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June 23, 2014
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Happy

Congrats to our friends at Salisbury Composite High School and all the happy 2014 Grads!

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June 23, 2014
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2014 Scholarship Winners react to announcement

Megan Funke - Making Grad Great Scholarship
“Winning the “Make Grad Great!” scholarship has truly been an honor. Having my time, effort, and dedication that I put into my graduation acknowledged has been a wonderful opportunity to allow me to continue on my education journey to one day become an engineer. It was gratifying to see the work I did make a difference at my grad and with the school community and I am very thankful for EventIQ for recognizing my achievements.”

Erica Mitchell – Acting Out Scholarship
“I was elated, my first response was to share the blog post with all of the teachers and colleagues that have helped me get to where I am today in regards to theatre. Wining the scholarship is super helpful in paying for university (I knew it would be expensive, just not THIS expensive). Not to mention it is one step forward for mankind in proving that acting out isn’t such a bad thing. I am thankful to all of those who put their time and effort into choosing the winner for this year’s “Acting out Grad Scholarship”.

 Madeline Morris – Sweat Your Way to Grad Scholarship
“Thank you it is an honour to have received this scholarship, I am both amazed and pleased!  In regards to where I’m off to next year, I’ll be attending Queen’s University and have landed myself a spot on the women’s basketball team. I look forward to continuing my educational and athletic journey, thanks to the guidance and support of Mrs. Rice. Thank you again.”

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June 20, 2014
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2014 SchoolTools Scholarship Winners

It just gets bigger and better every single year. Over 150 students across Canada shared their amazing stories of graduation nights to remember, athletic triumphs and standing ovations with the SchoolTools team. Needless to say selecting a winner in each category was a tremendous challenge. We thank each and every one of the students that participated and all of the teachers that inspired them to their greatness.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for – the winner and 1st runner up to each of the three 2014 InviteRight SchoolTools Scholarships!

MAKING GRAD GREAT SCHOLARSHIP
WINNER
Megan Funke – St. Joseph High School
Edmonton, Alberta

Mentor – Rachel MacLeod – Grad Committee Teacher
“Seven Hundred Roses”
Over 700 hours. This is how long it took Megan Funke to make over 700 paper rose decorations from discarded English novels by hand for the over 100 tables at the St. Joseph’s High School graduation. But the results were without question were absolutely astounding.

Megan: This year, the St. Joseph’s grad committee was made up of nine grad teachers, ten students, and three grade eleven helpers. Together as a committee, we were able to make this year’s grad the best it has ever been. Each teacher put in an immense amount of effort in order to make grad possible and I want to thank each one of them for their commitment, dedication, and hard work they put in especially a special thanks to Mrs. MacLeod who functioned as one of the grad committee leaders and really helped to make grad possible.  I also want to thank the rest of the students in grade committee. We spent hours working to make our grad wonderful with all of our fundraising, social media updates, suggestions and ideas, images, and the other countless tasks we completed. Grad was a fantastic experience and it was because of our committee’s hard work

1st RUNNER UP
Jake Sheardown – Hunting Hills High School
Red Deer, Alberta

Mentor – Daniel Brady – Grad Advisor/English Teacher
“Whistle while you work”
I am always impressed by Jake’s willingness to contribute his time and energy, but what has struck me even more so is how he remains positive and ebullient. Looking back on the year I can honestly say that Jake’s positivty and “can-do attitude” were integral in the success of each and every event our executive sponsored.

ACTING OUT SCHOLARSHIP
WINNER
Erica Mitchell – Miles Macdonell Collegiate
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Mentor – Carrie Gillis – Drama & IB Theatre Teacher
“Passion”
Erica dedicates herself to the theatre as a tribute to her late friend Abbey Ruchkall, who passed away suddenly the year before at the age of 19. Their shared passion for the theatre keeps her legacy alive in the Miles Macdonell theatre. Each time the curtain rises, Erica is reminded of Abbey’s  encouraging words – “she told me to do whatever I loved and not to care what anyone else says. I love theatre; this is what I will do with my life.”

