EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was submitted by Grade 10 ADHS student Pippa Norman. It recounts a big year of achievement at our local high school.
by Pippa Norman
Award-winning plays? TEDx guest speakers? Ontario competition level athletes? Where in your community can this all be found? Almonte and District High School, of course.
The school year of 2016-2017 has been one to remember for the students and staff of ADHS, and here’s a glimpse into why that may be.
Our year began with the welcoming of a new principal, Ms. Nancy Holman, who transferred from Perth. ADHS also welcomed several international students this year, including five short-stay students from France and Spain, as well as four students from China, working towards earning credit at ADHS. In turn, Almonte had two students go on short-term exchanges overseas in France.
And that wasn’t the only piece of Almonte that France had the privilege of hosting this year. You didn’t think we would let Vimy Ridge head into its 100th anniversary without a few Almontonians in the mix! Our small school managed to send a group of students and two teachers on a trip to remember, as they toured the country, remembered those who fought, and left a little bit of the ADHS spirit everywhere they went.
Despite the “small town, small school, limited resources” stereotype often associated with ADHS, our local high school never fails to impress in the athletics department. We had two successful junior/senior football teams this year, several teams that qualified for EOSSAA, and a track team that was represented by 10 students at OFSAA regionals this year. Not to mention our superb curling team that once again were provincial champions, and our breakthrough pole vaulter who finished with a ranking of 10th overall in the province.
Of course, ADHS is no one-trick pony. Sure we can demolish in athletics, but you can also count on us to dazzle in the arts. Our annual theatre production left the critics rolling in the aisles from constant laughter and blowing up the Ottawa Citizen with rave reviews. Not only did “Leading Ladies” receive an abundance of nominations, it even managed to turn a couple of those nominations into full-blown awards, winning best “Lead Actor” and “Comedic Actor” at the annual Cappies gala (the prestigious high school equivalent of the Oscars, held at the NAC).
As a small town school, ADHS is always looking for opportunities to enrich and deliver diversity into the lives of our students. We believe that being a part of a small school should not inhibit our students from experiencing the bigger picture.
This year we were enriched by an exhilarating but meaningful visit from a group called Live Different (who capitalize on changing ourselves and the world around us with compassion), and even more exciting, our hugely rewarding “Celebrate Diversity!” evening held later in the year. This evening of inclusiveness featured supportive organizations from around the community, a colossal mural made by students voicing their thoughts on equality, and an unforgettable speech from a hijab wearing, hockey playing, TEDx speaker, Sheema Khan.
Looking back, all the students, staff and especially those that have lent a helping hand this school year, have so much of which to be proud. ADHS is constantly breaking new ground and defying expectations. So on that note all I can say is keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground, because you never know how the family at Almonte and District High School may surprise you next.