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Celebrating Student Success
Celebrating Student Success

“Success” is defined in many different ways. Celebrating Student Success highlights 24 exemplary York Region District School Board students who represent over 123,000 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 2017 Celebrating Student Success students are:

 

Name
School
Town/City
Alan Nemirovski
Louis-Honore Frechette P.S
Thornhill (Vaughan)
Ali Alidoosti
Thornhill S.S.
Thornhill (Markham)
Alice Lam
Armadale P.S.
Markham
Antonia Racz
Pierre Elliott Trudeau H.S.
Markham
Ariel Oleynikov
Westmount C.I.
Thornhill (Vaughan)
Aveen Izadi
Sixteenth Avenue P.S.
Richmond Hill
Ben Levy
Thornhill S.S.
Thornhill (Markham)
Dominick Arany
Red Maple P.S.
Richmond Hill
Eleanor Kenyon
King City S.S.
King City
Haolei Andy Wang
Vaughan S.S.
Thornhill (Vaughan)
Jacqueline Iantorno
King City S.S.
King City
Josie Kearney
Dr. G.W. Williams S.S.
Aurora
Kristen Price
Pierre Elliott Trudeau H.S.
Markham
Madeline Mintsoulis
Bill Crothers S.S.
Markham
Makayla Goodman
King City S.S.
King City
Marcella Wark
Sir William Mulock S.S.
Newmarket
Matthew Burrows-Balka
Sutton D.H.S.
Georgina
Maxim Baevsky
Stephen Lewis S.S.
Thornhill (Vaughan)
Michael Kebabdjian
Moraine Hills P.S.
Richmond Hill
Rose Yang
German Mills P.S.
Thornhill (Markham)
Sadia Fazelyar
Woodbridge College
Woodbridge
Sanaz Lordfard
Johnsview Village P.S.
Thornhill (Markham)
Sanjna Ullal
Thornhill S.S.
Thornhill (Markham)
Smit Parikh
Stephen Lewis S.S.
Thornhill (Vaughan)

 

 

 
 

 

Alan Nemirovski
Louis-Honoré Fréchette P.S.
 
Alan is a key contributor to many school fundraisers and initiatives including Eco-Club, Leadership Club, Earth Day, the creative writing club, Lundi Loisirs  (Monday Playdays) and Days of Pink. He has started the process of creating a TedX for youth to be held in Vaughan in 2018.  This year, he went on exchange to Bourgogne, France and kept a  blog about his travels to share with his peers in French and English.
 
Ali Alidoosti
Thornhill S.S.
 
Ali is responsible for founding the Thornhill S.S. Heritage Band, which is comprised of students who play various instruments from their home country or heritage. Ali's involvement in the TSS Hand in Hand Club has strengthened the school's community by supporting the transition of ESL students and promoting inter-ethnic knowledge, dialogue and respect. Ali is responsible for spearheading the establishment of the school's first "Multi-faith Community Space," which is dedicated to quiet reflection, meditation and prayer for all students.
 
Ariel Oleynikov
Westmount C.I.
 
Ariel is a part of the school’s ARTS West Drama program and is heavily involved in all that being an ARTS student entails. She is also a key member of the Westmount Radio 1 morning announcement team  and Wolfpack, a Grade 9 mentorship and transition program.  She helped to create the first Wolfpack manual and  to train new Wolfpack leaders. Ariel is also co-chair of the Shield Initiative club,  a group of students who have developed a shield seat that allows young children who are in hospital fighting life-threatening illnesses to ride on their IV pole instead of having to be carried. Ariel has been a key player in getting this product produced and out to those in need.
 
Ben Levy
Thornhill S.S.
 
Ben has attained distinguished results at DECA Provincial and DECA International Business competitions. In DECA Ontario, he currently serves as Chapter Development Officer and has contributed to the modernization of the Ontario training manual, workshop presentations and the creation of the Provincial Resource Hub. He is actively involved in Operation Med School where he has served as Director of Finance and is now President. Through Operation Med School, $2,000 was raised and donated to Sick Kids’ Hospital earlier this year. As well, Ben helped organize a conference where 300 students aspiring to be medical practitioners were coached and mentored by doctors and other health care professionals.
 
Haolei Andy Wang
Vaughan S.S.
 
Andy has been the school champion in national math contests such as the Waterloo Fermat, Canadian Senior Math Contests and the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge. This year, he ranked in the top 50 in Canada on the Waterloo Avogadro Chemistry exam.  Team leader of the Programming Competition Team, he has led the school team to participate in many contests. Andy runs tutoring sessions after school for students seeking extra help in math and physics. He is also a conductor and a percussionist in the school’s senior band, and president of the VSS Math Club.  In his Grade 11 year, he started a volunteer club that offers a variety of volunteer opportunities and shares information about pre-approved volunteer opportunities through an online platform. An international student himself, Andy has also volunteered as a translator at the Board’s International Student Orientation.
 
