Staff at Selkirk Secondary have plenty to be proud of when it comes to their students. Two students in particular have some real good news stories this week.
Grade 11 student, Justin Sawley was recently honoured by the ACT Highschool CPR and Defibrillator Training Program for the action he took to help a choking victim while on vacation in Mexico last Spring Break.
And Grade 12 student Julia Dereniwsky has just won a four-year full scholarship to Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, Texas. She will be playing for the school’s renowned golf team.
Julia was selected by Texas A&M after a golf combine in Las Vegas. The combine, says Julia’s coach Tom Vold from the Kimberley Golf Club, is an opportunity for junior golfers who have not yet selected a school to be seen by recruiters.
Vold says she was chosen by North Dakota, Milwaukee and Texas A&M. She visited all three schools and chose Texas.
Is it a big deal?
“Wow,” said Vold. “Just wow. It’s wonderful. It’s the biggest thing I’ve heard of in a while.”
Vold says Texas A&M’s program, run by Carol Blackmore with her husband Phil, is very highly regarded.
Last year, Kimberley’s Jared du Toit won a full scholarship to the University of Idaho.
Vold says he can’t really say exactly why junior golfers from Kimberley are making noise in the last few years, but he does think that the Kimberley Golf Club has made a conscious effort in the last several years to be more welcoming to juniors.
“It’s not any single factor. It’s very cool to see this happen. There will be years when there is nothing. But there has been an organized effort by this facility to offer junior golf at a very reasonable price. It’s a place where they know they are welcomed and encouraged. There are opportunities for employment.”
All in all, Vold says the news about Julia is very exciting.
Justin Sawley was recognized for saving a young woman in Mexico who was choking last spring.
He had just taken the ACT High School CPR and Defibrillator Program, which had been set up at Selkirk in 2007 with the support of the BC Hydro Employees’ Community Fund (HYDRECS), as well as provincial-level support from BC Emergency Health Services, BC Ambulance Service. This enabled the donation of mannequins, teacher training and curriculum resources to the school.
With skills from the course, Justin was able to very quickly assess the problem and administer the obstructed airway maneuver he had just learned.
Justin’s teacher Brad Scott submitted the story to ACT and Justin was recognized with an award. Justin says if he wouldn’t have taken the course, he wouldn’t have known how to help the victim.
“Great work Justin for taking such quick and confident action and congratulations for being recognized by the ACT,” says Selkirk principal Cling Dolgopol. “A big thanks also goes to Justin’s PE 10 teacher Brad Scott who submitted this story to the ACT and to our PE Department for the great work they are doing in educating our students in CPR and other basic First Aid.”