Grace, student of the month

Grace Robinson, an industrious, goal-oriented and compassionate trailblazer, is the Rotary Student of the Month for January.

Robinson, a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School, is being recognized, in part, for exceptional leadership in her pivotal role as originator and co-organizer, with Pen High’s Grace Grant, of the inaugural Remembrance Day Ceremony at Gyro Park this past November.

This successful outdoor event, commemorating the centenary of the armistice ending World War I, involved about 2,000 students and teachers from the two schools. The Ceremony marked the pinnacle in Robinson’s goal, beginning in Grade 9, “to impactfully preserve the memory of the horrors of war in students’ minds so that its dreadful effects are not forgotten and never again inflicted on future generations.”

Robinson’s unrelenting grit was tested to the limit in championing this combined outdoor event, a first for School District 67. Given legitimate concerns over logistics and class time loss, the teachers finally approved the event when confronted with Robinson’s provocative question: “If our nation can come together during times of war, why can’t two schools unite and celebrate this day in times of peace?”

“Grace’s pleasant demeanour and indelible positivity match her strength of resolve when it comes to creating large scale projects that benefit her community,” said teacher Jeff Fitton, describing the recent Remembrance ceremony in Gyro Park as “a logistically challenging event that was solemn, somber and thought-provoking. I’ve seldom met a student who is kinder, more hard-working and more willing to accept challenges that benefit her school, her community and the world.”

Beginning with dance lessons in Grade 5 and inspiring vocal lessons at the Aidan Mayes School of Music for the past five years, Robinson’s true passion for the performing arts has been further nurtured through the innovative musical theatre program at Maggie. Committed to the pursuit of excellence in any activity, she has been deeply involved in the school’s various musical productions, both on and off the stage.

Maggie drama teacher, Lori Grant, said “Grace is a product of two outstanding parents. She takes on daunting tasks that other teenagers would instantly shun and pushes ahead in a timely and organized way. One can be assured whatever role she takes on, she will do to the best of her talented ability.”

Despite her taxing musical theatre and leadership activities, Robinson excels scholastically with a grade-point average of 96%. Her course load last year was especially heavy with seven academic courses including physics, pre-calculus, chemistry, biology, social studies, Spanish, and English.

This was made all the more challenging with the passing away of her dad from lung cancer in September 2017. Astoundingly, she still achieved a GPA of 93%, leading Maggie’s teachers to recognize her courage and resilience in the face of adversity with the coveted Mustang Inspirational Award.

In view of her busy agenda, it is not surprising that Robinson regards time management as her biggest challenge, noting “finding time for all my events while still being a teenager, having fun and relaxing with family and friends, can be a difficult balancing act.”

Upon graduation, Robinson plans to enrol in the Bachelor of Education program, majoring in Arts/History, at UBC, UVic or possibly Dalhousie, her late dad’s alma mater.

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