Emily Liu honoured as 2021 Hunting Hills High School Valedictorian
Hunting Hills Valedictorian looks to pursue career in the medical field
This year has been like no other for the Graduating Class of 2021, but the valedictorian at Hunting Hills High School is not letting the pandemic stop her from achieving her goals.
Grade 12 student Emily Liu has been named this year’s Valedictorian at Hunting Hills High School.
“It’s an incredible honour to be named valedictorian. I was very proud of myself when I learned that I was going to be this year’s valedictorian,” she said. “In Grade 9 when I first received the honour of being the top academic student in my class, that really came as a huge shock to me because I always knew I performed well in school, but I never imagined I could be the top academic student. After that, it was something that I was really inspired to work towards, and it’s kept me motivated ever since.”
Emily added when she reflects on her high school experience, she could never have predicted we would be in the midst of a global pandemic.
“I don’t know if it necessarily took away from my high school experience, but it’s definitely hindered me in my day-to-day life whether it’s trying to pay attention during online school, or being able to hang out with my friends,” she said.
Graduation ceremonies for Hunting Hills High School will take place on June 25 at the Centrium. The day will include staggered ceremonies with three groups of graduates at a time in compliance with Alberta Health Services guidelines.
Emily said her message to fellow graduates is one they can carry into the future.
“If there’s one thing that this pandemic has taught me it’s that the relationships we have in our lives are so incredibly precious. When your only way of communicating with your friends or your family is through a screen or a phone call, there’s aspects of simple physical interaction that you really can’t get through in an online medium,” she said. “We need to treasure the relationships we have in our lives, maybe a little more. It may be a little clichè, but you really don’t appreciate what you have in your life until they are gone.”
Looking to the future, Emily said she hopes to soon be able to explore the world once restrictions allow. She has also been accepted to the University of Alberta.
“I’m going to study biochemistry. It’s one of my hopes to pursue a career in the medical field in the future,” she said, adding her volunteer work has given her an interest in that field. “I have been volunteering at the Red Deer Hospital for the past four years, and I’ve also been volunteering as a piano player at the Red Deer Hospice. I think my time at the hospital and hospice has been really enriching in the way that I am able to interact with people and learn more about people’s lives and maybe provide them some kind of comfort or support when they are in a really vulnerable moment.”
Christine Chappell, Vice Principal at Hunting Hills High School, said she is proud of Emily’s achievements.
“An accomplished pianist, community volunteer, and HHHS Leadership student, Emily possesses an incredible work ethic. In every endeavour, whether it be academics or extracurricular activities, she embodies kindness, determination, and tenacity,” she said. “Along with excelling in academics, Emily has completed her Grade 10 Piano with First Class Honours (Royal Conservatory). As a Leadership student, she has dedicated countless hours to our Bikeathon, Enviro Club and school activities. HHHS is honoured to recognize Emily as our 2021 Valedictorian and Governor General’s Medal recipient.”
DeSantis to expand law critics call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ into HS
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media in the Florida Cabinet following his State of the State address during a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at the state Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. DeSantis’ administration is moving to unilaterally forbid classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades, expanding the controversial law critics call “Don’t Say Gay” as the Republican governor continues a focus on cultural issues ahead of his expected presidential run. (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File)
By Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is moving to forbid classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades, expanding the controversial law critics call “Don’t Say Gay” as the Republican governor continues a focus on cultural issues ahead of his expected presidential run.
The proposal, which would not require legislative approval, is scheduled for a vote next month before the state Board of Education and has been put forth by state Education Department, both of which are led by appointees of the governor.
The rule change would ban lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity from grades 4 to 12, unless required by existing state standards or as part of reproductive health instruction that students can choose not to take.
DeSantis has leaned heavily into cultural divides on his path to an anticipated White House bid, with the surging Republican increasingly pursuing a conservative agenda that targets what he calls the insertion of inappropriate subjects in schools.
Spokespeople for the governor’s office and the Education Department did not immediately return an emailed request for comment.
The measure comes after DeSantis championed a law last year that prohibited instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade.
The law drew widespread backlash nationally, with critics saying it marginalizes LGBTQ people, and kicked off a feud between the state and Disney, which publicly opposed the law.
At the governor’s request, the Republican-dominated Legislature voted to dissolve a self-governing district controlled by Walt Disney World over its properties in Florida, and eventually gave DeSantis control of the board in a move widely seen as a punishment for the company opposing the law. The board oversees municipal services in Disney’s theme park properties and was instrumental in the company’s decision to build near Orlando in the 1960s.
The rule change was first reported by the Orlando Sentinel.
ACAC Indoor Track Championship Day 2 Update, Queens win gold and Jenica Swartz takes home three top finishes
Gold medalist Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Track Team. Janice Swartz (top left) took 3 gold medals at the ACAC Indoor Track Championships
The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Indoor Track Team are ACAC Champions as they took home multiple first-place finishes with Jenica Swartz (Bachelor of Science in Pre-Med) winning three individual gold medals and helping the relay teams to first-place finishes.
Day 2 started out very well for the Queens as Swartz picked up her third gold medal of the championship. She just beat out SAIT Trojans runner Jasmin Salmon by 73 milliseconds in the 600m. Loami Rautenbach finished fifth in the race. In the men’s event, Ethan Duret (Bachelor of Commerce) placed fifth with a time of 1:27.39 which was 36 milliseconds off from the third-place runner, so it was a photo finish.
In the 1500m, Swartz was finally dethroned off the top podium position but still finished in second place as she crossed the finish line in just over five minutes. But the first-place runner from the Trojans broke the championship record with a time of 4:44. Myah Cota (Open Studies) and Justine Larson (Bachelor of Education) finished one after another for the second race of the championship as they crossed the finish line in fifth and sixth. Daniel Szucs (Bachelor of Business Administration) and Duret picked up sixth and seventh place respectfully which put points on the board for the Kings Indoor Track team. Jordan Coen (Open Studies) followed his teammates in eighth place with a time of 4:31.
The Queens 4x400m relay team took the top spot six seconds in front of the Trojans who took first place at the Grand Prix in Red Deer a month ago. This clinched the team victory for the Queens as they finished the championship with 81 points which were 17 points ahead of the second-place Trojans. The Kings relay team finished in fifth and the overall team just missed a medal as they finished the championship in fourth, four points out of third.
This caps off the 2022/2023 season for the Kings and Queens Indoor Track Team.
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