RIVER HEBERT - It was an emotional night inside the standing-room only River Hebert District High School (RHDH) gymnasium where countless family, friends, current/former RHDH staff members and well-wishers showed their support for the RHDH Class of 2010.
Chignecto Family of Schools Supervisor Scott Milner was in attendance, along with guest speaker and school board member Donna Fraser, notwithstanding former RHDH teacher Barry Anderson and former RHDH Principals Larry Beardsley and Forbes Ray.
Principal Donald Gamblin remarked in his address that, “we had another great year here at RHDH.”
Highlighting Mr. Gamblin’s address were plans for the new $6 million P-12 River Hebert School that he said would be “…fantastic (because) students would able to stay in their own community to go to school.” In addition, Gamblin had high praise for the River Hebert Schools breakfast program that had “a huge percentage of the student body starting their day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast.” In addition, he reported that River Hebert Schools had raised $3,000 for Haiti relief and shelter boxes. Gamblin also noted that there would be several changes to RHDH’s teaching staff: Shawn Wolfe accepted a job closer to his Bible Hill home at Hants East Rural High School; Jeffrey Purchase transferred to Hants North Rural High School; Cheryl Burgoyne (Truro) and Stephen Haley is departing to pursue his music career. Vernon Taylor will be returning in the fall as RHDH’s new vice-principal, replacing the retiring Gail Walsh.
Regarding the 15 stars of the event, Gamblin said that “his message yesterday at the baccalaureate service was to stop, slow down and give thanks for the many blessings you have. Tonight my message to you is to soak it all in like a big sponge as you are surrounded by people that love you… this is your night.”
The RHDH Class of 2010, in alphabetical order, are: Darryl Wayne Baxter, Breanna Kathleen Clinton, Evan Michael Dowe, Ian Alexander Glennie, Katelynn Marie Harpell, Morgan Reanna Jennings, Paul Edward Cyril Mawdsley, Jalysa Nadine McKinnon, Dakota Laurie Melanson, Dennis William Luke Miller, Danielle Ashley Patterson, Lindsay Danielle Smith, Michelle Chantelle Ulch, Ayodeji Rotimi Upshaw and Stephanie Anne Vansnick.
Following Gamblin’s presentation of certificates to the graduates, valedictorian Morgan “Moe” Jennings eloquently delivered her valedictory speech. Morgan reflected fondly on the benefits of attending a small, rural school such as RHDH, stating that “most of these students have been together since primary, and have had the chance to grow up with one another. This is what sets us apart from other graduating classes. We’ve been together, through it all.
“Today as we celebrate this time in our lives coming to and end,” she continued. “I hope we will all look back on our time and remember these things that hold us together, and hopefully will continue to do so as we leave here today.” Morgan concluded her valedictory by congratulating her peers, saying that “if I could leave you all with one last thing to remember, it’s that it’s not what you do, but the people you do it with that makes life special.” Among Morgan’s family members that were looking on with pride was Morgan’s mother and former RHDH teacher Kathlene Jennings, who inspired many others in attendance to follow her lead by giving her daughter a standing ovation following the conclusion of her speech.
According to Gamblin, a total of $18,304 in scholarships and bursaries were awarded to RHDH’s 15 graduates. Among the new awards handed out for the first time were two $250 Anne Pugsley Memorial Bursaries. Pugsley, a former RHDH teacher, passed away earlier on this year. An ardent supporter of the trades, it was Anne’s wish that bursaries could be awarded to RHDH students pursuing post-secondary secondary studies in the trades. Evan Dowe (NSCC-Lunenburg Campus) and Paul Mawdsley (NSCC-Cumberland) were each presented with a $250 bursary by Pugsley’s son-in-law, Paul Gauthier, and granddaughter Beatrice Gauthier. Anne’s daughter Melissa Gauthier is a teacher at Parrsboro Regional High School.
Breanna Clinton (UNB) and Morgan Jennings (Laurentian), who finished first and second respectively, were the big winners of the night. Danielle Patterson finished third. Notable among Breanna Clinton’s awards were her two scholarships from UNB (a $500 UNB Alumni Entrance Scholarship and a $1,500 UNB William and Lois Paine Founder’s Renewable Scholarship) as well as a $1,000 Community Credit Union of Cumberland-Colchester Limited Scholarship. Morgan Jennings’ key scholarships/ bursaries include the $1,000 Ethel Fife and Phoebe Moran Scholarship, a $500 bursary from Poly Cello and a $499 bursary from the NSTU Cumberland Local. In addition to the aforementioned, Ayoedji Upshaw was awarded an $1,800 African Nova Scotia Scholarship while Dakota Melanson was awarded a $1,000 bursary from the Joggins Fire Department and Ladies Auxiliary to support his enrolment in Holland College’s Basic Firefighting Course.
Gamblin concluded the night’s festivities by making a very special presentation in the form a gift and service award to Gail Walsh for her “distinguished” 33 years of teaching at RHDH, 34 years of teaching overall. Mrs. Walsh spent the majority of her teaching career as a full-time classroom teacher at RHDH. While Gail has mostly taught Grades 7-12 Core French, she also taught Grade 7 English up until recently. In addition, Walsh has served as a teaching vice-principal at RHDH over the past half dozen years or so, notwithstanding her many years serving the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union, mostly recently sitting on its executive council. She was also presented with a bouquet of flowers from Darrell Fagan of the village commission.
