Mayor Bob Sweet (left) and Award Coordinator Beverly Bimms (left) presented the  Outstanding Student Citizen Awards to the students on June 17. The recipients are, in the front row from left, Vanessa Ringuette,  Chloe Leveillie, Remi Lavoie and Sydney Ventress. In the back row are, from left, Jacob Gilbert, Olivia Neff, Cheyanne Millham and Jacob Quilty. Missing from the picture is Maddy Teskey. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Town of Petawawa presents special awards to outstanding local students

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday October 3, 2019

The Town of Petawawa annually recognizes exceptional teens with the Outstanding Student Citizen Awards, this year presented on June 17 in front of friends and family.

“They were chosen for involvement in their school and community,” said Award Coordinator Beverly Bimm.

From l’École Secondaire Catholique Jeanne-Lajoie, Vanessa Ringuette distinguished herself as an outgoing, self-motivated and respectful student. She has made an excellent prime minister for the student council, and was co-chairperson for the prom committee. She may be an incredible track and field athlete, but her true love is in the arts, particularly music.

Ringuette belongs to the school music group and the saxophone quartet and was a member of the singing Christmas tree and played with the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra. For her skills on the piano, she has received three different awards at the Kiwanis Music Festival.  Despite working part-time at Value Village, she also volunteered at the Petawawa 150th celebration and with the Pembroke Boys and Girls Club. She plans to enrol in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Science where she will study nutrition.

Also from Jeanne-Lavoie, Chloe Leveillie has proven herself organized, independent, fast-driving, caring, smart and funny. She has maintained exceptional grades while balancing competitive sports such as volleyball, soccer and ultimate Frisbee. She also dances competitively for Starz in Motion.

She is a faithful volunteer in her school and community and has recorded over 166 hours of volunteer work. She has volunteered as a camp counsellor at Garrison Petawawa, helped at Kids of Steel events, recorded game sheets, operated canteens and assisted at her dance studio. She is also a High Five® certified gymnastics coach at the Petawawa Gymnastic Club. She also plays the piano. She plans to go to the University of Ottawa where she has been accepted into the Honours Bachelor of Science program, where she will study biomedical science.

Jacob Quilty is from Bishop Smith Catholic High School. A very thoughtful young man, he demonstrates a quiet leadership and a tremendous degree of integrity and caring for others. He has been involved in many social issues and is committed to helping others whether they are in his school, his community or internationally. He was a member of the Dominican Republic Experience where he helped fundraise for needed medical supplies. He also continues to be a member of Faith Foundation and the school’s Social Justice Club.

Quilty has been involved as a leader for the Amazing Race and enjoys kayaking, rock climbing and orienteering as well as playing soccer with the Petawawa Minor Soccer League and he assists with the junior teams. He is the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 2642 3 RCR Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and has volunteered at the Royal Canadian Legion as well as the Canadian Cancer Society.

He is joining the Canadian Armed Forces with plans to become a pilot.

Sydney Ventress is also from Bishop Smith and has been described as a kind young woman who embodies a balance of mind, body and soul. She is liked and respected by her peers and teachers for her commitment to her school and community. She always tries to move outside of her comfort zone to lead others into making their high school experience more enjoyable.

She was a member of both the student council as the public relations representative and the athletic council. She has participated in many sports including volleyball, basketball, badminton and soccer. She was also a part of the Dominican Republic Team and is a member of the Faith Formation Group.

Ventress is a Town of Petawawa camp counsellor, a swim coach for the Petawawa Predators swim team, a member of the Relay for Life youth team and a volunteer for Relay for Life. In September, she began her studies at Nippising University in Concurrent Education.

From Valour JK-12 School are Remie Lavoie and Olivia Neff.

Lavoie is a gifted athlete who has excelled both in individual and team sports throughout high school. She is known as not only a skilled athlete but for being an exceptional team player and leader both on and off the field. On two occasions, she qualified for the OFSAA Championships in Nordic Skiing and has competed four times at the Eastern Ontario level in Badminton, twice in Track and Field and once each in soccer and downhill skiing.

