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News Item

21st Annual Striving for Excellence Celebrates Student Achievement

October 11, 2022

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.IMG_5664.jpg

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
Desiree Belcourt
Ally Figel
Kohen Gaumont
Brielle Hedges
Imogen Hudyma-Yungwirth
Julia Hunt-Pfau
Jacob Leach
Karissa Sitko
Mannat Sran

Aspen Grove School
Ella Aplan
Kiersten Biette
Rylie Bueckert
Roman Bueckert
Peyton Dodd
Ashley Frerichs
Billie Johnson
Harper Mattson
Malia Quevillon

Avondale Elementary School
Vienne Arellano
Aubree Clarke
Liam Edwards
Lorena Garcia

Bridge Network Outreach School
Ella Casey
Dylan Ducharme
Madison Ducharme

Charles Spencer High School
Jadyn Anderson
Mia Charles-Rumsey
Madisyn Emmett
Indira Germain
Mia Gilje
Lita Gouchey
Gillian Head
Jai Lin Mark
Riley Steidel

Crystal Park School
Janee Bauman
Shawn Calatan
Shiela Dyck
Kimani Gordon
Ceilidh MacNeil
Anjelie Pedrano
Cooper Peters
Mackenzie Pinfield
Hannah Ungstad

Derek Taylor Public School
Connor Gustafson
Rahaf Elagili
Samantha Guinitaran
Nash Gurney
Gabriel Kisner
Madelyn Labreque
Alex MacKinnon
Aditi Paul
Kais Ruiz

Γ‰cole Montrose
Alaina Conner
Kyra Ehlers
Lauren Gaultier
Marek Hansen
Nathalie Lucas
Luke Peters
Zoe Ralston
Nyla Tink
William Wang

Grande Prairie Christian School
Brianna Dyck
Sully Forbes
Eden James
Makinley Jorgensen
Angelina Lin
Yining Liu
Michael Molenaar
Alexander Rauch
Courtney Schamehorn
Eric Schamehorn
Shanae Wilson

Grande Prairie Composite High School
Daniela Falaye
Jehad Hamad
Crystal Hobbs
Brytan Jefferies
Eknoor Nagra
Tanu Namsot
Ainsley Oppedisano
Luhita Sharma
Manan Upadhyaya

Hillside Community School
Leland Cudmore
Montaha Eraghubi
Darlene Perez
Kairoh Winiandy

I.V. Macklin Public School
Adara Bougiridis
Emilea Ewasiw
Charlotte Heath
Sammy Heath
Theo McCloskey
Hayley Osmond
Kevin O’Toole
Lincoln Paull
Logan Pedersen

Isabel Campbell Public School
Hayden Berard
Coehn Bolin
Mia Fralick
Siyana Kilani
Miella Moss
Autumn Pearson
Mikenna Powley
Paris Sprig-Giesbrecht
Rayna Stavast

Maude Clifford Public School
Aspyn Heath
Princess Rizaldo
Leighton Scott-Wanuch
McKenzie Williams

Parkside Montessori
Thomas Johnson
Gracey MacDonnell
Macie Ryan
MyKaelah Tucker

Riverstone Public School
Benson Anderson
Audrina French
Jade Heath
Lily London
Tripp McLead
Brooklyn Monnette
Hannah Nilsson
Halimah Olamide Olabisi
Kingston Taszlikowicz

Roy Bickell Public School
Jaren Alaimoana
Nina Diaz
Zenia Florea
EJ Igao
Makayla Jaschke
Jaireece Jorge
Georgia Lalonde
Ryder Robinson
Sazed Sazed

Swanavon School
Cody Dodge
Claire Goss
Bellatrix Jordan
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)

Related Information

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 Director
GPPSD Education Foundation
780-532-4491 Ext.1006

Division Information

Grande Prairie Public School Division
Phone: 780-532-4491