Graduation for St. Boniface School took place on Monday, June 28th at 7 p.m. Graduation for the Grade 8’s this year was the same as last year. So very different with everything done virtually. Some students did their learning at St. Boniface and then had to do on-line while others did their learning completely at St. Isadore Virtual Learning School. It was very nice to see them all come together at graduation. Thank you to Julie Kobe who made this awesome video and the yearbook which she has been doing for the past 5 years.
In former years the grade 7 class along with some of their parents decorated and the graduates were not allowed to see the gym until after Mass. Of course this didn’t happen again this year. The grade 8’s always prepared their own Mass and this year it was a Liturgy and done virtually.
The video opened with student’s graduation pictures and special quotes that were important to them from various well -known people. This was followed by a trumpet rendition of “O Canada” by William Leathers. The opening address was given by principal Marylin Dawson who spoke on the movie “The Fast & Furious #9”. Telling the students to be resilient and to have perseverance. To take their unique gifts to High School and to be proud and to continue to believe. They are the final graduates from St. Boniface in Maryhill. Father Grayson Hope, pastor of St. Boniface Church spoke on reflection and closed with prayers from the Mass of St. Boniface and blessed the students and their families. School chaplain, Sarah Kwiecinski gave them words of encouragement and told them when they get to High School that they continue to grow, explore their interests and to build relationships. “May God keep you in the palm of his hand”. Her closing remarks were from St. Catherine of Siena, “Be who God meant you to be”. Next was their Grade 8 teacher Denise Hayward who addressed the students talking of the many accomplishments they had achieved. She asked them to try new things to continue to learn and embrace life, join clubs, work hard, make good choices , never give up, believe in yourself, and go out of your comfort zone. They even had a graduation address on behalf of the Kindergarten class by one of the Kindergarten student’s wishing them “fun time at High School and wished them a Happy Graduation”.
Chair of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, Melanie Van Alphen spoke to the students asking them to persevere. Their motto this year was “Gathered to Become” She asked the students to be true to who they are. Director Loretta Notten also spoke to the students and thanked them for their resilence during this exceptional year and asked them to remember the Catholic values they have been taught.
The valedictorian is always decided upon entirely by the students. Their job was to select a representative from their graduating class to speak on their behalf. This year Iva Milardovic & Spencer Miller were chosen. They spoke on their memories at school while reminiscing about their years spent at St. Boniface from Junior Kindergarten to the present. They spoke on the teachers through the years and what important lesson each taught them while they were in their classroom. They also thanked the many people that came into their lives at St. Boniface – EA’s, lunch hour supervisors, custodian, secretary & principal, Father Hope, Father Voisin and the community. It ended with Spencer telling what each of the students wish to become when they graduate from High School.
Overall Academic Proficient Award was presented to Edwina Adebote This award goes to a student who excels academically, has excellent consistent marks in all areas, and has taken her education seriously. She has high level skills and knowledge of all areas of curriculum and is dedicated to her school work and completes assignments to the best of her ability, producing outstanding daily work assignments.
Justin Matesa is awarded the Citizenship Award. This award is in memory of a community member 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 contribution. He gave the 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. Justin goes above and beyond and is recognized and acknowledged for his strong sense of community, his always willing to help, be it staff or student. By running the morning announcements he brightens everyone start to the day on a positive note.
The French Award was given to Spencer Miller. He has displayed academic achievement and passion for the course and many years of his optimist in his learning. He reaches all expectations and willingness to try anything at least one. He has shown growth this year and learning a second language can be difficult, but Spencer has confidence, courage and motivation.
Iva Milardovic received the Spirit Award for always showing school spirit. She participates in all spirit days and school activities and has a positive attitude. Her school spirit and enthusiasm are excellent role model to all the younger members of St. Boniface..
Male Athlete of the year award went to Jayden Pereira who has demonstrated outstanding athletic ability across various sports. He is open to trying new activities in gym class and tries his very best. He remains energetic and enthusiastic whether winning or losing. His love of basketball is a regular topic of discussion in class and at recess.
Five years ago St. Boniface school announced a new Grade 8 History Award sponsored by the Maryhill Historical Society. History is kept alive and vibrant by the roles and activities of small community based initiative 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 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. Hayden Weber is the student to receive this award who not only demonstrates good academic standing in this subject area but someone who is genuinely shows an interest in history. He is encouraged to continue questioning local history, as well as notational and world history. Hayden a local history buff and interested in the history of the community and Canada.