Erica: I would like to extend my thank you’s to: Mrs. Carrie Gillis, Mrs. Shelly Lichtman, Mr. Mike Neale – for all that they have helped me within and withoutschool over the last 3 years.
Also, Connor Wielgosz and the WPG Fringe Festival for all the fabulous opportunities. And of course, Abbey Ruchkall for all the advice in the two years I knew her.

1st RUNNER UP
Zachary Holden – Crescent Heights High School
Calgary, Alberta

Mentor - Nicole Taylor – English Teacher
“View from the Top”
“I have also been very impressed with the kindness that Zach has shown to all his peers, he works very well with a variety of other students and is a thoughtful and compassionate leader among them. He is always willing to lend an extra hand and share his great sense of humour. Zach has always been artist and I really have seen him grow and flourish in his confidence with his abilities and willingness to share his talents. I truly believe that Zachary has much to contribute and has been a positive force within our school.”

SWEAT YOUR WAY TO GRAD SCHOLARSHIP
WINNER
Madeline Morris – Rideau District High School
Elgin, Ontario

Mentor - Lisa Rice – Athletic Director
“Peer Support”
I compete not only for my team and myself but also for my school. I am proud to compete for of my school at home games. I give energy to the spectators who cheer for us and in return receive energy from the crowd, which raises our competitiveness.”

Madeline: I’ve known Mrs. Rice as a teacher for the 4 years that I’ve attended Rideau DHS. Regardless of winning the scholarship, she has helped me immensely with my academics, athletics and has helped guide me to my next stage in life. She is passionate about bringing out the best in her students. I feel so lucky to have had her be part of my high school experience. Rideau District HS is a very lucky school to have her.

1st RUNNER UP
Byron Keturakis – Earl Marriott Secondary
Surrey, BC

Mentor – Taylor Clift – Athletic Director
“Radiating Passion on and off the bench”
“I learned to be a great teammate by supporting others” says Byron. “I also learned that it takes a great amount of hard work and commitment and this fueled my drive to succeed.”

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June 19, 2014
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A welcome pedicure for Canada’s Best Graduation Coordinator of 2014

This year we wanted to do something special in recognition of all the tireless teacher volunteers that help to make graduation an amazing event for students each and every year. So we put it out to all the schools and principals across Canada to nominate their choice for Canada’s Best Grad Coordinator.

Cue the Top Gun theme – the Grad Coordinator nominations we received were for the best of the best. These Grad Coordinators can whip a ragtag group of volunteer students into a well oiled Grad machine, year in and year out. They can stretch out a budget and make a venue look like a million dollars. And they can make Grad night the night of their students’ lives. But even in a league of pros there can stand only one with the title, “Canada’s Best Grad Coordinator”

And the winner of the 1st ever Canada’s Best Grad Coordinator goes to… (drum roll)… Francesca McIvor from Centennial High School!

In typical Francesca fashion, she rallied her base and organized over 300 parents and staff members to vote and show their support for her nomination. Even with such a great show of support, Francesca was surprised to win.

“I am honoured to be Canada’s Best Grad coordinator for 2014!” said Francesca as she was presented the award. “It takes a crew of very dedicated people to pull off such a big event for a school the size of Centennial and I am blessed with a great committee and the support of our Assistant Principal Joe Sturgeon. Our graduating class had a tremendous grad day this year. The students looked so proud in their gowns. Thanks to the grad committee, Centennial staff, students, parents and community for making Graduation 2014 such a success!”

As this year’s winner, along with her new golden statue Francesca will also be treated to at spa day at Calgary’s trendy Frilly Lilly.

The SchoolTools team also extends special congratulations to Francesca as she finishes this school year to take her maternity leave.

We’re delighted by the fantastic response and we thank all of our other amazing nominees:

Anna – Beaverlodge Regional High School
Colleen – Ecole J.H. Picard School
Laura – Hunting Hills High School
Linda – Robert Bateman Secondary
Marika – Carpenter High School
Tracy – John Paul II Catholic High School


Francesca McIvor left, Assistant Principal Joseph Sturgeon right


Francesca and SchoolTools’ Ryan Godfrey

 

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June 19, 2014
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20-something decides that it’s time to retire

She looks much too young to retire, doesn’t she?

