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Emily Liu honoured as 2021 Hunting Hills High School Valedictorian

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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.”

Community

We’ve got THOUSANDS of reasons to SMILE!

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It took us a while to count ALL the money raised from the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign…and it’s very impressive!

Today, we celebrated the presentation of two cheques – one from the 2020 Smile Cookie campaign, and one from this year’s campaign. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold last year’s cheque presentation.

Over the last two years, Red Deerians ate 74,650 cookies, which means $35,979 was raised in 2020 and $38,671 was raised in 2021 to help struggling readers become readers of potential through Reading College, a project of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools.

Reading College, held in the month of July, provides students who already have reading gaps, an amazing summer experience that will not only develop their reading skills but more importantly, their interest and motivation in reading. Students leave the program with increased reading and writing abilities, and a solid foundation for future success in school and life.

“The Smile Cookie Campaign is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of literacy, it really does create life chances for students. Reading College is made possible through great support from our community and Tim Hortons – we could not operate it without this support,” said Kristine Plastow, Foundation Board Chair. “We are so grateful to the community for buying Smile Cookies and supporting this fantastic program.”

From September 13 – 19, Tim Hortons restaurant owners in Red Deer generously donated all proceeds from sales of a special smiling chocolate chunk cookie to support the Reading College program through The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. The $1 treat helps community programs across Canada in the cities where they are sold.

“On behalf of all restaurant owners and team members in Red Deer, I would like to thank our loyal guests for their generosity and support of the Smile Cookie campaign,” said Tanya Doucette, Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner in Red Deer. “Tim Hortons is thrilled to support The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools and Reading College with the funds raised and bring smiles to so many people’s faces.”

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Alberta

The King’s University receives $20-million donation for new state-of-the-art Science Centre

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Construction of a new 40,000 square foot Centre for Excellence in the Sciences at The King’s University will move forward thanks to a gift of $20-million from an anonymous donor. The landmark donation, the largest gift in King’s 42-year history, allows the institution to build on its strong academic reputation in the natural, health and social sciences.

The Centre will include beautiful common spaces, purpose-built teaching facilities, leading technology and laboratories that enable the university to further place student research at the heart of its academic programming.

“I have always been proud of our legacy of research and education,” King’s President Dr. Melanie Humphreys says. “It’s really quite impressive—especially for a university of our size. This incredible, humbling gift is going to propel these programs forward in a significant way and provide new opportunities to branch out into the health sciences.”

Student-faculty research teams at The King’s University are currently involved in projects such as antibiotic resistance, animal-assisted therapy in mental health, endangered trees in Canada’s mountains and foothills, and diseases that devastate honeybee populations. King’s Community Engaged Research program collaborates with local non-profits to help provide data-driven solutions for their organizations.

The Centre for Excellence in the Sciences will be a hub for sustainability research. With a newly granted Transitions to Sustainability Canada Research Chair, the Centre will enhance support and coordination for sustainability work happening across disciplines and at King’s Centre for Visualization in Science (KCVS).

KCVS alone has partnered with more than 40 organizations worldwide, such as UNESCO, and has contributed important resources to three United Nations International Years: Chemistry (2011), Periodic Table (2019), and the upcoming International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (2022–23). Another KCVS resource contributed to the education and outreach work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.

“Building a more humane, just and sustainable world is right there in our vision statement,” says Dr. Peter Mahaffy, professor of chemistry and co-founder of KCVS. “These words continue to move off the page of aspirational statements to shape and ground what happens here each day.”

ABOUT KING’S
The King’s University has been building a more humane, just and sustainable world for more than 40 years. King’s offers fully accredited programs in the humanities, sciences, business, and education, and ranks at the top of national surveys for quality of teaching, sense of belonging, and intellectual engagement. Award-winning faculty mentor students in their studies and publish leading research in their fields. As Edmonton’s Christian University, King’s empowers graduates to bring renewal to every walk of life.

 

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