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Celebrating Student Success
Celebrating Student Success

“Success” is defined in many different ways. Celebrating Student Success highlights 20 exemplary York Region District School Board students who represent over 124,000 students who achieve success each day. Traditionally, the selected students personify excellence through a combination of character, leadership, academic achievement and service to the school and/or community.

The accomplishments of these students are celebrated at an annual dinner which is attended by each student’s parents or guardians, nominator and principal as well as Board trustees and administration. This event recognizes the success of our students as well as the contributions of teachers and staff to achieving student success. It also honours the role of parents and families in achieving student success while supporting the Ministry of Education’s “Education Week” initiative. ​​​​​​​​​​

 

 

The 2018 Cele​brating Student Success students are:

 
​Na​​me
School​
Tow​n/City
Alex Yoon​
Johnsview Village Public School Thornhill
Alexandra Cooper
Bill Crothers Secondary School Markham
Andrew Barton Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School Aurora
Azra Amiri
Pierre Elliott Trudeau H.S.
Markham
Caroline Kim
Tommy Douglas Secondary School​
Woodbridge
Charlie Jackson​
Rogers Public School
Newmarket
Charlotte Reeves Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School Aurora
Connor Griffith-Storrie
Keswick Public School
Keswick
Cory Gruenspan
Moraine Hills Public School Richmond Hill
Deborah Park Sir William Mulock Secondary School
Newmarket
Emma Zukow Bill Crothers Secondary School
Markham
Faaris Kutty
Rosedale Heights Public School Thornhill
Masheil Mir Middlefield Collegiate Institute Markham
Natalia Brkic Franklin Street Public School Markham
Owen Hill Stephen Lewis Secondary School Thornhill
Rachel In
Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School
Aurora
Sasha Olynyk King City Secondary School King City
Shamar Kenardo Brown
Milliken Mills High School Markham
Shamilah Gilbert Middlefield Collegiate Institute Markham
Tianna Kloepfer King City Secondary School​
King City
 
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Alex Yoon

Johnsview Village Public School
Alex has been involved in a wide variety of co-curricular activities over the past five years, including sports teams, the school musical and Student Council. He is head of the tech crew and captain of the boys’ volleyball team. Alex consistently upholds the school’s Not in Our School anti-bullying pledge and designs campaigns to support these values throughout the school. He was a key supporter of the “Wonder Buddies” program where he intentionally paired up with a Kindergarten student with behavioural challenges. He also partnered with a student with physical and intellectual exceptionalities in his physical education classes.

Alexandra Cooper
Bill Crothers Secondary School
Alexandra is part of the school’s Eco-Club, the Leadership Council, Model UN Club, Mock Trial club and the varsity rugby team. She is a representative for the Ontario Legislative Assembly Model Parliament and the Ontario Youth Parliament. Alexandra is a part of the Georgina Skating Club where she helps coach children under 10 years old and competes at the regional level. 

Andrew Barton
Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School
Andrew Barton is a senior student with the autism community class at Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School. Beginning in Grade 9 Andrew has regularly and enthusiastically volunteered to be a part of school clubs, performed in numerous school wide and community events and is part of Williams Peer Mentor Team. For the past four years, Andrew has been an active member of the work experience program working in the school cafeteria, a local retail store and a veterinary clinic.

Azra Amiri
Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School
Azra has been working diligently since 2016 to raise awareness about fair trade practices and has worked hard towards achieving fair trade certification for her school. She has achieved this through fundraising events, social media and presentations to both staff and students. In Azra’s Grade 12 Equity and Social Justice course, her culminating activity was a Fair Trade Conference that she planned in collaboration with DECA, SHSM and the Sustainable Development Goals committee.

Caroline Kim
Tommy Douglas Secondary School
Caroline has been involved with Dare 2 Care, Girls’ Empowerment, the Audio Visual Crew, Teen Titans (team building and leadership group), school band, See Different (an equity and inclusivity group), and a member of the slo-pitch and golf teams. Caroline has also organized the Terry Fox initiative that involved the whole school. She is an active member of her church and has participated in missions and volunteered at two native reserves where she supported youth with drug and alcohol abuse. She will be going to Haiti to teach bible school this summer.

Charlie Jackson
Rogers Public School
Charlie is a well-rounded student who was nominated by teachers across all divisions, caretakers, support staff and the office. Charlie is a member of Peace Tree, PALS, Me to We and also participates in Red Maple. He helps the caretakers in his free time and can be found daily in the office helping with morning announcements.

Charlotte Reeves
Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School
Charlotte’s passion for the plight of those in developing countries has led to the creation of the school’s Me to We group. She is devoted to the peer mentor group where she impacts the school and the community through projects such as the Terry Fox Run, swabbing drives to help find matches for those with blood cancers, planting trees in the local community, and countless other initiatives. Charlotte is Head of the Arts Council and as an intern at the Aurora Cultural Centre, she was a liaison for the school’s art show and helped to arrange her class’ participation in a public mural celebrating Canada 150. She plans fundraisers for community groups and a number of other events including a performance night at the Aurora Cultural Centre.

Connor Griffith-Storrie
Keswick Public School
Connor had a vision to make a difference by spearheading a school knitting club. With the direction of the school principal and support from the child and youth worker, Connor created a presentation to share with school council members who supported his request and worked with him to secure support from companies to reduce the purchasing cost of the looms and wool. By December, Connor was able to deliver 25 newborn hats for newborns to Sick Children’s Hospital. The students have also knitted hats for the patients in the Keswick Adult Alzheimer’s Day program.