Complete List of River Hebert District School Graduates and their Awards: (Information Courtesy of RHDH)
Darryl Wayne Baxter: AWARDS- RHDH Merit Award, $50.
Breanna Kathleen Clinton: Post-secondary school is UNB Fredericton.
AWARDS- Recipient of the Right Reverend Monseigneur Curry Award for 1st Place Standing in Grade 12; Grade 12 Honours; Governor General’s Academic Medal in Bronze; Queen Elizabeth II Medal; Honours with Distinction; University of Toronto Book Award; Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 14 River Hebert Bursary, $200; River Hebert Village Commission Bursary, $300; Community Credit Union of Cumberland-Colchester Limited Scholarship, $1,000; Nova Scotia Freemasons’ Scholarship, King Edward Lodge #86 A.F & A.M., $500; Father Norman Sorge Award for the Highest Mark in Grade 12 Academic English, $60; Father Norman Sorge Award for the Highest Mark in Grade 12 Global History, $60; Highest Mark in Grade 12 Physics; Highest Mark in Grade 12 Pre-Calculus; Yearbook Appreciation Award; Prom Appreciation Award;
Jason Edwards’ Scholarship, $500; Ethel Fife and Phoebe Moran Scholarship, $500; Tanya Proctor Memorial Award Bursary, $100; UNB Alumni Entrance Scholarship, $500 and the UNB William & Lois Paine Founder’s Renewable Scholarship, $1,500.
Evan Michael Dowe: Post-secondary school is NSCC-Lunenburg Campus.
AWARDS- Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 4 Joggins Bursary, $100; Joggins Fire Department & Ladies’ Auxiliary Bursary, $75; Stay in School Award, $400; River Hebert Home & School Association Bursary, $100 and the Anne Pugsley Memorial Bursary, $250.
Ian Alexander Glennie: AWARDS- Joggins Fire Department & Ladies’ Auxiliary Bursary, $75.
Katelynn Marie Harpell: Post-secondary school is Amherst Changes School of Hair Design. AWARDS- Grade 12 Achievement Award; Royal Canadian Legion Branch #14 River Hebert Bursary, $200; Royal Canadian Legion Branch #14 River Hebert Ladies’ Auxiliary Bursary, $200; River Hebert Pharmacy Bursary, $300; RHDH Student Council Bursary in memory of Tanya Proctor, $150 and the Amherst Changes School of Hair Design Bursary, $500.
Morgan Reanna Jennings: Post-secondary school is Laurentian University.
AWARDS- 2nd Place Standing in Grade 12; Grade 12 Honours; District Honours; Valedictorian Award; NSSAF Exemplary Participation Award; River Hebert Village Commission Bursary, $300; Highest mark in Grade 12 Physics; Dr. D.M. and Vera Cochrane Award, $200; Ethel Fife and Phoebe Moran Scholarship, $1,000; Cumberland Club Aliant Telecom Pioneers of America Bursary, $100; Poly Cello Bursary, $500 and the NSTU Cumberland Local Bursary, $499.
Paul Edward Cyril Mawdsley: Post-secondary school is NSCC-Cumberland Campus.
AWARDS- Grade 12 Achievement Award; NSSAF Exemplary Participation Award; Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 4 Joggins Bursary, $100; Joggins Fire Department and Ladies’ Auxiliary Bursary, $75; Dr. Ram Boodoosingh, $200; River Hebert Home & School Association Bursary, $100; RH Pharmacy Bursary, $150 and the Anne Pugsley Memorial Bursary, $250.
Jalysa Nadine McKinnon: AWARDS- Gordon & Myrtle Grant Memorial Trophy and the Bernadette Berry Bursary, $50.
Dakota Laurie Melanson: Post-secondary school is Holland College.
AWARDS- Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 4 Joggins Bursary, $100; Joggins Fire Department & Ladies’ Auxiliary Bursary, $75; Joggins Fire Department & Ladies’ Auxiliary Bursary, $1,000; Production Technology Prize, $25; River Hebert Pharmacy Bursary, $150 and the Jennie & Basil Brine Scholarship, $30.
Dennis William Luke Miller: AWARDS- RHDH Merit Award, $100.
Danielle Ashley Patterson: Post-secondary school is NSCC-Cumberland Campus.
AWARDS- 3rd Place Standing in Grade 12; Cumberland South Conservative Association Award, $100; Dr. Ram Boodoosingh Award, $200; Ethel Fife and Phoebe Moran Scholarship, $500 and the Mildred and Gornall Johnston Bursary, $100.
Lindsay Danielle Smith: AWARDS-Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 14 River Hebert Bursary, $200 and the River Hebert Fire Department Bursary, $100.
Ayodeji Rotimi Upshaw: Post-secondary school is NSCC-Cumberland Campus.
AWARDS-Grade 12 Achievement Award; Cumberland North Conservative Award, $100; River Hebert Fire Department Bursary, $100; Nova Scotia Freemasons’ Scholarship, King Edward Lodge #86 A.F. & A.M., $500; Bacon-Elliot Bursary, $1,000; the NSTU Halifax County Local Bursary, $400 and the $1,800 African Nova Scotia Scholarship.
Michelle Chantelle Ulch: Post-secondary school is Centre of Continuing Education.
AWARDS-Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 14 River Hebert Ladies’ Auxiliary Bursary, $200 and the RHDH Student Council Bursary in memory of Tanya Proctor, $150.
Stephanie Anne Vansnick: AWARDS-RHDH Merit Award, $50.