The Class of 2017 at HNMCS is truly outstanding. The largest class in the history of the school thus far, the graduates have 100% acceptance into universities in Canada and the United States, and they have received almost $700,000 in scholarships. They also have attained the notable achievement of every member of the class being an Ontario Scholar.
Salutatorian Breanna Samuels ’17 welcomed everyone to the ceremony at the Living Arts Centre, followed by remarks from Dr. Molly Shoichet, the illustrious guest speaker. Dr. Shoichet is a University Professor of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Chemistry and Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. As she described her journey of discovery that led her to focus on research in the field of cell regeneration, she offered the graduates words of wisdom and encouraged them to change the world.
During the conferral of diplomas, 91% of the students received the Marian Award, recognizing their consistent honour roll standing throughout their Senior School years at HNMCS. After the conferring of diplomas, special awards were given, recognizing the many unique gifts of the Class of 2017:
Sister Celestine Giertych Social Justice Award: Danya Pankiw
Basilian Fathers Catholic Student Award: Sabina Gallé
Graduate Student Award of Merit: Stefanie Hudon
Academic Excellence Award: Rebecca Lau
The Governor General of Canada Medal: Rebecca Lau
Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award for Students: Breanna Azevedo
Schulich Leader Nominee: Kasthuri Thambipillai
The University of Toronto Book Award: Alexandra Wright
Spirit Award: Anne Steele
Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award: Victoria Kirou
HNMCS Arts Award: Alexandra Fernandes
Visual Arts Award: Zhiyuan (Candy) Luo
HNMCS Stars Award: Maya Czerwoniak
Excellence in Sport Award: Alexandra Wright
Salutatorian: Breanna Samuels
Valedictorian: Jessica Pontarollo
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Danya Pankiw (Bronze), Micaela Ferrari, Sabina Gallé, Laura Haig (Gold)
The wide variety of accomplishments and interests of the members of the Class of 2017 is reflected in their choice of university destinations, with 65% of the graduates pursuing STEM related programmes. Other graduates will pursue film, media, law, criminal justice, education, and creative arts.
To conclude the ceremonies, Valedictorian Jessica Pontarollo ’17 movingly spoke on behalf of her class, emphasizing their gratitude for their time at HNMCS and the many opportunities they have received.