Graduation for the Grade 8 students at St. Boniface School took place on Tuesday, June 25th, beginning with Mass at 6 p.m.
The graduates sat as a class in the front pews of the church while families and friends sat in the remaining seats. The staff sat as a group as well, behind the students.
Owen Brown welcomed the many families and friends to their special graduation Mass. Amber Moran and Athena Kanellis gave the readings, with John Patrick Milloy giving the Responsorial Psalm.
Julius Misheal, Nathaniel Maturana, Ryan Wingrove, Johnathan Zinger and Mason Garrett gave the petitions. Gift Bearers were River Kobe, Pablo Swift, Kara Treutlein, and Jackson Stoneman.
The closing remarks were given by Claire Doerr.
While each person in the church was shaking hands with their neighbours during the “peace”, the students presented their mothers with a rose.
Each student was allowed 10 guests and at their table was a special laminated placemat with a collage of pictures of that particular student throughout their school days. On the wall hung laminated silhouettes with positive remarks from their fellow classmates to them. The student’s artwork was along all the walls – pop-can art, perspective, reflections name art and several various types of artwork that each student had made during the year. On all the walls were collages of all 14 students of their years at St. Boniface.
Grade 7 / 8 teacher Henry Bink on behalf of the entire staff , welcomed the many parents and their families to this very special Grade 8 Graduation ceremony. At each table, there was a program listing a number of staff members who will be presenting various awards.
Amber Moran and Owen Brown gave the valedictorian address and were presented with the Valedictorian Award. This award is always decided upon entirely by the students. Their job was to select a representative or two from their graduating class to speak on their behalf. Amber & Owen reminisced about their years spent at St. Boniface from Junior Kindergarten to the present.
The Male Athlete of the Year Award is given to a student who has shown excellent sportsmanship, has demonstrated outstanding athletic ability and has maintained a positive attitude. The recipient, or in the case this year, the two recipients, have always remained energetic and enthusiastic, and most importantly, they have always demonstrated that important positive attitude, whether winning or losing. True athletes can handle a loss as graciously as a win. St. Boniface was very proud of this year’s recipients because It was impossible to decide which one of these athletes was more deserving, the award will be shared by Julius Misheal and Nathaniel Maturana.
Claire Doerr received the Female Athlete of the Year Award. This award also goes to a student who demonstrates a positive attitude, has excellent athletic ability, and possesses great sportsmanship. She is a young woman who has fun, encourages others to play their best, always works hard, and has a great time out there wherever a sporting activity is taking place. It is always a difficult decision to make, but Claire Doerr has demonstrated all of these qualities.
The Special Olympics Athlete Award was presented by the St. Boniface School’s Educational Assistants. Educational Assistant’s roles in the school are different than all the other staff roles. They usually spend their years going through the classes, grade by grade, working with the class and the students within that room. They become fixtures within the class each year. The children sometimes don’t even notice these Educational Assistant’s when they enter or when they leave their classrooms. They come in, work with students, and silently leave. But these people notice those students! They notice the student’s kindness, silliness, stresses, friendships with each other, and the way they interact with everyone. They have seen these young men and women grow up, and the Educational Assistants wanted to first acknowledge how amazing these children are, and how each one of them has touched lives. The Special Olympics is an inspiring and amazing Track and Field event where athletes compete in various running, jumping and throwing events. The athletes truly are inspirational! Congratulations to Jackson Stoneman who took first place in the target shoot!
Athena Kanellis received the Spirit Award. This award goes to someone who shows school spirit. Participating in all spirit days organized by Student Council – not only this year but in all of her years at St. Boniface. She has a positive attitude and is very optimistic and willing to participate in all Spirit Days, no matter how silly they may have been. She is an excellent, positive role model for all the younger members of St. Boniface.
The Personal Effort Award went to Claire Doerr who has put forth an honest effort, has worked incredibly hard, and has genuinely tried to do well in everything that has been sent her way. As a result of this effort, she has achieved exceptional grades and certainly has aimed for a personal best. She has experienced a very commendable level of success and needs to be acknowledged for her efforts. In class, it is very evident that her work has become very important to her. She probably puts more pressure on herself than anyone else does, and it shows in the outstanding results she has achieved. Hopefully, she is able to continue with the work habits that she has developed here.
