Yena Lee recently won the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive.
Lee was awarded the Governor General Bronze Medallion for this year’s Columneetza Secondary grad class, given to the student with the highest grade point average in the school.
Lee will go down in history as the last ever winner in the school’s 46 year history as Columneetza will change to Lake City Secondary Western Campus this fall.
“Yena has been a fantastic role model for all of our students,” said Gregg Gaylord, Lake City secondary’s and last year’s Columneetza principal.
“She has a very bright future and we wish her success.”
Lee was born in South Korea and moved with her family to Vancouver at the age of six where she lived until Grade 10. Her family moved to Williams Lake two years ago to open the California Sushi Restaurant, where she works part-time.
“My dad saw that there was a market in Williams Lake for sushi and we moved up a couple years ago to start the business,” explains Lee. “It was a bit of a transition but I really enjoyed my years attending Columneetza.”
Lee, 17, finished this year with a 97.7 per cent average through all her Grade 11 and 12 courses. Her favourite classes are English and calculus and she also enjoys reading and is a semi-professional golfer.
She will start her post-secondary career at the University of British Columbia this fall where she is enrolled at the Sauder School of Business with her dream to one day become a lawyer. She will be moving into residence at Vanier Park next week.
Ken Lucks, Lake City Secondary’s, and last year’s Columneetza vice-principal, said it was very close between six students vying for the award.
“It was extremely close as we had six strong candidates. Yena is a very deserving winner and she was an excellent representative of our school in all areas not just academics. She also has a great network of friends she’s made here,” Lucks said.
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.