When St James Catholic High School student Lia Kirkpatrick walked across the stage at the Skills Canada national competition in Edmonton earlier this month to receive her gold medal, it was the final steps of a 9 month long journey that started with a simple question from a friend: 'do you want to come along to do this training?'
"I was so excited – and surprised – to win at my first national competition," reflected Lia after returning to the regular routine of grade 9 life at St James. "The entire process of training, winning at regionals, the provincials in Toronto and then traveling to Edmonton with my Dad and grandma has been amazing! I am so thankful to everyone who helped me with this, especially my friend Emma who encouraged me to get involved."
Lia participated in the Workplace Safety competition at Skills where participants are tested on their knowledge and skills about the health and safety needs of typical workplace environments. Over a period of two days, Lia took part in workplace safety tasks, research, toolbox talks and safety presentations on the importance of health and safety training on a variety of worksites. The competition at this year's nationals was tough: Lia was one of twelve competitors, all of whom were older and 4 of whom has been to the nationals before.
"Lia deserves this win so very much as she has worked hard, stayed focused and rolled with the punches during her training," commented coach and OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) Coordinator, Ryan Lawrenson. "She has done in one year what takes most students four or five years to complete thanks to a great family, a supportive coach, community assistance and of course a motivated student. Lia represents the possibility that lies in all students. If they step out of their comfort zone and try something new, great things can happen!"
The Wellington Catholic District School Board is committed to supporting student success in all of our 22 schools. Our academic and extracurricular programs give our 7800 students the opportunity to learn, lead and serve. Grounded in faith-based teaching, our schools are preparing students with the values and academic skills they need to be successful 21st century citizens.
For more information, please contact:
Tamara Nugent, Director of Education | 519.82 1.4640 x 214
firstname.lastname@example.org | @TamaraLNugent