SHAWVILLE Nov. 9, 2019
Over 200 people gathered at Pontiac High School (PHS) on Saturday evening, as the school officially celebrated the 2019 graduating class.
Held inside the school’s gymnasium, graduates’ friends and family members seated in rows facing the main stages where speeches were delivered.
In front of the stage, three tables connected together were topped with a large collection of envelopes, commemorative plaques and gift bags.
At the start of the ceremony, the 40-plus graduates dressed in black gowns with square hats entered the large room, following members of PHS faculty. Staff were seated in the front row, while the grads were divided into two seating sections on both sides of the stage.
Eight honours students, distinguished for finishing the year with an average of 80 per cent or more, wore golden sashes over their graduation gowns.
Proceedings began with a brief introduction from PHS’ student government representatives Miguel Rivest and Grace Sally, followed by a rendition of the national anthem, which the audience sang in unison.
Then, the Western Quebec Schoolboard’s (WQSB) Commissioner Heather Egan, and its Director of Education Terry Kharyati gave brief speeches, stating what an honour it was to be present for the occasion and recognized the community for helping the students achieve their goal.
PHS Principal Debra Stephens followed up with a speech of her own where she congratulated the students by telling them that all their efforts over the last five years had finally been rewarded.
“This is it,” she said. “This is what all your hard work and tears and sleepless nights and worry, this is what it was all about.”
She emphasized the importance of the community, when it comes to helping the graduates achieve their goal, from their family members, teachers and local business-people. She also thanked the countless contributions from local businesses and organizations who collectively piled up over $27,000 in bursaries for deserving students.
“We are so fortunate at PHS to have incredible support from our outside community members as well,” she said. “Members of municipal government, local service workers, churches, local businesses and our schoolboards who support this school and our students.”
After that, five graduates were presented with welding certificates after completing the school’s welding program.
Then, Stephens invited a number of members of PHS staff, organizations representatives and other guests to individually present nearly 60 different awards and bursaries to deserving students.
After essentially sweeping the awards table, valedictorian Hailey Dubeau stepped on stage to deliver a speech where she thanked her family, the community and members of PHS staff for assisting her throughout her high school journey and congratulated her fellow graduates.
She shared her thoughts on the ups and downs that the last five years provided and spoke about what she learned from her experience.
“All the memories we’ve made were unreal,” she said. “Every single moment led up to where we are right now.”
Before closing the ceremony, Stephens gave one last speech before the graduates tossed their hats in the air to celebrate their momentous accomplishment.
After the ceremony, attendees headed over to the school cafeteria for a reception, capping the night off in style.
Award recipients were as follows:
Chris Wrinn Memorial Plaque for Student Government President - Rylie Essiambre
English Department Prize for Highest Standing in English Sec. V - Autumn Hovey
Heritage College Endowment Fund Bursary - Hailey Dubeau
Perseverance Entrance Award Heritage College - Nicolas Demers
Louis Welch Memorial Bursaries - Rowan Beardsley, Kristen Gauthier and Shane Kelly
Lions Club of Bryson Bursary - Randal Lachance
Bryson Lionettes Club Prize - Emma Cameron
Lions Club of Quyon Bursaries - Daimon Eades-Laurin, Kaelen Ireland, Rori Richardson and Dustin Young
Lions Club of Shawville Memorial Bursary - Anna Rochon
Lions Club of Shawville Plaques for Highest Academic Standing (Boy/Girl) - Nicolas Demers, and Hailey Dubeau
Municipality of Bristol Bursary - Vanessa Tubman
Municipality of Clarendon Bursaries - Thomas Beck, and McKenna Richardson
Municipality of Campbell’s Bay Bursary - Jordan Larivière
Municipality of Otter Lake Bursary - Hailey Dubeau
Municipality of Shawville Bursaries - Chris Heins and Autumn Hovey
Municipality of Litchfield Bursaries - Josée Graveline and Emily Horner
Municipality of Mansfield-et-Pontefract Bursary - Melody Freeland
Oktoberfest Ladysmith Scholarships - Kate Duggan and Chelsey Miljour
PHS Governing Board Prize for Physics - Hailey Dubeau
PHS Governing Board Prize for Chemistry - Hailey Dubeau
PHS Governing Board Prize for Highest in Senior Phys. Ed. - Adam Chabot and Hailey Dubeau
Pontiac Clergy Association Bursary - Rowan Beardsley
Office of André Fortin, local MNA for the Pontiac - Eden Finan and Kole Tuckey
The Shawn Campbell Memorial Welding Bursary - Ryan Brownlee
The Hazel Dupuis Prizes for School Perseverance - Konnor Beck, Hunter Essiambre, Alyssa Harris, Tyler Stewart Kluke and Dylan Trudeau
Quyon Lionettes Prize - Nicolas Demers
Shawville Odd Fellows Awards - Kristen Gauthier, Emily Horner and Alexa Larivière
Shawville Lionettes Club Prizes - Makayla Kluke and Hannah Nichiporowich
Shawville Rotary Club Plaque for Student Government President - Rylie Essiambre
Shawville Rotary Club Bursary, Rylie Essiambre
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Memorial Bursaries in Honour of Lloyd Neville - Bryanna Belland and Melody Freeland
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Memorial Bursaries in Honour of Jean Neville - Emily Horner and Josée Graveline
St. Mary’s Catholic Women’s League Bursary - Rori Richardson
Student Government Plaque for Outstanding School Spirit - Emma Cameron
Thomas Narlock Memorial Award for Law - Nicolas Demers
Promutuel Shawville Bursaries - Emma MacDonell and Grant Moore
W.A. Hodgins Prize for Scientific Math Sec. V - Hailey Dubeau
The Fairy Godmother Shoppe Bursaries - Lila Galipeau and McKenna Richardson
McGill University Science
Award - Hailey Dubeau
McGill University Social Science Award - Nicolas Demers
Autobus Lasalle Bursary - Rori Richardson
Centre Dentaire du Pontiac Bursary - Vanessa Tubman
Bryson Cruise Night Prizes - Konnor Beck, Thomas Beck, Rayden Besharah, Hunter Essiambre, Kaelen Ireland, Shane Kelly, Emma MacDonell and Kole Tuckey
The Betty Petty Citizenship and Achievement Award for French - Adam Chabot
Hayes Funeral Home Bursaries - Morgan Benoit, Rayden Besharah, Hailey Dubeau, Grant Moore and Anna Rochon
Carl Tubman Memorial Award for Welding - Kaelen Ireland
The Deborah Smith Memorial Bursaries - Morgan Benoit and Melody Freeland
Municipality of Bryson Bursaries - Morgan Benoit and Adam Chabot
Bryson R.A. Centre - Emma Cameron
The James Shea Memorial Bursary - Jarrett Musgrove
The P.R.I.S.M. Award - Hailey Dubeau
The Ellard Perry Memorial Awards - Jamie Drolet and Julie Drolet
Forces Avenir Commitment to Education - Kate Duggan
Forces Avenir Perseverance in Education - Rori Richardson
Principal’s Award of Distinction for achieving 80% or more - Thomas Beck, Emma Cameron, Nicolas Demers, Hailey Dubeau, Rylie Essiambre, Melody Freeland, Lila Galipeau and Vanessa Tubman
Lloyd Cone Memorial Bursaries - Hailey Dubeau and Nicolas Demers
Pontiac High School Commemorative Watch for the Highest Standing in the Graduating Class - Hailey Dubeau
Governor General’s Academic Medal for the Highest Standing in the Graduating Class - Hailey Dubeau.
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