Time to shine for Ripley
Grade 8 graduates

By Liz Dadson



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Winning awards at the Ripley-Huron Community School Grade 8 graduation, Tuesday evening, at the school, are, Travis Emmerton (L), Morgan Colling, Brandon Hooey, Alexa Collins and Calum Davis

Award winners, are Alayna Card (L), Jennelle Smeltzer, Brent Scott, Connor Uzzell and Callie Martyn

Winning awards, are Jacob Lange (L), Taryn Fry, Liam Chapleau and Annie Leppington

Award winners, are Hart McFarlane (L), Victoria Weber, Jerome Vanderburg-Elliott, Cassie Johnston-Brown and Zane Douglas

"It's your time to shine. Get out there and chase your dreams. Follow your heart and good things will happen."

Those words of encouragement came from valedictorian Jennelle Smeltzer, as she spoke at the Ripley-Huron Community School Grade 8 graduation ceremony, Tuesday night, at the school.

"Life is not a race, but indeed a wonderful journey," said Jennelle. "Take the time to dream big and live your life to the fullest."

Valedictorian Jennelle Smeltzer

Taking the graduates on a trip down memory lane from when they started elementary school 10 years ago, Jennelle recalled their wonderful Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. MacDonald.

"She taught us all the basics of everything. The days were spent learning our jolly phonics, calendar time and the best part of the day, activity time."

Then through Grade 1 with Mrs. Nixon, Grade 2 with Mrs. Wilken and Grade 3 with Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Simpson.

Grade 4, found the students in two different classes, with Mr. L. and Mrs. Walden-Troke. "We all thought it was so cool when Mr. L. made up nicknames for all of the students in his class. And you can't forget his legendary deer heart."

Grade 5, the class was together again with Mrs. Walden-Troke. That year, the students started the Me-to-We "Free the Children" project, raising money to build a school in Ecuador.

The most memorable part of Grade 6 was the trip to the Outdoor Education Centre for three days in the winter. And joining the school band.

Along with being senior students, in Grades 7 and 8, came more responsibility, but there was also a lot of fun. "We had Mr. Quinn in Grade 7. Everyone loved when we were in the middle of a lesson and Mr. Quinn would get side-tracked with one of his 'stories'."

Jennelle sent a big thank you to French teacher Madame Battler and music teacher Mrs. Browne for some great memories. And to all the teachers who volunteered to run intramural sports, and coach sports.

Finally, Grade 8, the top of the heap, with Mrs. Grubb.

"She taught us everything we need to know to get us ready for high school," said Jennelle. "She has big expectations for all her students and huge responsibilities that we need to follow. One of the biggest responsibilities we had was to make sure we always checked over our work and handed it in on time."

The class had a terrific Grade 8 grad trip to Toronto, visiting the Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Science Centre, the Rogers Centre, watching a live performance of "The Lion King," and attending Medieval Times.

Now, it's time for the Class of 2014 to shine, said Jennelle. "We all have different dreams and expectations. I wish everyone the best with whatever you decide to pursue in your lifetime.

"One last thing, don't go where the path may lead you; go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. Appreciate all the little things in life and enjoy them.

"Live for today, enjoy the moment. Congratulations, Class of 2014. We made it!"

The following students won awards at the graduation:

Scholastic Medallion for academic excellence - Alayna Card, Liam Chapleau, Morgan Colling, Jacob Lange, Annie Leppington, Hart McFarlane, Jennelle Smeltzer, Connor Uzzell

William Turvill Scholastic Achievement award for top average in the graduating class - Jacob Lange
Sub-Lieutenant John A. MacLeod Memorial prize for second highest average -  Hart McFarlane

Valedictorian - Jennelle Smeltzer

Reid's Corners Women's Institute award for progress - Alexa Colling and Brent Scott

Purple Grove Women's Institute Music award - Victoria Weber


"Western"-themed cupcakes for the Ripley-Huron Community School Grade 8 graduation, were made by Kirsten Walden

French award - Morgan Colling

Albert Wylds History award - Calum Davis

Albert Wylds Geography award - Jennelle Smeltzer

Helen Henderson Science award - Liam Chapleau

Bruce Power Technology award - Brandon Hooey and Travis Emmerton

Art award - Hart McFarlane

English award - Annie Leppington

Ripley-Huron Legion Ladies Auxiliary language award - Cassie Johnston-Brown

Grubb Memorial Math award - Jacob Lange

CUPE Local 1176 service award - Jerome Vanderburg-Elliott

Ripley and District Lions Club Athletic award - Jennelle Smeltzer and Jacob Lange

Steven Taylor Memorial award for a student who demonstrates consistent effort and has overcome significant learning challenges to perform to the best of his/her ability - Zane Douglas

Joe Fitzgerald Congeniality award - Alayna Card

HuronTel leadership award - Alayna Card and Jacob Lange

MacKenzie and McCreath School Spirit award - Hart McFarlane
Raven award - "Best you Can Be" - for positive attitude, good citizenship, academic achievement and leadership - Connor Uzzell and and Annie Leppington

Tara Chatham Memorial Athletic award for leadership, participation in sports and demonstrating fair play, team spirit and good sportsmanship - Callie Martyn

Rose Lowry Memorial Fund award - Taryn Fry and Brent Scott

Kincardine Rotary Club Citizenship award - Hart McFarlane

OSSTF "Pay It Forward" award - Morgan Colling

NEW - Engineering Inspiration award - sponsored by the Kinetic Knights Robotics team (FRC Team 781) - Connor Uzzell

Liz Dadson

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Saturday, June 28, 2014