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Oak Bay High students honoured for outstanding accomplishments

2021 marks school’s first year with two female valedictorians, second year of Nils Jensen Bursary

Oak Bay High grads were celebrated Monday with a distanced indoor awards ceremony and witnessed a bit of school history on the first day of summer.

This year’s valedictorians were Seoyoon Lee and Celeste Vickery, marking the first ever year with two young women giving the address to fellow students.

Maya McIntyre, who received the second annual Nils Jensen Bursary, started a social enterprise this year with Soap for Hope Canada that will give a projected 1,500 British Columbians hygiene supplies. She will study business and psychology at the University of Victoria in September.

“I’m really excited and I get to just be doing things that I love and being able to help people, which is so important to me,” McIntyre said.

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Anna Friesen, Orla Scott and Jasper Calder were the recipients of this year’s Oak Bay Four Pillars of Excellence Award. The four pillars encompass academics, athletics, fine arts and community leadership and philanthropy. Each recipient was nominated by staff and received $500.

Oak Bay High social studies chair and scholarship advisor Scott Alexander commended all three for their commitment to supporting other students this year by means of tutoring and friendship, as well as for demonstrating excellence in various disciplines.

Among other award winners, Lucy Balogh received the Oak Bay Police Bursary and will be pursuing gender studies at Trent University in September.

“I think this year was really about finding what interested me and what I wanted to pursue next year,” she said.

Jacob Smit and Kailen Fennerty were this year’s Jean Clark Humanitarian Award recipients.

Smit, who was student council president this year, also received the Oak Bay Fire Fighter Community Foundation Ken Gill Memorial Award. He will pursue a major in biochemistry and minor in computer science at UVic and hopes to later attend med school.

“It’s really great to be able to see all of the hard work come to something in the end,” he said.

Students receiving awards had several minutes for photos, alongside those presenting the awards and up to six family members.

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