Ryan Wingrove and John Patrick Milloy are two students who received the Personal Achievement Award. This Personal Achievement Award goes to a student who has often achieved a high level of personal success in all areas and has demonstrated impressive achievements over the course of their Grade 8 year.
When you put Personal Effort together with Personal Achievement, you have an individual who has worked very hard, and has achieved outstanding results! Pablo Swift has put forth incredible effort this year, in every single thing that has been sent his way! He has achieved outstanding marks, has done exceptionally well in all subject areas, and the work that he submits has constantly improved over the course of his Grade 8 year!
Amber Moran received the Overall Academic Proficiency Award. This award goes to a student who excels academically, has excellent consistent marks in all areas, and has taken their education seriously. She has always produced the most outstanding daily work, projects, and assignments and has achieved and maintained the most outstanding overall average throughout the year.
The Christian Living Award was established in memory of a community member, Mary Schulde – a kind, caring individual who always took care of others. She took into consideration other people’s feelings, and she always displayed a good Christian attitude. Both Kara Treutlein and River Kobe possess all of the wonderful qualities that Mary Schulde possessed. These students demonstrate excellent integrity – they know the difference between right and wrong and they have always treated those around them with kindness and respect. Everyone on staff knows what wonderful young adults these two students have become!
Claire Doerr is awarded the Citizenship Award. This award is in memory of a community member named Robin Williams, who passed away many years ago. His generous contributions will always be remembered and appreciated. Our Maryhill Heritage Park was only one example of his contributions – he gave that park to the people of Maryhill for the sale price of just one dollar. His wish was for all young people to enjoy their time spent in the community. Claire is recognized and acknowledged for the sense of community that she has for her contributions to this school, the Church, your family, and the community are appreciated.
The Leadership Award goes to Athena Kanellis who has demonstrated wonderful leadership ability. She is always interacting with friends, younger students, and with the adults of the school and community. Leadership is a difficult skill to develop – sometimes leaders are real “take charge” kind of people. Sometimes, leaders lead by example, in a quiet and humble way. Athena is a “lead by example” kind of student. She does the right thing when no one tells her to do so. She dances like no one is watching. Athena leads in a positive, caring manner, taking everyone’s feelings into consideration.
Amber Moran received the French Award. She is one of the students that have the highest mark in French. But, she has intrinsic motivation, is resilient and has gratitude. She reaches high expectations and is willing to try anything. Learning a second language can be difficult, but Amber has confidence and is not afraid to stand in front of her school and perform during the Spring Arts Concert. She also helps her peers to succeed. The French award is not just about academics but it is how a person can believe in themselves when learning a new language.
The Rex Barger Residential Retreat Rexognition Award was presented to Johnathan Zinger. Rex Barger gave his time, his talent, his enthusiasm, and his heart to the Mount Mary Residential Retreat program for over 34 years. To recognize the amazing and selfless contributions Rex made to the program, an award has been created in his name. The award is called the “Rexignition Award” – a play on words, as Rex was so fond of doing. In the Fall of 2017, the Grade 8’s attended Mount Mary with last year’s graduates. On that retreat, Johnathan took advantage of the opportunity to better understand himself, others, and his relationship with God. He came prepared to participate in an open-minded, co-operative, and caring manner. He seized the opportunity to grow in self-knowledge and reach new goals through various challenges. Johnathan personified, through his actions and his deeds, the spirit and theme of the Retreat.
A number of years ago, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board introduced a new award to be given out at Grade 8 Graduation. This award acknowledges students in Grade 8 across the Board who possess a number of qualities. The student that is recognized is a student who will be attending a Catholic Secondary School next year in Grade 9. He or she must demonstrate compassion toward his or her peers and the community – both the school community and Church community. He or she must demonstrate strong leadership skills throughout activities in school life – someone who is a kind and caring young adult. And this student must demonstrate the potential to be a true Catholic ambassador in adulthood. The recipient is chosen by the staff. This year most of our students will be attending St. David Catholic Secondary School in the Fall, and they all possess these qualities to some extent. The staff, as a group, decided that Amber Moran should be presented with the Waterloo Region Catholic Schools Foundation Award of Distinction.
