Special to the Tribune
Synnove McGrath has been named the Governor General Bronze Medallion award winner for Williams Lake Secondary School.
It is the most prestigious award that a student in Canadian schools can receive, as it is bestowed upon the individual with the highest GPA graduating from the school.
McGrath will go down in history as the last ever winner of the award in the school’s short 15 year tenure as a secondary school after switching from a junior high back in 1999. WLSS will change to Lake City Secondary Carson Campus this fall.
“It’s been a privilege to have Synnove here for her entire five year high school career and she’s going to do great things at university,” said Curt Levens, Lake City Secondary and last year’s WLSS vice-principal.
McGrath was born in Regina and her family moved to Williams Lake for her dad’s work when she was in Grade 3.
Her family lives in the Miocene area where they raise cattle and have plenty of animals including three dogs and numerous barn-cats.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for McGrath as she is heading to her hometown of Regina to pursue her post secondary career at the University of Regina.
“I have lots of cousins, aunts and uncles in Regina and I can live with my grandparents who live in walking distance from the university,” said McGrath.
McGrath will fly out to the prairies and she plans to pursue at Bachelor of Science degree with a main focus in biology.
McGrath finished with a 96 per cent average in all her Grade 12 courses to finish as top academic at WLSS. Her older brother Seamus McGrath actually won top academic at WLSS two years ago. Synnove also had a huge role in producing the play Alice – a Wonderland put on by the students of WLSS.
“My fondest memory of Synnove was watching her direct the play Alice and Wonderland. She was working with students Grades 8 to 12 and she did a wonderful job and has a quiet strength about her,” said Sylvia Seibert, Nesika and last year’s WLSS principal. “She’s a well rounded student and doesn’t excel just at academic subjects like chemistry, biology, and math.”
She credits all the teachers at the school for her success but had a special relationship with her two biology teachers.
“Everyone at the school was a big help to me but the reason I enjoyed biology so much was my teachers Ms. Gobolos and Mr. Belonio,” said McGrath.
Synnove received a pair of entrance scholarships, one from the University of Regina and another from the government of Canada.
She calls biology and calculus her two favourite subjects.
Her other hobbies include band and drama which she participated in regularly throughout her time at WLSS.
As for a career, McGrath is still uncertain but will let her studies determine what direction she goes.
“I don’t really have an idea what I want to do for a career but during my next few years at university I will see what I enjoy and go from there,” explains McGrath.
The Governor General awards were created by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General back in 1873 with notable past winners including Tommy Douglas, Pierre Trudeau, Kim Campbell and Robert Bourassa.