Maxim Baevsky
Stephen Lewis S.S.
 
This past summer, Max applied for – and was selected and trained – by the TED organization to be a TEDx Youth Ambassador at the TEDx Youth event in the Toronto area.  Max has been asked to continue in this role of TEDx Youth Ambassador for next year’s program. He is an incredible artist and shares his passion for art with his peers by creating and leading the SLSS Art Club. As Art Club President, he showcases student artwork by organizing events such as open mic nights, drama productions, musical theatre productions and a school-based TED event.
 
Rose Yang
German Mills P.S.
 
Rose is an avid volunteer helping with many student-led initiatives, such as the extra-curricular floor hockey tournament and in the school office during recess breaks.  Rose is a library helper who was instrumental in preparing and delivering book talks for students across all grades, as well as managing customers at the annual Book Fair.  Rose is an active member of the Student Leadership Team and she emcees the Character Matters Assemblies.
 
Sadia Fazelyar
Woodbridge College
 
Sadia leads the school’s mental health student programs. After attending the Talk about Addiction and Mental Illness (TAMI) conference, she joined the school’s mental health team and successfully applied for and received the Student Innovation Grant for mental health projects. Some of the projects include art therapy for students and staff, a Twitter campaign called #WCLetsTalk, guest speakers from CMHA and other activities.  Sadia was the Student Council President last year and was instrumental in organizing many school-wide events such as the student BBQ, holiday assembly and Student Success/Honour Roll breakfast.
 
Sanaz Lordfard
Johnsview Village P.S.
 
Sanaz is an enthusiastic member of the Healthy Schools Committee where she helps to lead school-wide Daily Physical Activity (DPA) at assemblies, distributes healthy snacks  and writes announcements that communicate healthy living practices with the school. Sanaz has been involved in Student Council, as a class representative, member of the social committee, Vice-President and this year serving as President . She has taken on the task of spearheading a campaign to encourage tolerance and inclusivity, which will incorporate announcements, posters and assemblies aimed towards building stronger relationships within classrooms and the school.
 
Sanjna Ullal
Thornhill S.S.
 
Sanjna is involved extensively in the Social Justice League and the school’s Cancer Society. A hallmark of Sanjna’s initiative and perseverance is her strong leadership with the Outdoor Learning Project where she welcomed the expertise of staff from Human Endeavour in Vaughan. In addition, Sanjna is involved in a fundraising effort to aid visually impaired learners overseas. 
 
Smit Parikh
Stephen Lewis S.S.
 
Smit is the President of the SLSS Student Ambassadors Group, a group of students who help ease the transition to high school for all Grade 9 students. Smit is also the Head of Photography for the SLSS Yearbook Committee. He manages all of this while holding down a part-time job in an X-ray clinic and volunteering at the Maple Public Library. At the library he teaches senior citizens how to use technology, access computer programs and use the internet. Smit has also given back to his community by canvassing for the Red Cross to raise funds to help those in need.
 
Aveen Izadi
Sixteenth Avenue P.S.
Aveen assumes a leadership role within the Library Commons by supporting staff and students in their literacy programs through book selection and maintenance of text collections. Aveen promotes school well-being and inclusivity through her role as a Peace Ambassador at the school and assumed leadership on the school’s inclusivity project, How Gardening Brings People Together. Aveen is an active member of the student announcement team, the Forest of Reading student book club and plays an active role in the Book Fair.
 
Dominick Arany
Red Maple P.S.
 
Domimick leads the school’s Holiday Heroes Campaign and encourages his peers to become involved, by going from class to class daily to spread awareness and collect donations.  As an avid reader, Dominick spends his free time contributing to the Learning Commons Leadership Team, where he assists at the school’s Book Fair and works to keep the library a place of learning and growth.  Being aware of events bigger than the school, Dominick helps run the Red Maple Terry Fox Run by encouraging other students to participate in the “Toonies for Terry” campaign.
 
Eleanor Kenyon
King City S.S.
 
She is a competitive athlete, a talented musician and an integral member of leadership groups such as Music Council, Student Council and the Mentorship program.  When working with any group, Eleanor’s leadership skills are impressive. Whether she is running a game at the overnight Grade 9 camp, or presenting an exam strategy workshop, Eleanor demonstrates excellent classroom management and leadership skills.
 
Jacqueline Iantorno
King City S.S.
 
As a student mentor, Jacqueline promotes student well-being, fosters inclusion and helps build the KCSS community.  Jacqueline  accomplishes these initiatives through events such as the Grade 9 Transition Day and Grade 9 field trip to Camp Wanakita where she acts as a camp counsellor to the younger students.  Jacqueline also helps to plan and implement exam preparation workshops, the school’s pre-exam hot chocolate and cookies event and the upcoming camp reunion.
 
