Top of the class

Chelsea Thomas fin­ishes atop As­cen­sion Col­le­giate grad­u­at­ing group

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

As­cen­sion Col­le­giate graduate Chelsea Thomas knew she was in the top-10 of her class.

It was a goal she set for her­self head­ing into her fi­nal year at the Bay Roberts-based school last Septem­ber. The Co­ley’s Point res­i­dent fin­ished top-10 in Level I, was at the top in Level II and wanted to re­peat that head­ing into her se­nior year.

It meant a lot of nights study­ing and get­ting ex­tra work in. She wrote six pub­lic ex­ams in June and a cal­cu­lus place­ment exam.

All of the work paid off Tues­day night when the 17-year-old was in­tro­duced to hun­dreds in at­ten­dance at As­cen­sion’s an­nual awards night as the top stu­dent for the class of 2014-2015.

“I ac­tu­ally didn’t find out that I was first un­til they an­nounced it,” said Chelsea. “I knew I was in the top-10, but I wasn’t ex­pect­ing to be first place. I knew I had de­cent grades at the end of my Grade 12 year.”

Jessie Downey and Marc LeGres­ley, who fin­ished in sec­ond and third re­spec­tively, joined her in the top-3.

Chelsea brought home some $5,618 in awards, in­clud­ing the pres­ti­gious Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Award as the top stu­dent in Level III along with the B.Ivimey/L.Moores Shield.

Chelsea re­cently com­pleted her first se­mes­ter at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity in St. John’s where she is do­ing a gen­eral year of stud­ies with eyes on ei­ther so­cial work or ed­u­ca­tion. She plans on pur­su­ing a ca­reer in medicine but as Chelsea puts it, she “has to do some­thing else first.”

Chelsea looked back fondly on her three years at As­cen­sion.

“I couldn’t ask for any bet­ter,” she said. “There are a few teach­ers I formed really strong re­la­tion­ships with and they’re al­ways there to help you if you need it or just some ad­vice.”

She re­mem­bers one mo­ment when a teacher went above and be­yond prior to her cal­cu­lus place­ment exam. Teacher Denise Simms stayed an ex­tra five hours with stu­dents on a Fri­day evening to help pre­pare Chelsea and the oth­ers.

“No teacher wants to stay ex­tra on a Fri­day and she did it for us,” she said.

Chelsea is the daugh­ter of Paul and Paula Thomas.

The dig­ni­taries on the stage at As­cen­sion for the awards night had a busy evening hand­ing out more than a dozen pieces of hard­ware and a size­able chunk of change to more than 40 stu­dents.

In all, the school doled out some $95,000 in schol­ar­ships and awards with $60,000 of that com­ing from the school it­self.

PHO­TOS BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

Chelsea Thomas (mid­dle), Jessie Downey (left) and Marc LeGres­ley were rec­og­nized as As­cen­sion Col­le­giate’s top-3 Level III stu­dents from the 20142015 grad­u­at­ing class at its an­nual awards night on Dec. 15. The tra­di­tional hat toss dur­ing the As­cen­sion Col­le­giate awards cer­e­mony.

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