Cory Gruenspan
Moraine Hills Public School
Cory works tirelessly and cheerfully in the school’s D.D. Community Class. She is the unofficial leader of a group of volunteers who come in during recesses to be buddies with the students in the class. The students, many of whom are non-verbal or have extreme mobility needs, look forward to seeing Cory every day. She understands when she is needed and never oversteps her role, kindly guiding other volunteers to do the same.

Deborah Park
Sir William Mulock Secondary School
In her co-curricular activities, Deborah has demonstrated organization, leadership and creativity skills in her roles as Music Council President, Student Council Director of Events, Prefect and Peer Director. Deborah has achieved a very high academic standing in all of her subjects, winning awards in Physics, Biology, English, French and Vocal. She also plays the flute in the senior band and sings in an a cappella group. Her cooperative education and volunteer experiences include working in an emergency ward, cares for patients and being a camp activities director.

Emma Zukow
Bill Crothers Secondary School
Emma is the president of The Best Buddies chapter at Bill Crothers Secondary School where she works with students in the mild intellectual disability room. Emma is a member of the BCSS HOSA (Health Occupation
Students of America) club where she represented BCSS and finished 2nd in Canada in the speech competition that requires students to research a progressive topic in health sciences and speak to that topic. Having finished second, Emma then represented Canada internationally at the international HOSA event hosted in Florida. Emma helps coach the junior volleyball team, is on the cross-country team and competed at OFSAA for high jump.

Faaris Kutty
Rosedale Heights Public School
Faaris is a happy and energetic student who understands the challenges that life presents and faces them head on. Faaris lives with cerebral palsy. He shows determination when completing his math work, working on his independence in manouevering his wheelchair through school and shows respect to those around him who travel with him throughout the school, spend time with him at recess and travel to/from classes in the elevator. He epitomizes the strength and importance of a home and school partnership.

Masheil Mir
Middlefield Collegiate Institute
Masheil is responsible for organizing students to take part in the Pious Projects Initiative where students made and delivered 1,000 lunches to welfare and homeless shelters. As a member of the Spoken Word Team for the past two years, she has organized several workshops for younger students. Masheil is the Ontario Ambassador of the Youth Mental Health Association and founded the school’s MHA (Mental Health Association) where she helps gives students an outlet to express themselves and set up events around destigmatizing mental illness.

Natalia Brkic
Franklin Street Public School
Natalia has made a strong commitment to supporting the Terry Fox National School Run. She individually raised over a thousand dollars for this year’s run by hosting a bake sale, organizing a garage sale and soliciting the community for pledges. Natalia is on the Student Leadership Team, she tirelessly worked on the Remembrance Day Assembly and took a leading role in the Holiday Heroes Campaign partnering with York Regional Police.

Owen Hill
Stephen Lewis Secondary School
Since joining Stephen Lewis last year, Owen has served the school in many capacities including: Student Council Grade 10 Representative, Co-President of the ME to WE Club, member of the TED Ed Club and a member of the SLSS Hack to Action Team. Owen was a featured “Student Voice” speaker at the Board’s QUEST 2017 Conference where he engaged the audience of over 1,000 educators. Owen was invited to share his message with parents at two YRDSB secondary schools and he has been invited to appear on the television program “Future Prospects.” He has volunteered the past two summers at the YRDSB’s Summer Institute as a Club House counsellor working with 7 and 8 year olds.

Rachel In
Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School
Rachel is a peer mentor and volunteers in community service opportunities ranging from preparing meals for the less fortunate, to assisting with planting trees in the local community. She has worked with Blue Doors Shelter in Newmarket, the Light the Night event to support individuals with leukemia, the school’s Me to We team and is a co-organizer of the Fusion conference.

Sasha Olynyk
King City Secondary School
Sasha is a member of the Student Council and a Peer Mentor. Sasha was MVP for the ultimate frisbee and volleyball team and was the Student Athlete of the Year in 2017. Where she shines most is in her commitment to fundraising for causes she believes passionately about such as Toronto’s Sick Children’s Hospital and Relay for Life benefitting the Canadian Cancer Society.

Shamar Kenardo Brown
Milliken Mills High School
Shamar is a positive role model and a cultural representative for the black community. This year he is leading the Black History Month planning committee. He has written and published articles for a local newspaper both in print and electronically. He recently stood up on behalf of T.E.A.M. and the SHSM Environment Programs at MMHS and made a courageous 5 minute deputation to the Mayor and council of the City of Markham to call for the protection of threatened wildlife corridors.

Shamilah Gilbert
Middlefield Collegiate Institute
Shamilah is currently on the student council serving as the Social Convenor and has also served on the Athletic Council throughout her high school career. She participates in varsity athletics including the cross country, rock climbing and soccer team. She is on the MCI Mock Trial team. She had the lead role in a Unified Beatz drama, performed a spoken word piece for the Remembrance Day commemoration and was the MC for the school’s Black History Month Assembly.

Tianna Kloepfer
King City Secondary School
Tianna has played a key leadership role in the music department where she has been a member of the Music Council, junior band, senior band and the flute choir. Tianna volunteers in the music department during Grade 8 visits to the school, and works with the department to team-teach Grade 9 flute students. Tianna is part of the school’s Health and Wellness SHSM program, which included a co-op placement at King City Public School. She is also part of student council and is a Head Mentor.
 

 
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