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Living2021 Robert Tait McKenzie Awards – nine finalists announced

2021 Robert Tait McKenzie Awards – nine finalists announced

In the midst of this pandemic, with schools opened and closed repeatedly, whether “learning remotely”, or in person, with altered schedules, no extracurricular activities, and despite the stress and emotional turmoil which we have all endured, these exceptional young people have continued in their pursuit of excellence!

  • The Almonte Lions Club Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the names of 9 Almonte District High School students who are the finalists for the prestigious Robert Tait McKenzie Scholarship Awards.
  • Finalists were identified in recognition of their contributions to school life, academic excellence, and volunteer service and leadership in the greater community. A committee of ADHS staff, and Lions, carefully considered the 3 categories of involvement, before selected the 9 finalists.  They represent the very “best of the best” at ADHS.
  • We encourage everyone to view this annual event as a CELEBRATION of our wonderful students, our school, and our community! All of the nominees are exceptional individuals, and a credit to their families, and our community.
  • You have probably read that the province of Ontario is documenting a general decline in “engagement in learning” as one of the consequences of the months of disrupted learning caused by this pandemic. Happily, and proudly, these finalists have resisted any temptation to pull back their efforts and have maintained the absolute highest standards of success.
  • The finalists being honoured for their “Joy of Effort” this year are Parker Deugo, Willow Franklin, Lilian Gray, Grace Hill, Nathaniel Lowry, Kayleigh Vallier, Haley Wagorn, Ruby Watters and Portia Whelan. Each of these students represents the qualities and ideals McKenzie modelled. All of these students are amazing people who our community can take great pride in recognizing.
  • Each of the candidates was asked to highlight their contributions in the 3 areas central to the award– academic excellence, leadership in athletics and school life, and community spirit and involvement. Additionally, the finalists are required to present a letter of reference, from someone who knows them well, which addressed the 3 areas of the awards.  The process of selecting the two scholarship winners is always very difficult as annually all nominees are certainly worthy of recognition.
  • Two scholarship winners will be announced in the coming weeks. This honour carries with it a monetary scholarship of $2000. for each of the students. Their names will also be added to the plaque which hangs in the main hall of ADHS.  (A review of the names on this plaque reveals many former students who have progressed to distinguished careers since leaving high school.) Bursaries will be offered to the other seven finalists reflecting the conviction that truly “all are winners”.
  • Sadly, given the Covid -19 pandemic, for the second year in a row, there will be no public ceremony to honour these outstanding students. Instead, honouring the tradition, now in its 55th consecutive year, the Almonte Lions Club, and Almonte District High School, wish to join together to highlight the accomplishments of these gifted students as they continue to pursue excellence, even when their schools are shut down!
  • The selection committee invites the entire community to take great pride in the accomplishments of these fine young people. The staff at ADHS are to be commended for nurturing the very best capabilities of these outstanding individuals.  We are truly blessed to live in this community, and to have the dedicated, professional, caring staff at our local high school, who work so hard to develop the potential of our young leaders of tomorrow.  Please extend your congratulations to all of these fine young people when you encounter them in our community in the months ahead.

For more information, or to discuss the scholarships further, please contact Bob Bassett, Chair of the Almonte Lions Club Charitable Foundation, at 613-256-4720 or by email at 




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