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 certain number of qualities. The student that is recognized is a student who will be attending a Catholic Secondary School next year in Grade 9. They must demonstrate compassion toward his or her peers and the community – both school community and Church community. They must demonstrate strong leadership skills through 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 and as a group decided that Noah Van Alphen should be presented with the Waterloo Region Catholic Schools Foundation Award of Distinction. He is a true and genuine spirit who marches to his own drum, who is not afraid to be himself, and is a beautiful writer. It is the staff’s true hope he uses his written expression and shares his God given talent to the world.
The Personal Effort Award went to Isaac Horvath who has put forth constant effort, has worked very hard, and has genuinely tried to do well in everything that has been sent his way. He always aims for his own personal best and pushes himself to continue to grow as a learner. He sets goals for himself and has achieved success and deserved to be acknowledged for his efforts and the staff know he will continue to put forth this effort in high school.
Ethan Fluit received the Personal Achievement Award for achieving a high level of personal success in all areas and has achieved personal growth throughout the year. He should be very proud of the progress and success he has achieved this past year both socially and academically throughout elementary school. If he continues to focus on his school, work hard and show dedication to school work he will be very successful in the future.
This is the 2nd year that St. Boniface has been 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 those needs are met. Well-being acts like an umbrella to protect them from the rain of life and is made up of skills that they can practice and strengthen. Each still forms a piece of their umbrella and the skills work best together. They help them find meaning in their experiences and are highly productive of their future success and happiness. Their 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.
Umbrella Project – Integrity Award– possess a number of characteristics. His is true to himself, is humble and does the right thing even when know one else is watching. He is honest and kind hearted. He stands up for what is right and what he believes in, while doing so he spreads joy and kindness to others and shares his love of life with everyone around him. Liam Russell is the proud recipient of this award.
Umbrella Project – Resilience Award – this is the being strong, healthy and successful in difficult situations. He showed great resilience when coming to school in the middle of the school year, during distance learning and not meeting his teacher of fellow classmates in person. He quickly adapted to the school environment when school got back to class quickly getting to know his classmates and has continued to grow throughout the term. Jesse Belanger is the proud recipient of this award.
Umbrella Project – Grit Award– this student faced challenges that seemed overwhelming, but with hard work and determination she overcame the challenges. Every day she worked hard during this unique school year while maintaining a positive attitude and a smile on her face. In High School the staff knows she will continue to persevere and strive to achieve all her goals. Kelsey Treutlein is the proud recipient of this award.
Umbrella Project – Authenticity Award – means to stays true to your values and beliefs and it means to feel confident in yourself and your actions. He exemplifies these traits and is never afraid to be his true self with his own interests and sense of humour and everything else. As a result of this he has developed strong friendships with those around him. Gabriel Doerr is the proud recipient of this award.
Umbrella Project – Growth Mindset Award– understands the value that we are life-long learners. We can always continue to learn, grow and work hard especially with dedication. He has been working hard to develop his skills in academic and own personal hobbies. He tries his best and never give up even when thigs are challenging. Aiden Maturana is the proud recipient of this award.
Umbrella Project – Good Samaritan for helping others Award – this student helps others even when no one else is watching, He shows kindness and love for those around him. This student really stands out for his kindness, helpfulness and his friendliness to everyone around him. He always volunteers for whatever is needed and always has a smile on his face. Nate Kobe is the proud recipient of this award.
Umbrella Project – Outstanding Effort and Motivation Award – she shows incredible effort and always submits her work that she is proud of and goes above and beyond, constantly showing motivation. The staff know she will continue to demonstrate her high level of motivation in all she does as she enters High School. Charisse Pooran is the proud recipient of this award.
Outstanding Creative Writing Award – she has a passion for creative writing and does her absolute best effort in her writing. Her work is always neat and in detail and is an absolute joy to read. The staff know she will continue to shine in High School with creativity and love for the written word. Emily Kovacs is the proud recipient of this award.
Next came the presentation of awards with principal Marylin Dawson and their grade 8 teacher Denise Hayward reading each of the student’s name.
Parent thank you notes from the graduates was next with each student thanking their parents either by video or written notes.
A beautiful memories slide show followed with pictures of the students with photos that were sent in by parents, or were taken over the years at the school.
Grade 8 teacher Denise Hayward gave her closing remarks. She thanked the many people who collaborated to celebrate this virtual milestone graduation.
10 years – 1,940 school days – 11,640 hours – countless tests and endless dedication but …… you did! Congratulations to the 2021 Panther Grads – Edwina Adebote, Jesse Belanger, Gabriel Doerr, Ethan Fluit, Isaac Horvath, Nate Kobe, Emily Kovacs, Justin Matesa, Aiden Maturana, Iva Milardovic, Spencer Miller, Jayden Pereira, Charisse Pooran, Liam Russel, Kelsey Treutlein, Noah Van Alphen, and Hayden Weber. Be Panther Proud!