She shares her time and skills with younger students at Valour through her work in organizing events, coaching and leading the Valour Sports Camp each summer. She is part of an organizing team for the local elementary track and field meet as well as different school events such as Family Fun day. She helps to coach sports team and helps out at the Before and After work program in the summer.

Lavoie helps in the community by participating in the clean-up of both the ski hill and the beaches before the seasons open and by fundraising for different community causes. She works as a mentor and teaches young children through her work as a lifeguard and swim instructor. She also plays the piano.

She is taking a gap year to live in Italy before she attends the University of Ottawa where she will study towards a Bachelor of Health Sciences.

Neff is as known for her leadership and is an excellent mentor for younger students. She has taken on the lead role for Valour’s Link Crew in support of grade nine students. During her time at the school, she has been a member of both the student and athletic councils.

She has been a teaching assistant, a Special Olympics basketball coach and a volunteer for many of her school’s sporting events and tournaments. Although she is busy maintaining her excellent academic record and working part-time at Hyska’s Your Independent Grocer, she also assists with special events at Pine View Elementary School, where she also tutors students. She also serves meals at her church and volunteers at Missing Link Snowmobile Club. Neff enjoys playing soccer, camping and playing the guitar. She is going to Queen’s University for the Bachelor of Nursing program.

Jacob Gilbert is an école secondaire Publique L’Équinoxe student. Through his involvement in both school and community activities, he has proven himself to be a friendly and outgoing young man. He is extremely generous with his time and is respectful of staff and peers, always willing to listen and help wherever he can. For the past five years, he has been a member of the student council, and after two years as vice-president, he was elected to serve as president.

He has spearheaded many activities to encourage school spirit, including taking the entire secondary section of the school on a Christmas trip to Ottawa. Another idea of his resulted in the annual haunted house tucked into the basement library.

He has given many volunteer hours to the Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre (PMFRC) and is responsible for creating activities for the younger children. He has also been involved with his church, working as a summer camp assistant at the Ottawa Valley Pentecostal Camp. He has been a member of the  2642 3 RCR Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and the 638 Algonquin Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron. Gilbert plans to study Hospitality and Tourism at La Cité collégiale in Ottawa.

Also from  L’Équinoxe is Cheyanne Millham. Although very busy, she always finds the time and energy to see the commitments she takes on both at the school and in the community through to the end. She is organized and self-disciplined, respectful and friendly. She is also encouraging, fair-minded and a true team player. She has participated in a variety of sports including basketball, soccer, volleyball and badminton. She was a member of the Vikings Volleyball Team and a member of the Petawawa Minor Soccer Club.

As a member of the Petawawa Skating Club for 16 years, she has competed both as an individual skater and as a member of the Platinum Edge. She has used her expertise to instruct the younger skaters.

The PMFRC has also been the recipient of many of her hours of volunteer work as she has helped with children’s activities. She also volunteers with La FESFO, an organization which sponsors activities for students between the ages of 15 and 19 who are attending French school in Ontario. She has been a member of the student council for four years and spent a year as the Vice President. Next year, she will be attending the University of Ottawa where she will study nursing.

Maddy Teskey is from Fellowes High School. People say that she is an outstanding young woman in many ways. She is conscientious regarding her studies and always finds time to help where is needed. She is particularly active in the Fellowes Help Group. Teskey coaches gymnastics and teaches dance. She helped run activities at the annual Fellowes Sports Camp and made a video for the athletic banquet. Recently she was involved in presenting a dance show as a fundraiser for Relay for Life, raising over $1,000. She is a competitive dancer with Starz in Motion and travels with the group four times a year to competitions. This year, she won third place soloist in her age division at the Inspire Dance Challenge. She plans to return to Fellowes for another year before pursuing post-secondary education.