Top of the class
Chelsea Thomas finishes atop Ascension Collegiate graduating group
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.
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.