Graduation 2020 North Grenville


High schools have delayed graduation ceremonies to either this Fall or 2021, and some charities put the brakes on their immediate awards, thus preventing access to funds some students may have been expecting. One charity, the Eric Gutknecht Memorial Bursary, made sure that at least five local students at North Grenville District High and St. Michael Catholic High schools were appropriately awarded on their original graduation date (June 25). The Bursary was celebrating their 10th anniversary, and so increased their total award to $5,000 for 2020. Two members on the executive of the EGMB had the privilege of meeting all winners and their families, following the strict COVID 19 social distancing guidelines.

Mairi Hallman

Mairi Hallman won top honours at St. Michael, and her current plans are to study biochemistry in the extended French stream at the University of Ottawa, starting in September. In her third year, she plans to add a specialization in microbiology and immunology, which could prove to be an increasingly important discipline in years to come, especially given the current state of affairs world wide. One teacher at St. Michael described Mairi as follows: “Mairi is an extremely deserving candidate and one of our best students at St. Michael”.

Four deserving students at NGDHS made the winner’s circle. First, Josephine Batchelor is heading to the East Coast to St. Francis Xavier University to study in their Psychology Program.

Shelly Turcotte will be attending Trent University to devote herself to the world of Psychology and Social Work, while Joshua Gilbey will be applying himself at Algonquin College in the HVAC Program. Rounding out the top four is Kendra Goodall, who is heading south of the border to Houghton College, enrolled into the inclusive Childhood Education Program.

All five students have expressed appreciation, not only for the financial award, but also to know their name will be engraved on a school plaque and hung in the school’s trophy showcase for ever!

The EGMB has now awarded $31,000 to students that deserve it most in North Grenville. The registered charity raises most of its funds through donations: the sale of jams and jellies at the Kemptville Farmers Market, and special events, including the Eric Gutknecht Memorial Hockey Tournament.

Students [and teachers] faced an abrupt end of their final semester as COVID-19 stood in the way of traditional graduations and celebrations. This pandemic may well be remembered as the defining event of their high school experience!

Best of luck to all graduating students in North Grenville (and elsewhere) as they head to colleges and universities throughout the country, and also to those that decided to return to school or enter the WOW (world of work)!


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