We’re excited to announce that our dear friend,  Audrey Kyfiuk the Head Secretary at Spruce Grove Composite High School, will be moving on to the next exciting stage of her life at the end of the 2014 school year. The SchoolTools team has always enjoyed working with her and her presence at the school will be missed by her colleagues and friends. Her commitment to excellence has had a powerful impact on the development of our SchoolTools application and she leaves a legacy of features named after her. She has always been a highly valued staff member of the Spruce Grove Composite High School team and in 2012, she was named the Employee of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce.

I am really excited to go on to another chapter in my life! It will be wonderful!” said Audrey about her retirement. ” It has been a pleasure working with the SchoolTools Team – I will always have fond memories to keep forever! Take good care and I wish you continued success with EventIQ!!!! You guys rock!!!”

From everyone at the SchoolTools team, we give our thanks to you Audrey!


Audrey Kyfiuk and SchoolTools’ Ryan Godfrey 

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June 18, 2014
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Scholarship Stories #6 – Finalists for the Sweat Your Way to Grad Scholarship

Madeline Morris – Rideau District High School
Elgin, Ontario
“Peer Support”
Behind every great leader is a great team. But great teams are never put together simply through sheer luck. They are galvanized by those with vision and determination and Madeline Morris of Rideau District High School is that galvanizing force on the basketball court and throughout her school. In 2013/2014 she was voted Most Valuable Player in the High School Athletic Association for basketball. For Madeline, this award has a special significance that differs from winning championships, “[t]his award is very important to me as all the coaches in the league vote for the player. The criteria involve school spirit, dedication, fair play and “presents themselves as role models for their school.” ” Madeline recognizes that no athlete, as talented as she can be, can ever make it on her own. “I compete not only for my team and myself but also for my school. I am proud to compete for of my school at home games. I give energy to the spectators who cheer for us and in return receive energy from the crowd, which raises our competitiveness.” She has also served on Student Council as Spirit Director and Secretary. This has allowed her to “participate in the planning and execution of many events that are related to school spirit. This provides an opportunity for a better school experience for my fellow students.” Her school in return has recognized the tremendous amount of energy she has given back to her school. She also was voted Valedictorian for this year’s graduating class.  ”She has helped raised the level of school spirit by her involvement, leadership and mentoring ” says Lisa Rice Athletic Director at Rideau. “Maddie has maintained an 85% average throughout her time at Rideau and has several School letters. [And] I will follow with interest Maddie’s continued successes both athletically and scholastically as she advances in her post secondary career.”

Byron Keturakis – Earl Marriott Secondary
Surrey, BC
“Radiating Passion on and off the bench”
A true champion radiates the same level of passion regardless of whether he’s on the court or on the bench. For Byron Keturakis of Earl Marriott Secondary, he’s faced up to the challenges of both playing championship games and watching from the sidelines.  In his grade 10 year, he was selected for the National Champion club volleyball team, but had spent the majority of his time on the bench. “I learned to be a great teammate by supporting others” says Byron. “I also learned that it takes a great amount of hard work and commitment and this fueled my drive to succeed.” Byron did not waver on his mission to make it to the court – instead he doubled down on his efforts. “[I] took the initiative to augment my training regime and train twice a week at 6am with Volleyball Canada Center of Excellence, in addition from my regular practices and spent countless hours in the weight room. This individual training has translated into team success as well as receiving individual awards and multiple accolades in my grade 12 year.” Now as the captain of the senior boys volleyball team, he is able to reflect on his decision to work harder instead of being discouraged by his time on the bench.  ”I’ve found that the effort I have put in has made my achievements even more meaningful.” Byron has carried his winning attitude into all aspects of his life as a Earl Marriott Mariner and aims motivate his peers. “For me, positive role models are people who have a unique, unwavering commitment to their goal. Someone who expresses a radiating love for their passion that it inspires others to take interest. I try to embody this idea whether I am coaching or playing with younger players. A strong role model leads by example, showing commitment and passion for his or her goal as well as a strong respect for everyone else involved.”

