Manny Panghli is January’s Rotary Student of the Month. (Submitted)

Manny Panghli is January’s Rotary Student of the Month. (Submitted)

Rotary Student of the Month a quiet and caring leader on and off-ice

Manny Panghli is January’s student of the month

The Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise’s student of the month is Grade 12 Manjot (Manny) Panghli.

Panghli is a student and athlete at Penticton Secondary School and the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

Panghli, who is 16 years old, is the younger of two children in a close-knit, community-minded family. Well-coached at home in core life skills conducive to self-fulfillment and career success, he has harnessed his inquisitive-fuelled intellect, grit and high-octane energy to excel in hockey and scholastics while undertaking impactful charitable activities.

Panghli spent his childhood in Merritt and moved to Kamloops in June 2018 before relocating to Penticton in 2020 to enrol in the OHA.

He started playing when he was eight, becoming a goalie at age 10 before starting with competitive hockey in Grade 7.

Last season, he helped the Thompson Blazers U16 AAA team to a 12-4 record, while garnering the team’s MVP award for his strong game play and leadership.

Currently, Panghli is affiliated with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL. Last month he was added to the protected list of the Spokane Chiefs, opening the door for him to advance to Major Junior A next year.

“A quiet leader who earns respect through his ability and actions, Manny has a bright future in hockey. But hockey is really only part of who Manny is,” said Dave Nackoney, OHA counsellor at Pen High. “Very few people have the vision to see the needs of others like Manny does. He is, in fact, one of the kindest and caring young men I have ever met during my 30 years in education.”

Panghli’s desire to excel extends to the classroom. Last year, he carried a demanding load of 10 in-school and online courses, including English 10 and 11, Pre-calculus 11 and 12, Biology 11 and Chemistry 11, recording an average grade of 93 per cent.

During the fall session at Pen High, he achieved an average grade of 92 per cent in six courses, providing him with sufficient credits to graduate early.

Panghli’s favourite subjects are English and history, as they afford him “an opportunity to gain insight into different cultures and traditions.”

“Manny is one of the most amazing young people I have met in my 26 years of teaching. My job is to instill confidence, compassion, and knowledge and yet I feel — in teaching Manny — that I too have been enriched,” said Pen High English teacher Wayne Kuechle. “He has such a genuine passion, fuelled by a big heart, that he transforms into action to make an impactful difference.”

Panghli’s humanitarian work began while attending Merritt Central Elementary School when he noticed that some fellow students were coming to school on an empty stomach. This led him and his older sister, Simren, to enlist local businesses to support the school-based breakfast program.

A second food drive was undertaken in December 2017 with them raising $1,000, a donation sufficient to cover two months of nutritious breakfasts. Last June, in response to COVID-19, Manny himself collected 166 pounds of food items for the Kamloops Food Bank.

Last month, he personally obtained a #RisingYouth community service grant for $750 from TakingITGlobal, a Toronto-based charity NGO, in support of the local Salvation Army Food Bank.

Panghli is quick to credit Simren, his enduring role model, and her intrinsic altruism for igniting his burning passion for helping others.

During quiet moments, Panghli enjoys reading history and cooking tandoori chicken and other scrumptious traditional Punjabi dishes for family and friends.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A protest has been planned for March 5, 2020 over Penticton council’s decision to reject an application from BC Housing to keep an emergency winter shelter open over a year longer than originally planned. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘Bring your tent’: Protest planned in Penticton’s Gyro Park over winter shelter closure

Protesters plan to show council ‘what the result of their decision will look like’

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki responded to BC Housing minster David Eby’s remarks that the city has put themselves at risk of creating a tent city Wednesday, March 3, 2020. (Western News file photo)
Penticton mayor calls out BC Housing minister for ‘irresponsible fear-mongering’

Council recently rejected BC Housing’s request to keep a winter shelter open longer than first planned

Robert Emms spotted these beauties in a waterway in downtown Penticton. (Robert Emms)
Trumpeter swans visit downtown Penticton

The beautiful birds are regulars near the shores of Okanagan Lake on Highway 97

Ecologist and writer Don Gayton wraps up the Penticton Arts Council’s March events. (Submitted)
Penticton Arts Council unveils March’s programs

Making your own comics and short stories highlight March events

After 20 years in the community, Pathways Addiction Recovery Centre has had its funding cut by Interior Health, who says they are bringing addictions services in-house now. (Facebook)
Community outraged at Interior Health’s decision to cut funding to Penticton addiction services centre

People question why Pathways addiction services would be cut during an overdose epidemic

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

The restart of the program means seniors can receive affordable meals delivered five days a week Photo by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post.
Princeton Meals on Wheels one year trial will cost $92k

Program restarts, and volunteer drivers are needed

Most Read