Every June, I have the privilege of sponsoring what I call the "MLA’s Peacekeeper Award" at schools in the St. Johns constituency.
The award comes with a cheque, a framed certificate and a formal presentation to reward youth who show a commitment to conflict settlement, co-operation and the principles of fair play in the classroom and school community. These role models are the real "action heroes" we should all celebrate.
Graduating from high school this year are three outstanding youth: Aleksandra Manzhura from St. John’s High School, West Kildonan Collegiate’s Jennifer Jablonski, and Faith Academy’s Jayden Leclair.
At École Seven Oaks Middle School, Heather Best was chosen for her compassionate and generous nature. I was honoured to present the award to Heather before her school and family.
The St. John’s Middle School Peacekeeper Award went to the well-liked Matthew Hebert, and both Avery Welby and Samantha Rogers of Edmund Partridge excelled academically while finding time to tutor and mentor their peers. The recipient from Marymound School was a young woman, name withheld, who embodies the Peacekeeper criteria by demonstrating her strong sense of justice in every personal interaction.
Teachers and students at Champlain School recognized the always dependable David Hernandez-Lopez. Victory School’s Kaylee Leochko received the Peacekeeper Award and was also nominated for the Louis Staples Patrol Captain Award, and from all accounts, Hope Inkster’s volunteerism enhanced everyone’s experience at Luxton School.
Mrs. Neufeld’s Grade 3 Cool 2Be Kind Class at Victory School worked hard on a "kindness initiative" and implemented the school’s first ever Kindness Day. The students of Inkster School’s Peace Patrol made a huge difference on the playground and in the classroom. True to the spirit of the Peacekeepers, the École Belmont School Patrol Squad donated their Scholarship to cancer research.
Julianna Martin at Ralph Brown School was selected for her strong leadership abilities and numerous extracurricular activities, and as the teachers at Governor Semple put it, Peacekeeper Massimo Urciuoli "leaves positive footprints with every step he takes."
Gord Mackintosh is the MLA for St. Johns.