July 16th, 2024

CCH grads set to cross the stage this weekend

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 13, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Enrique Zaki Olvis has been named valedictorian for the Catholic Central High School graduating class of 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Catholic Central High School is celebrating graduates this weekend and they have chosen this year’s valedictorian among five students with very high academic averages.
This year the honour of being the school’s valedictorian has been bestowed upon Enrique Zaki Olvis who said that receiving the title is both exciting and scary, as there is a lot of responsibility that comes with it.
“You have to give a valedictorian speech, and you really want to be able to deliver that message to your fellow graduates as well as their families,” said Olvis.
He said he is most worried about the delivery of the speech more than the speech itself as he has never spoken in front of such a big audience.
Olvis said that due to the pandemic he did most of his schooling online and did not get the chance to meet many fellow graduates, which makes it more difficult to deliver the speech as there are more strangers than acquaintances in the audience.
“Grade 10 for half of the year we were online school and the entire grade 11 year I was online as well, so there are some faces that I haven’t seen in one and a half years,” said Olvis.
He said being on campus for his final year was better in every way.
“I definitely feel much more comfortable because now I have my peers around me and I can get help from my teachers for any school problem I may have,” said Olvis.
He said now that he has been on campus, his grades improved in some cases by 11 per cent.
“It was such a drastic change, being in school was a lot better,” said Olvis.
He said part of the reason is because teachers are more accessible for one-on-one help when you are in person, basically having help whenever he needed it.
Catholic Central High School Principal Joanne Polec said Olvis, who has a grade average of 99.2 per cent, was only 0.6 per cent higher than the student who was in second place.
“It was close, our top five were all within 0.6, 0.2 and 0.4 of each other but Zaki (Olvis) did his English class, and a lot of our graduates will put English off until quarter four because they don’t want that to be part of their academic average,” said Polec.
She said most of them choose that route as English is a tough subject to get 100 per cent on because it is subjective unlike math and science.
“There are some students that will plan their schedule, so they won’t have English involved in that formula for valedictorian,” said Polec.
She said they had a hard time with averaging students this year due to the inconsistency of Alberta Education allocation of Diploma exams.
“Students in quarter one wrote diplomas, students in quarter two did not, but in quarter three they did and now in quarter four they will,” said Polec.
This year’s graduation theme is ‘Own Every Second’ and Olvis said it reflects the type of experience they had as graduates throughout their high school.
“In the last three years we didn’t really have the high school experience that everyone else had,” said Olvis.
He referenced the graduating class of 2021 and how they had a normal freshman year while for his graduating class it was different.
“Encountering all these tragedies and all these hard changes gives you a different perspective on how to move forward,” said Olvis.
Polec said she is exceptionally proud of Olvis not only for his high average but also for his school community involvement.
“He has been part of athletic leadership for many years, and it’s a selfless group where they put a lot of hours back to the school community. So on top of being a good academic, he also volunteers time to that program,” said Polec.
She said every student has to do 40 hours of faith action work in the community as a graduation requirement and this year’s graduation class all together put 11,840 hours of service back into the community in Lethbridge and surrounding areas.
This year’s graduating class consists of 296 students. The festivities began with a feather blessing and Metis sash ceremony on Tuesday.
“We have 31 First Nations and Metis students that graduate this year and they were recognized at that feather blessing which happened on campus west,” said Polec.
The graduation festivities resume tonight with the celebration of a Mass for graduates and their families at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday will see students crossing the stage to collect their certificates at 10 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m students have the opportunity to showcase their formal wear for the grand march with a dance to follow.
All events will take place at the Enmax Centre located at 2510 Scenic Drive South.

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