Catherine Cadigan, a student at I.E. Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay, is the recipient of the highest honour that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) can bestow upon a student—the Student Achievement Award (in honour of Marion Drysdale).
Cadigan won the senior grades 11–12 university category in the prose or poetry division of this prestigious award for her entry entitled, Starting at the Top. She was supported by OSSTF/FEESO member Bentley Larson.
“Catherine takes us on a journey of memories that flood her as she listens to the valedictorian during her graduation ceremony. She realizes that her awakening during the ceremony has actually had more impact than the diploma she carries as she leaves the school,” said OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof.
This is the 32nd consecutive year in which the Federation has presented the Student Achievement Awards (formerly known as the Marion Drysdale Awards). This year each winning student was awarded with a cash prize of $1,000 and a framed certificate.
The awards were presented for poem or essay submissions in six prose/poetry categories:
- intermediate, grades 9–10 academic;
- intermediate, grades 9–10 applied/essential;
- senior, grades 11–12 university;
- senior, grades 11–12 college/workplace;
- French intermediate, grades 9–10; and
- French senior, grades 11–12.
And for creative entries there are three categories:
- visual arts intermediate, grades 9–10;
- visual arts senior, grades 11–12; and
- digital arts grades 9–12.
Entries are judged at four successive levels: school, district, regional and provincial. The competition is open to all Ontario public high school students. This year’s theme was “Ahead By A Century.”
The contest is named after Marion Drysdale who died of cancer in 1983 just after retiring from the position of secretary to the general secretary of OSSTF/FEESO. Drysdale was noted for her keen interest in reading and history.
A booklet containing all the winning student submissions can be obtained on request from the OSSTF/FEESO provincial office. A professionally produced DVD about the students and their work is also available.