Four years ago St. Boniface School announced a new Grade 8 Graduation Award sponsored by the Historical Society of St. Boniface and Maryhill. History is kept alive and vibrant by the roles and activities of smaller community-based initiatives such as archives and local Historical Societies. Their efforts ensure that future generations can conduct important research, and understand Canada’s local stories. The goal of this new History Award is to honour significant achievement in history and encourage young people to become involved and excited about local, regional, national, and world history. Mason Garrett is the student to receive this award who not only demonstrates good academic standing in this subject area but someone who genuinely shows an interest in History. He is encouraged to continue exploring local history, as well as national and world history. Mason is a young man who reads and reads and reads all about history! Every book he selects for silent reading is about history!
A couple of weeks ago, the South Woolwich Optimist Club hosted a dinner in honour of 2 of our students. The staff was asked to select two Grade 8 students who demonstrated strong leadership in the school and in the community, and Henry Bink was honoured to present that award to them at that dinner. Both Athena Kanellis and Owen Brown were recognized that evening in front of a smaller assembly, but it’s important for them to be recognized here this evening for the leadership and the commitment they have to their families, their friends, their Faith, and their community. This award is presented to two students who show qualities of leadership, demonstrate responsible behaviour, and who are good role models and good citizens. This award holds a little bit of every other award presented tonight – academics, athletics, leadership, Christian living, and school spirit.
This year, St. Boniface became involved with The Umbrella Project. This is a program that focuses on the mental, emotional, social and physical well-being of our students, and the positive feeling that comes when these needs are met. Well-being acts like an umbrella to protect us from the rain of life and is made up of skills that we can practice and strengthen. Each skill forms a piece of our umbrella and the skills work best together. They help us find meaning in our experiences and are highly predictive of our future success and happiness. Your umbrella is always growing and changing. The strongest umbrellas are made up of a mix of many well-being skills and are growing throughout their whole lives. Some of our graduates exemplify these skills, and they were presented with certificates to recognize their achievements.
One of the Umbrella Project skills is Integrity. What is Integrity? A person with Integrity possesses a number of characteristics. They are true to themselves and their nature. They are humble and know when to give credit to others. They know when something is wrong, and they apologize when they know that they’ve made a mistake. They are honest and kind-hearted. River Kobe is one student that stands out as the kindest young man in the class. He does not have a mean bone in his body. All his teachers over the years have loved this boy for who he is.
Another skill that students learned about this year was Grit. What is grit? Grit is similar to perseverance, but a bit more. Grit is hard work, it’s practised, practise, practise. Grit in a person comes out when they are faced with challenges and obstacles that may seem overwhelming, but with constant hard work, they can make small gains every day. Sometimes we cannot even fathom the challenges that students face. This year, one student stands out as showing grit every single day. Jackson Stoneman works hard, he learns more every day, and he perseveres.
Another skill that was a focus was Intrinsic Motivation. Someone who possesses this skill is a person who is happy to do things because they are the right thing to do. Julius Misheal and Kara Treutlein are not in it for some sort of reward, they don’t worry about what they might “get” for doing something good. They do it for the internal joy that it brings. Kara and Julius are motivated by what really matters, and not by some sort of recognition or external factor. They do the right thing no matter who is watching.
Principal Marylin Dawson and Grade 7 / 8 teacher Henry Bink presented the Grade 8 students with their graduation certificates along with a composite picture of the class all in a beautiful leather folder. School Council has paid for these gifts. Each student also received a DVD from the evening slide show.
A beautiful slide show followed with pictures of the student with photos that were sent in by parents or was taken over the years at the school. They are encouraged to watch it every once in awhile and enjoy it. This year’s slide show was entirely put together by Julie Kobe.
The 2019 graduates were Owen Brown, Claire Doerr, Mason Garrett, Athena Kanellis, River Kobe, Nathaniel Maturana, John Patrick Milloy, Julius Misheal, Amber Moran, Jackson Stoneman, Pablo Swift, Kara Treutlein, Ryan Wingrove, and Johnathan Zinger.