Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus graduate Maria DiMarco has proven she’s about as perfect of a student as you can get.
Former LCSS principal Gregg Gaylord awarded the Governor General’s Academic Medal to DiMarco for sustaining an average, based off all her Grade 11 and 12 courses, of 98 per cent.
“I wasn’t expecting to get it because I was in some pretty tough competition with some pretty good people, so its a super big honour and I’m really proud of myself,” DiMarco said Wednesday.
The Governor General’s Academic Medal is an award given to students every year graduating from a high school, college or university program with the highest grade point average amongst their peers.
DiMarco said getting the Governor General’s Award involved a lot of work including time spent studying, attending her classes every day and putting in the extra effort to understand what she didn’t understand and get extra help when she needed it.
“Everyone seems to say oh you’re so smart, people are so smart that’s why you’re getting high grades but I think it has a lot to do with work ethic,” DiMarco said. “If you actually work towards it everyone can get straight A’s, or straight B’s if that’s all you can achieve, but if you work at it no one should be failing classes. I think that if anyone buckles down and puts their mind to it they can totally achieve that as well.”
Looking to the future, DiMarco is all set to attend post-secondary at the University of Waterloo to study astrophysics. When asked why she chose this area of focus she responded that she likes spaces and math, but doesn’t want to be a mathematician because it tends to have no practical applications. Therefore, studying outer space using math is “a sweet spot” for her.
DiMarco has lived in Williams Lake her whole life and has been an active and engaged member of the larger community while striving for scholarly excellence. She is a member of the local 4-H Club, a pianist, played the trumpet for the school band and played for the LCSS Falcon’s soccer team. Throughout, however, education has always been her top priority.
DiMarco said overall she enjoyed her years at LCSS, noting it was a goal for her throughout her time in high school to receive the Governor General’s Academic Medal and it was very gratifying to actually achieve.
Now, she’s excited to start fresh and start building a new life for herself and try something on her own outside of the lakecity. With a laugh, DiMarco added if she ever discovers a new star she’s going to name it Angelica for one of her friends.
“The community in Williams Lake is awesome, they’re really supportive of all the different programs here through 4-H, sports and education. There are so many community members who work really hard to make sure the youth have a good upbringing so that they enjoy their time in Williams Lake so if they go out into the world they’re proud to be from here,” DiMarco said.
For Gaylord, now the principal of Chilcotin Road Elementary School, it’s a slightly bittersweet moment as this will likely be his last Governor General’s Award ceremony. In his time the highest percentage he’s recognized is just one above DiMarco’s, at 99 per cent.
“I think in society today people are recognized on their merits and if you work extremely hard and show people that you’re intelligent and capable, you’ll go a long way,” Gaylord said.
He wished DiMarco the best in her future studies and said it was an absolute pleasure being the principal at LCSS for the last 10 years.