The Province – Ranked NO. 3 in the BC top prospects list by BC CIS coaches.

The Province – AAA senior boys volleyball provincial champions


Earl Marriott senior setter Byron Keturakis has had a giant impact on the fortunes of a Surrey team headed to the B.C. Triple A championships in Kelowna.
Photo from The Province 

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June 17, 2014
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Scholarship Stories #5 – Finalists for the Making Grad Great Scholarship

Jake Sheardown – Hunting Hills High School
Red Deer, Alberta
“Whistle while you work”
It takes a very special individual to be the driving force in fundraising over $60k dollars for mental health and cancer. For Jake Sheardown, that’s just one of his many accomplishments racked up during his days at Hunting Hills High School. As the Grad Executive Committee public relations member, Jake plastered the walls of his school with posters and helped to organize events such as grad games night, the grad lunchbox social and grad skate night. He also made the promotional videos for grad including a movie trailer parody for the grad movie night. As the lead vocalist the school’s performance band, he became one of the leads in the school musical. He leant his voice as the MC of the bike-a-thon fundraiser, where the school was able to raise over $60k dollars. For most, this level of involvement would cause immediate burn out, but not Jake. Jake’s English teacher, Daniel Brady describes it best: “One of the first things that anyone will notice upon meeting Jake is his infectious enthusiasm. From the very onset of the school year Jake has consistently demonstrated the ability to “whistle while he works”. I am always impressed by Jake’s willingness to contribute his time and energy, but what has struck me even more so is how he remains positive and ebullient. Looking back on the year I can honestly say that Jake’s positivty and “can-do attitude” were integral in the success of each and every event our executive sponsored. Aside from being a veritable tornado of effort and enthusiasm Jake has demonstrated time and time again a propensity for empathy and a willingness to compromise in order to foster harmony and success within a group.”


Jake singing with his school band

 

Megan Funke – St. Joseph High School
Edmonton, Alberta
“Seven Hundred Roses”
Hours and hours and hours. And even more hours. And then add another 700 hours. This is how long it took Megan Funke to make over 700 paper rose decorations from discarded English novels by hand for the over 100 tables at the St. Joseph’s High School graduation. But the results were without question were absolutely astounding.  Her teacher, Rachel MacLeod rightfully acknowledged that “[Megan's] commitment to this undertaking, however, did not come at the expense of her academic progress. Megan is an honour student who consistently earns marks in the 80s and 90s. She successfully balanced her time so that she could excel academically while still fulfilling the duties she agreed to on the Grad Committee. In short, without Megan’s involvement, our graduation would not have been the exceptional event it was.” Megan was also central to creating an experience that the grads of  St. Joseph High School could share in. Their grad banner “was meant for the entire graduating class to sign and it would be hung in the school after grad.” In adopting the theme  ”the stories we will write”, Megan had the idea to “have everyone sign a picture of blank books as we write our own stories. The banner became a centerpiece at grad and making the signatures the main focus of the banner allowed every graduate to feel important. ” This will be a graduation remembered for years to come.

See photos of the roses on the Grad Committee 2014 Website

 

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June 17, 2014
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Scholarship Stories #4 – Finalists for the Acting Out Scholarship

The SchoolTools team will be announcing our scholarship winners on Friday June 20th and we wanted to take the time to acknowledge the amazing finalists being considered. Please read the amazing stories from our two finalists for the Acting Out Theatre Scholarship. We will continue to post our finalists here on the blog for the Sweat Your Way to Grad Athletics & Making Grad Great Scholarships.

Erica Mitchell – Miles Macdonell Collegiate
Winnipeg, Manitoba
“Passion”
To truly be passionate of anything one must share that passion with others. For Erica Mitchell, a student who has been greatly involved in the theatre community of Miles Macdonell Collegiate and Winnipeg, this has taken many forms. She developed and organized a fundraiser for the Manitoba Theatre for Young People in the fall of 2013, raising over $800.00 when the theatre school was in financial jeopardy. She has worked with all members of the school’s theatre, being involved in on stage and off, from performing as an actor, a musical actor to production as a set captain, a costume mistress, a technician, a director and most commonly a stage manager. She also dedicates herself to the theatre as a tribute to her late friend Abbey Ruchkall, who passed away suddenly the year before at the age of 19. Their shared passion for the theatre keeps her legacy alive in the Miles Macdonell theatre. Each time the curtain rises, Erica is reminded of Abbey’s  encouraging words – “she told me to do whatever I loved and not to care what anyone else says. I love theatre; this is what I will do with my life.”

