharing the Salt of the Earth Students’ Council award and Rotary Stark Foundation Award and receiving the Johan DeRoche Kinette Memorial Bursary and the Ontario and Principals’ Council Award for Student Leadership.


PECMHA-awardThe Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Award, for students proceeding to post-secondary studies in health sciences, was presented to Dylan Brookes, Cailey Jones, Kelsey Miller, Riley Moss, Julia Norris and Amanda Wade.

Brock Nowak received the Maureen Finnegan Award from Chris Campbell.

Brock Nowak received the Maureen Finnegan Award from Chris Campbell.

The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Foundation Maureen Finnegan Award – for a student who has made outstanding contributions in the community – was presented to Brock Nowak.

The Terry Sprague Science and Nature Scholarship was presented to Matthew Sullivan and Arionna Scaletta.


CommCare-Kassidie-Wood-Chris-LawsThe Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Foundation Award for a student proceeding to study gerontology, or one who has enriched the life of a senior, was presented to Kassidie Wood.

special-recognition-awardsStudents’ Council Special Recognition Awards for outstanding contributions to the life of the school were presented to Emily Algar, Dylan Brookes, Brittany Payne and Amanda Wade.


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