Grace Robinson (left) of Princess Margaret Secondary and Grace Grant of Penticton Secondary organized a combined Remembrance Day service at Gyro Park. Robinson is being honoured as Rotary Student of the Month for January, in part, for her efforts in planning this event. Western News file photo

Rotary Student of the Month: Robinson a proven leader

The Grade 12 Princess Margaret student is the club’s Student of the Month for January

Grade 12 Princess Margaret student Grace Robinson has proven herself as a leader that can take pivotal roles in organizing events.

She is being honoured as the Rotary Student of the Month for January, in part, as originator and co-organizer of the inaugural Remembrance Day Ceremony at Gyro Park in November 2018.

“This highly successful outdoor event, commemorating the centenary of the armistice ending the First World War, involved 2,000 students and teachers from the (Penticton High School and Princess Margaret Secondary School),” states the release. “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.’”

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Grace Robinson, Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret. Photo submitted

Robinson and her partner in this endeavour from Pen High, Grace Grant, faced legitimate concerns over logistics and class time loss when proposing their idea to the two schools’ teachers, but were ultimately successful in gaining their support. As an argument in their favour, Robinson asked the teachers ‘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 Maggie teacher Jeff Fitton. “(It was) a logistically challenging event that was solemn, sombre 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.”

Robinson has been busy in the arts community, starting dance lessons in Grade 5 and taking vocal lessons at Aidan Mayes School of Music for the past five years. She has also been an integral member of Maggie’s innovative musical theatre program, helping with the school’s various musical productions on and off stage.

Related: Penticton students to host Remembrance Day ceremony

She served as the head stage manager in the school’s productions of Little Mermaid and Seussical and played Velma von Tussle in Hairspray. She is now double cast alongside classmate Jenelle Scanlen in the lead role as Donna Sheridan in the upcoming production of Mamma Mia.

“I love the feeling of family radiating among the stage production crew and the chance to let my creative juices flow in front of an audience,” said Robinson.

Attesting to her ambition and talents, 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.”

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Dr. Don Grant, Maggie’s music teacher, added: “(she) is a unique individual in that she leads others without being too overbearing and does it with a smile on her face.”

Her passion for the arts has not interfered with her scholastic accomplishments, maintaining a grade-point average of 96 per cent. Last year alone she took seven academic courses including physics, pre-calculus, chemistry, biology, social studies, Spanish and English.

Robinson has also had to overcome great hardships in her short life, losing her father to lung cancer in September 2017. As she powered through the school year, her teachers recognized her courage and resilience and awarded her the coveted Mustang Inspirational Award.

“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,” said Robinson in the release.

In her off-time, Robinson can be found recreationally reading, binge-watching Netflix and the HBO series Game of Thrones, walking her border collie Dorothy or hiking with her mom and sister Susie. Upon graduation, she plans to enrol in the Bachelor of Education program, majoring in Arts/History, at the University of Victoria or possible Dalhousie University, her later father’s alma mater.

“Clearly, Grace Robinson is endowed with many of the traits of highly successful people – goal-oriented, laser-focused, studious and unwavering in times of adversity,” states the release. “These traits, combined with a caring, witty and engaging personality, point to a bright future, irrespective of where her envisioned teaching career may take her.”

Student of the Month is a Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise project. The award recognizes outstanding students for unique achievement in scholastics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and service to others. The club partners with Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, aided by a generous financial contribution from Gateway Casinos as part of their involvement in community service projects.

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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