4/5 star CBC review of Taxidermy: The Musical

Top Picks – Outstanding musical: Taxidermy: The Musical - “17 year-old Winnipeggers Devon Gillingham and Connor Wielgosz have created a rock musical that’s stuffed with teen spirit.”

 

Zachary Holden – Crescent Heights High School
Calgary, Alberta
“View from the Top”

Zachary Holden is “the Man” – literally as the Crescent Heights High School Drama Society’s President, he is the only male representitive. But he’s also proven himself as the school’s “go-to Man”, organizing events and school traditions, choosing next year’s generation of presidents and also standing in front of audiences of over 2000 people, performing and MC’ing during the school’s four major events, the winter assembly, dance show, pep rally and We day. What sets Zachary apart is even with all of his responsibilities, he stays connected with his peers. As his teacher, Nicole Taylor describes “I have also been very impressed with the kindness that Zach has shown to all his peers, he works very well with a variety of other students and is a thoughtful and compassionate leader among them. He is always willing to lend an extra hand and share his great sense of humour. Zach has always been artist and I really have seen him grow and flourish in his confidence with his abilities and willingness to share his talents. I truly believe that Zachary has much to contribute and has been a positive force within our school.”

CHHS WE DAY 2014

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June 12, 2014
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Coming soon – Announcing the 2014 Scholarship Finalists and Canada’s Best Graduation Coordinator

Due to an overwhelming response to the 2014 scholarships, we will be making the announcements of finalists and winners for the three InviteRight SchoolTools scholarships later this month.
Thanks again to everyone that participated and we’re excited to soon be sharing more amazing student stories!

We will also be making our announcement for the first ever Canada’s Best Graduation Coordinator award. Stay tuned for both announcements.

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May 27, 2014
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Scholarship Stories #3 – Putting the right foot forward

Cooper Toogood started off on the wrong foot. He was born with club feet, a syndrome that meant the bones in his feet were misaligned and “splayed out sideways with a likeness to a golf club.” Even though doctors were skeptical and cautioned his parents that they were uncertain that he would ever be able to walk, his parents proceeded “through with surgeries in a desperate attempt to have the specialists try to fix [his] feet.”

As Cooper describes, “from birth until my foot surgery at 7 months, my feet and lower legs were cast in an attempt to straighten out the bones, tendons and ligaments. At the late age of two and a half, I finally took my first awkward steps. Though I wore a specially designed movable cast and orthotic for day-to-day activities until I was 10, I was enrolled in sports as soon as I was able to participate.”  There were a great deal of challenges that Cooper faced that a typical athlete would take for granted. Even finding the right footwear  (that would fit along with his brace) would be a barrier preventing him from even even participating in a sport. But with the heart of a true champion, these challenges never stopped him.

He found his footing and continued playing his favourite sports from childhood and throughout high school at Sir William Mulock Secondary School, participating in soccer, volleyball, cross country, badminton, basketball, tennis, and ultimate Frisbee. Not only has he had the pleasure of participating and making the team, he has become a team leader even winning the MVP for tennis and volleyball, as well as being named the Junior Athlete of the Year in Grade 10 and Senior Athlete of the Year in Grade 11.

We’re inspired by Cooper and all of the 2014 scholarship student athletes. As a reminder, the winner and first runner up from each of our three scholarships will be published in the SchoolTools newsletter June 12, 2014 and announcements will be made on the EventIQ Blog.

There is only a few days left to submit an entry for the ”Making Grad Great – Graduation Scholarship” but the deadline is May 31st, so get your entry in today by visiting the InviteRight SchoolTools 2014 Scholarship site.

 

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