By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
Long before the crack of dawn, teachers at the Strathmore High School took the morning to recognize a special group of students during their biannual Breakfast of Champions.
There were no criteria for the nominations, just that each member of the staff select a student who stood out for one reason or another.
It’s a tradition that has been going on for more than 20 years and continued this year with the breakfast beginning shortly after 7 a.m. on Dec. 1, as the celebrated students and their mentors enjoyed a hot meal together.
In total, 45 students were recognized, with the overwhelming majority of the group rolling out of bed in time for the early start.
A special presentation took place before breakfast, as newly anointed Mayor of Strathmore Pat Fule was recognized for all his support with the Breakfast of Champions program over the years.
Once everyone was seated with his or her meals, one at a time, the teacher and their selected student arrived at the podium, as the teacher read a short blurb about why this chosen student was picked to be a champion, while the student was presented with a certificate of accomplishment. Afterwards, the two posed for a picture together before returning to their meal.
The reasons for each selection varied, but for the most part, they centreed around the students being positive, volunteer work, having a good attitude, showing an improvement in classroom behaviour and performance, assisting in extracurricular activities and having healthy relationships in school.
“It feels pretty good and is nice to know that people are looking out for you, recognizing the things that fly under the radar for most people,” said Nolan Sander, a Grade 12 student who was recognized by Ms. Gabriele Kuhrt. “I got recognized for my work in class when I had some issues at home and was able to persevere through … it makes me feel really good and makes me feel like I can work better and have more motivation towards my subjects knowing that people really pay attention to you and care about you.”
It wasn’t all about academics, either. Tomas Moncayo was one of the athletes honoured for his work on the volleyball team over the past three years, along with everything he has accomplished away from the court.
RoseAnn Delainey was another student athlete who was honoured with the special breakfast.
“I first met RoseAnn when she came into my T.A. last year and I taught her Science 10. I currently teach her Chem 20. I have had the privilege to watch RoseAnn run cross country the past two seasons and see her grow tremendously as an athlete,” said Mrs. Stephanie Aitken. “It more focuses on her personal academic goals and now can be caught helping out people around the school and in the community; from the yearbook to the youth club, all while spreading her infectious smile. She is my personal champion for the amount of personal growth she has achieved in her contributions to the school and the community.”
The next Breakfast of Champions will take place in early June, when a whole new group of students are selected and honoured for an entire new list of reasons.