Celebrating GPPSD student achievement at the 21st annual Striving for Excellence awards night
October 11, 2022 – 150 students from across the Grande Prairie Public School Division (GPPSD) were celebrated for their outstanding achievements during the 21st annual Striving for Excellence Awards night on October 5.
Proudly hosted by the GPPSD Education Foundation, the awards night focused on celebrating students. "Striving for Excellence is defined as hard work, dedication, and the resulting improvements made throughout the school year," explains Angus Sutherland, Board Chair of the Grande Prairie Public School Division Education Foundation.
The awards are unique in criteria, allowing every student in grades 4-12 an equal opportunity to be recognized. "It's not just about academics – our awards recognize individual excellence and success, as experienced by individual students," explains Sutherland.
"It is a highlight of the Board's year to be part of this special event," said Joan Nellis, GPPSD Board Chair. "Congratulations to all the attendees! And thank you to the Foundation for creating the opportunity for staff to recognize their students' personal outstanding successes."
"Winning a Striving for Excellence Award means I am being recognized for putting forth the effort," explains Janee Bauman, Grade 8. "Because as long as you are trying in school, I feel like that is going to put you farther ahead in life than just getting good grades." Roman Bueckert, a fellow awardee in Grade 7, agreed, "it tells me I am doing hard work and staying on task most of the time. So basically being successful in school."
Image (L-R): Rowan, Bueckert, Hannah Ungstad, Janee Bauman, Laci-Anna Wilkins and Angus Sutherland.
Hannah Ungstad, Grade 8, won the Outstanding Student Award. When asked what the award meant to her, she said, "it truly means a lot to me, and I owe it all to my friends, family, and especially teachers - they are an inspiration."
Laci-Anna Wilkins was awarded a scholarship for furthering her education in Cosmetology. "It feels really good to be recognized for something that isn't usually recognized," she explained. "I now have an opportunity to take more classes and further my career. It feels good to be recognized for my hard work, and I can now get to more goals in my life." Wilkins graduated from the Grande Prairie Composite High School in 2022 and is now working at a salon in the city.
Sandy McDonald, Superintendent of GPPSD, was proud to be part of the night and told the audience, "thank you to everyone in this room, you have worked together to support what matters most in GPPSD: the growth and achievement of our students."
This year's keynote speaker was The Honourable Judge Andrea Chrenek, who spoke to the almost 550 awardees and guests at the Tara Centre in Evergreen Park.
The Foundation thanks their longtime event sponsors Xerox and The Workun Garrick Partnership. It is the Foundation's hope to continue inspiring students to always try their hardest – a skill that is valued both inside and outside of school.
2022 Awardees and Scholarships
Alexander Forbes School
Aspen Grove School
Avondale Elementary School
Bridge Network Outreach School
Charles Spencer High School
Jai Lin Mark
Crystal Park School
Derek Taylor Public School
Grande Prairie Christian School
Grande Prairie Composite High School
Hillside Community School
I.V. Macklin Public School
Isabel Campbell Public School
Maude Clifford Public School
Riverstone Public School
Halimah Olamide Olabisi
Roy Bickell Public School
Cherry Tan Wu
CTS Award Recipients
Ranae Reid, Culinary Studies (Charles Spencer High School)
Ellyot Deller, Cosmetology (Grande Prairie Composite High School)
Laci-anna Wilkins, Cosmetology (Grande Prairie Composite High School)
Jorge Suarez, Friends of the Foundation (Charles Spencer High School)
Prince Annelof Lacerna, Friends of the Foundation (Grande Prairie Composite High School)
Andrew Russell, Weyerhaeuser Local (Charles Spencer High School)
Coryl Moran, Weyerhaeuser Local (Grande Prairie Composite High School)
Striving for Excellence Awards recognize dedication, hard work, and students striving to do their absolute best. Here are the award criteria:
- Outstanding Student Award – a combination of marks and all-around contribution to the school.
- Striving for Excellence Award – dedicated, hard-working students doing their best. Based on student abilities and effort.
- School Service Award – service to the school, as determined by the school staff and administration.
The awards hold a special meaning for nominees because their teachers and administration nominated them.
About the Grande Prairie Public School Division Education Foundation
The GPPSD Education Foundation was started in 1991 to enhance educational opportunities for students in the Grande Prairie Public School Division. It was designed to complement basic education services in the city's public schools. Foundation members work towards providing resources in areas that are not funded through government allocations to school boards. The Board of Directors, together with the many contributors have been able to enhance the educational experience for students. Follow their story on Facebook @GPPSDEdFoundation.
Help Make a Positive Impact
You can support student success by making a donation to the Foundation today! Please contact Shaundra, the Executive Director.
Grande Prairie Public School District Education Foundation Information
Shaundra Siebert, Executive DirectorDivision Information
GPPSD Education Foundation
Grande Prairie Public School Division