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Roberts Family Values Earn the Vandekerkhove Family Scholarships

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Calla, Alison and Connor Roberts are Grade 11 students who each received an Allen and Loreen Vandekerkhove Family Scholarship for their respective artistic passions during the Senior School Closing Ceremony. It’s not often that the Grade 11 winners all come from the same family. 

The award is given to students in the areas of band, visual arts, theatre and choir. The scholarships are ‘Intended to go beyond grade-point average and focus on and celebrate effort with the ability to shine in the arts through determination and effort while exemplifying GNS’ family values.’

It was a great surprise when the Arts Department faculty came together and realized they had all nominated a Roberts sibling. Connor was nominated by Ms. Amanda Chaval, Choir Director, for his determination and effort in the GNS Senior Choir. 

“Connor is super enthusiastic at everything he does, and I’ve really appreciated having him in the choir,” Ms. Chaval explained, noting he joined the Senior School choir just last year. “The choir is small but mighty, and I feel like Connor is becoming the backbone of it. He’s reached out as a soloist, and has really gone above and beyond.” 

He has also been practicing the craft outside of school and is planning on taking voice lessons in the summer from a colleague of Ms. Chaval who sings opera. 

“He was very well-deserving of this award, I couldn’t think of anyone better to give it to,” she added. 

Alison won the award in visual arts and was nominated by Ms. Gina Sicotte, Visual Arts Teacher. Ms. Sicotte said it was her presence in the classroom that made her stand out. 

“She is always looking out for other people. She’s always checking in with others,” commended Ms. Sicotte. “Whenever I need help with anything she is always the first to offer help. She is always positive with other people’s work and just has that congenial personality in the art room.” 

Calla was nominated for the award for her work in theatre by Ms. Adrienne Smook, MYP/IB Theatre and Theatre Company teacher. 

“This award, in particular, is special because of the family values aspect, and that it asks that the person is not only very good at what they do, and very proficient, talented and dedicated to their art form, but they also embrace that caring, nurturing, and kindness side,” said Ms. Smook. 

The way Calla interprets the family values part is through connecting to the GNS Core Values of truth, courage, caring, individuality and community. 

“She is a very important leader in our group and has been even when she was in Grade 9. It was really special to me to be able to award that to her because it does celebrate the combination of talent, dedication and proficiency, but also who she is as a human being and what she brings to the program,” remarked Ms. Smook. 

Congratulations to Calla, Alison and Connor on winning the Allen and Loreen Vandekerkhove Family Scholarships! What a triple threat!