It was a revolving door at the Father Kennedy Catholic Education Centre last week as more than 300 elementary students from 26 schools across the system visited the administration offices of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board to collect a Director’s Award of Excellence.
Another 96 students from 8 schools will pass through the building on May 14 and 15 in the final two days of presentations.
The Director’s Awards were created many years ago to recognize and honour the outstanding achievements of students in a number of different categories and subject areas. The awards, presented on an annual basis, recognize 12 students from each school for excellence in academics, faith, and community involvement.
Addressing the student award recipients at an afternoon session on May 10, Director of Education David Hansen stressed that the recognition ceremony was “a really, really big deal.”
“It’s not a big deal because you’re going to get a nice certificate and maybe an afternoon off school,” he explained. “It’s a big deal is because your principals, along with your school staff and teachers made a decision that for some reason you stood out in the area for which you’re being recognized this afternoon. Out of all the other students back in your schools, you were chosen.”
“And that’s a big deal.”
“I think it’s good for us to pause from time to time to recognize excellence and models of excellence, and that’s what we’re celebrating today.”
One of those models of excellence was Sarah Jacobs, a grade 8 student at St. David Catholic Elementary School who received the Stewardship of Creation Award for her work with the school’s Eco Team. Sarah, who joined the team two years ago, helps with recycling, even bringing coffee cups, trays and napkins home with her to put in her family’s compost bin.
For Sarah, winning a Director’s Award was not only “a really big deal,” but was very emotional and exciting.
The Stewardship of Creation Award was actually the first of two awards that Sarah received on May 10. The St. David student was recognized later that evening for her “can do” attitude at the Hamilton-Wentworth Council for Exceptional Children’s ‘Yes I Can’ Awards Banquet.
Congratulations to Sarah and all of the Director’s Awards recipients.