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Governor General’s Academic Medal Given to Recent Grad

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On January 10, Stefanie Chen ’21 stopped by the Pemberton Woods Campus where Head of School Mr. Chad Holtum presented her with the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

The award is for the student graduating with the highest academic average, and Stefanie was the recipient for the Class of 2021. The Medal was established in 1873, and the long list of alumni who have received it is impressive. 

“I’m really excited, and I feel kind of humbled,” said Stefanie. “To be recognized for something like this means a lot.”

Stefanie took a two-week trip to Victoria to spend the holiday season with her former host family, including former host parents, IB Diploma Coordinator Mme Angie Girard and Mr. Michel Girard from the facilities team. She spent the fall semester in Northern California attending the University of California, Berkeley.

“My major there is Molecular and Cell Biology, and it’s so interesting!” she exclaimed. “I have a lot to learn still, but it’s been so much fun so far.”

She continued, “I think the IB curriculum really helped me with the university curriculum, because most of my first semester materials have already been covered at GNS.”

Stefanie mentioned that she’s enjoyed exploring the Bay Area during her free time over the last few months, but was looking forward to returning to Canada to see the Girards, who are also hosting her sister Caitlin ’24.

After hosting Stefanie for three years, the Girard family was not the least bit surprised to see that Stefanie was awarded the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

“From the time she arrived, you could tell that she was so interested in learning and so keen to get involved in everything the school had to offer,” said Angie. “She was always dedicated to her studies and being as well-rounded as she could be.”

For her part, Stefanie offered a few words of advice to current GNS students.

“Enjoy your time at the school, and work towards your goals. And know that there are so many wonderful people who are willing to do anything to help you along the way,” she said.

Congratulations, Stefanie! Good luck this semester!