AMHERST – Five graduates, five experiences, five plans.
Allanah Conrad will be leaving home this fall.
“It’s something that needs to be done,” she said.
Conrad will be attending UNB in Fredericton, working on a science degree. She doesn’t know yet what career she plans to pursue.
“I can’t narrow it down to one,” she said.
Leah Patterson is this year’s valedictorian.
“I think they (choose) it by marks over the four years,” she said.
Patterson is also pursuing a science degree, but she’s staying in-province: Dalhousie. She has a tentative career path.
“I’m thinking about being an orthopedic surgeon,” she said.
That’s the future. But graduation is here right now. The valedictorian said it will be “a little weird” saying good-bye to everyone.
Marson Coleman was asked to reflect on the high school experience.
“I think it was the time when you probably mature the most in your life,” he said.
With maturity comes perspective. What does he wish he knew in Grade 9 that he knows now?
“Probably just be yourself.”
Coleman is headed to Dalhousie for a science degree.
For Chelsea Cluett, graduation means freedom: “…to actually get out into the world.”
She declined providing something she liked the least about high school, but named what she liked best.
“Making lifelong friends,” she said.
Cluett will be joining Coleman and Patterson at Dal to get a Bachelor of Science degree.
Nansinee Harnsamut – ‘Nancy’ – has been out in the world for a long time. The Bangkok, Thailand native went to school in India for two years, then came to Amherst for her final two years of secondary school. Her mother has flown in from Thailand for graduation.
“Not hard for me,” she said when asked what it was like living so far from home.
Her family would like to have her back on the other side of the Pacific.
“I don’t want to go,” she said.
Harnsamut said she’d like to live in Toronto and attend university in southern Ontario. She needs to complete her SATs first, which she intends to do back in Bangkok this coming year.
She said her English was terrible when she arrived, and described school as easy here compared to Thailand, where she said students study from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. When asked if she thought Canadian students should adopt Thailand’s schedule, she said no. She thinks a more relaxed atmosphere is a good thing.
Leah Patterson was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Medal, the Governor General’s Medal, a scholarship to attend Dalhousie University, the Douglas Walter McBrien Memorial Bursary, the ARHS and E.B. Chandler JHS Band and Choir Parent Bursary, and the Mr. & Mrs. Russell O. Hunter Bursary.
Here's an excerpt from her valedictory speech: “Remember when we were in Grade 9? That was embarrassing. We’ve grown up within this building over the last four years, become familiar with all of the faces, got used to the routine of this school. Now we have to go to a new place with new people and start all over again, leaving our friends behind. Is anybody crying yet? This change is exciting to some, scary to others. But every change comes with a little sorrow, so just try to embrace whatever comes your way. Unless it’s an angry bear or a wasp.”
Some of the other prizes awarded included the Ethel Jean MacIver Kierstead Award and the Brent Cadman Award, given to the young woman and young man who best represent the spirit of the school: Brittany Kane and Corey Wheaton. Faculty awards went to Kathryn Hillier and David Manuele, and the Best All-Round Graduate was Chelsey Gray. Receiving the $2,000 Diamond Jubilee Scholarship leadership and active citizenship was Zachery Black.
Almost $200,000 in bursaries and scholarships was awarded to the graduating class.
University and college scholarships (many divided over multiple years) included:
Acadia University – Owen Canton ($1,300)
Crandall University – Makayla Fancy ($16,000)
Dalhousie University – Benjamin Burt ($6,300), Kristin Chapman ($3,000), Chelsea Cluett ($16,000), Marson Coleman ($16,000), Rory Evans ($1,500), Michelle Everill ($6,300), Kevin Hatheway ($750), David Manuele ($750), Leah Patterson ($3,000), Samantha Tingley ($11,900), Corey Wheaton ($1,500)
Holland College – Holly MacDonald ($1,000)
Institute for Human Services Education – Jessica Gouchie ($500)
Memorial University – Brittany Kane ($2,000)
Mount Allison University – Zachery Black ($12,000), Lindsay Butler ($6,000), Nicholas Gould ($2,000), Jesse McCormick-Blakeney ($6,000), Cara Polegato ($6,000), Jamie Steele ($4,000), Max Sullivan ($2,000), Nicholas Wolfe ($2,000), Joanna Wood ($8,000)
Mount Saint Vincent University – Kathryn Hillier ($1,500)
Oulton College – Megan Wheaton ($1,000)
St. Francis Xavier University – Marcel Amirault ($3,500), Jessica Kinnear ($3,500), Jenna Szeto ($4,000)
St. Mary’s University – Sydney Calder ($3,500)
University of New Brunswick – Allanah Conrad ($12,000), Chelsey Gray ($1,500), Devin Lockhart ($1,000), Jennifer O’Brien ($2,000), Nikki Roberts ($1,000), Tyler Sangster ($6,000), Madelyn Wride ($6,000)
University of PEI – Sara MacKay ($1,500), Amanda Mitton ($1,000)
University of Waterloo – Ian Blundell-Smith ($1,000)
Recipients of bursaries valued at $1,000 or more included:
Hennessey Memorial Scholarship – Marson Coleman
Laurene Tye Memorial Bursary – Allanah Conrad
Jason Cormier Memorial Scholarship – Jaret Collins
Amherst Lions Club – Brent MacNeil
APSEA Interprovincial School Development Association Bursary – Raymond Manthorne
Ashford Investments Bursary – Jenna Szeto
Bacon-Elliott Bursary – Quinn Burt and Samantha Tingley
Bank of Nova Scotia – Zachery Black
Cumberland Health Care Auxiliary Bursary – Madelyn Wride
Elizabeth J. Hewson and Helen M. Hewson Scholarship – Corey Wheaton
Gables Lodge – Michelle Everill
H.B. Alice Christie Memorial Scholarship – Ashton Hunter
John Nuttall Memorial Scholarship – Ashton Hunter
Linda Barteaux Memorial Scholarship – Chelsey Scott
Lynda Burke Memorial Bursary – Michelle Everill and Stephanie Parrell
Margaret J. MacMaster Friendship Scholarship – Kendra Kinnear
Mr. & Mrs. Russell O. Hunter Bursary – Kristin Chapman and Leah Patterson
Rodger and Trudy Taylor Mathematics Prize – Marson Coleman
Rotary Club of Amherst Scholarship – Rory Evans, Brittany Kane, Corey Wheaton, Holly MacDonald, Shelby Hum
Royal Bank of Canada Scholarship – Kevin Hatheway
Susan Taylor Scholarship – Kathryn Hillier and Nikki Roberts
Showcase Productions Scholarship – Quinn Burt
Tantramar Chapter IODE – Michelle Everill
TM MacIntyre & John Bower Bursaries - Community Credit Union – Quinn Burt
Town of Amherst Norman Mansour Memorial Bursary – Ryan MacKenzie
Town of Amherst Robert Angus Memorial Scholarship – Brittany Kane
William S. Daley Memorial Scholarship – Zachery Black
Wilson Fuel Bursary – Quinn Burt