Josie Kearney
Dr. G.W. Williams S.S.
 
Josie initiated Change for Change at her school which inspires staff and students to donate their spare change towards the Toy Mountain project, a program run by the Salvation Army that distributes toys to less fortunate children at holiday time. Close to $1,000 was raised through this project. Determined to go further, Josie is now focused on expanding her project to include university campuses by enlisting the help of alumni to make this happen. She hosted the Peer Mentor holiday social and incorporated a charitable component, is part of the Athletic and Music Councils and is a key contributor to the annual Terry Fox Run. 
 
Makayla Goodman
King City S.S.
 
Makayla’s leadership is evident through her work with Student Council and as a Mentor to the Grade 9 students. In this program, Makayla fosters inclusion and well-being among Grade 9 students to allow for a healthy and enjoyable transition to high school.  She accomplishes these initiatives through events such as the Grade 9 Transition Day and Grade 9 field trip to Camp Wanakita where Makayla acts as a camp counsellor to the younger students.  Makayla extends her leadership to the future Grade 9 students by volunteering to visit the feeder schools and sharing her high school experiences.
 
Michael Kebabdjian
Moraine Hills P.S.
 
Michael has been a leader within the athletic program for the past four years.  He shows tremendous sportsmanship, respect and character while participating on all of the athletic teams and being a mentor to the younger student athletes.  When he is not competing with the senior teams, he is volunteering his time to help coach and mentor the junior teams. Michael volunteers his time at all tournaments and has already committed to volunteering his time throughout high school to help out in a coaching, refereeing and mentoring capacity.
 
Alice Lam
Armadale P.S.
 
Alice is a Grade 7 student who arrives at school every morning at 7:30 a.m. to support the breakfast program. After the program ends, she puts on her duty vest with two other peers to assume her role as a Kindergarten Ambassador. She is an active leader on the Equity Ambassador team who helps to plan a variety of events and initiatives to teach students about inclusive practices. As an Equity Ambassador, she also attends parent forums to be the student voice on a variety of topics.
 
Antonia Racz
Pierre Elliott Trudeau H.S.
 
Antonia is a member of the Principia Science Club, a discussion director of the Trudeau Book Club, the founder of Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving, a secretary for Students Towards Realizing a United Tomorrow (STRUT) and an executive member and competitor of DECA. Over the summer, while reading about cancer, Antonia came across a journal article about the relationship between the ClpXP gene and metastasis.  Her interest peaked, Antonia investigated further, made detailed notes, and came up with a research question for the Sanofi Biogenius Competition: Does the overexpression of ClpXP gene cause metastasis?  She spoke with experts in the field, evaluated the feasibility of working in different settings, and found an enthusiastic professor who was the best fit. Antonia’s research proposal is a testament to countless hours of careful thought and hard work.
 
Kristen Price
Pierre Elliott Trudeau H.S.
 
Kristen demonstrates her leadership both in and outside of school by being an executive on Octagon and Trudeau Mentors. Outside of school, Kristen has a tremendous passion for humanitarian efforts and is a World Vision Youth Ambassador. She is a founding member of Creativity Through Arts Council, a registered non-profit that works under World Vision Canada and visited Kenya this past summer to see how her fundraising efforts have helped people directly. Most recently, Kristen presented a PechaKucha talk (similar to a TED talk) to Markham community members to raise awareness of the HungerFree Campaign.
 
Madeline Mintsoulis
Bill Crothers S.S.
 
Madeline participates on  a number of teams, including the soccer, field hockey, equestrian, badminton, flag football and snowboard race team. Currently, Maddie is the president of the Colts in Action Club, president of the Girls’ Club and a member of the Bill Crothers Leadership Committee. To see a student athlete participate in so many extracurricular activities while maintaining a very high level of academic achievement is astounding.
 
Marcella Wark
Sir William Mulock S.S.
 
Marcella shows leadership and inclusivity through her involvement with students in the multiple exceptionalities class, whether it is accompanying them on field trips or helping at track and field. She pushes herself to become involved in the school culture by joining clubs and can be trusted with taking on various responsibilities. Marcella is currently a student in the ASD1 program who has truly become a leader to her peers, always modeling expected behaviours and supporting the needs of others.
 
Matthew Burrows-Balka
Sutton District H.S.
 
Matthew demonstrates leadership in a variety of ways throughout the school community as an Executive Member on both Student Council and Blue and White Athletic Council. He creates a welcoming space for everyone who visits the school, both at the community dinner and staff children’s party, and is well-liked by the community class students.  As an emcee for music lunch concerts, he creates an atmosphere that is warm and inviting, giving performers an opportunity to shine. A true global citizen, he often makes connections between his international and community leadership experiences and social justice issues of the day. He most recently completed a student exchange trip to New Zealand.

 

 

 

Updated May 2017

 

 
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