Right before the Winter Break, Grade 8 students were asked, by their teachers, to start thinking about who they wanted to be for Gallery of Fame, one of the most important projects of the year for their class. The idea is to learn in-depth about a quotable or notable individual that has been deceased for over 10 years in order to analyze that person’s accomplishments objectively.
This project soon became every Grade 8s topic of conversation.
Ms. Pagett, one of the Drama teachers for Grade 8 and Middle School Vice Principal, said, “Besides learning about their character’s life and time period, I want students to understand that their character was a real person and that they had hopes, dreams, and aspirations. I also want students to learn perseverance, time-management skills, and walk away with courage and confidence, as well as public speaking skills. It’s hard to decide on a favourite part of the whole project because I like everything about it such as watching the dynamics of two characters interact. At the end of it, I feel proud of everyone and excited for the next year.”
Asked why she chose composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Anastasia Lavrenyuk ’26 said, “I guess I just like his music. His ballets were pretty impressive.” As well as composing the most well-known ballets, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky also composed numerous waltzes, concertos, and symphonies.
Reese Suntok ’26 chose Kurt Cobain, an American rock musician who played for the band Nirvana. “I wanted to choose someone who liked the same thing I did,” said Reese. “He liked music and I like music. He liked rock and pop, and so did I. I also wanted to choose someone who was popular and well-known. He was pretty laid back which I think is impressive for someone who’s so famous.”
Tap dancer Ginger Rogers was on Keirti Pathak ’26 list of Gallery of Fame characters.
“Ginger Rogers did dance and was well-known, which was part of the reason I wanted to choose her,” explained Keirti. “She did dance, like I did, but she chose to do tap and I never tried tap. I kind of was looking for a challenge and something different.”
On Gallery of Fame day, scheduled for March 15, every Grade 8 student will dress up as their chosen deceased character that they have researched extensively to interact with their classmates. Students will draw upon their improvisation skills learned in Drama class to answer questions as they impersonate their character. The Grade 8s will assemble in Denford Hall to perform their two-minute speeches.
With less than a month to finalize their research, finish speeches and assemble their costumes, Grade 8s are working frantically as they look forward to March 15!