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Bay Roberts school tops at Skills Canada competition

By Mark Squibb | May 16, 2021

Ascension Collegiate students have skills, and they have the medals to prove it.

The Bay Roberts school placed first in the 2021 Skills Canada Virtual Provincial Competition Top Placing Secondary School category.

“It was extremely exciting, because we haven’t won top school since 2012,” said Mary Ann Sheehan, the school’s Skills Canada liaison. “There’s a really good rivalry between us and Holy Spirt. For the past number of years Holy Spirit has won it every single time. So, our last was in 2012, so we’re obviously quite happy.”

Nine Ascension students earned medals in categories ranging from public speaking to video production.

“It just goes to show how diverse our students are,” said Sheehan.

Brianna Russell earned a gold medal in the Job Search category, which tests students resume writing and interview skills. Julia Keefe earned gold demonstrating proper workplace safety, while Lee Peters earned gold in the Job Skill Demonstration category. Emma Lucas earned gold for her photography, while Jacob Norman and Aimee Shepard earned gold for their ability to pitch a business idea to a panel of business professionals. John Hiscock and Holly Fillier earned gold in the category of Video Production, while Owen Carter was awarded silver for Public Speaking.

“The biggest thing about Skills Canada it that it gives a glimpse into the various careers you can do post-high school and see what that entails,” said Sheehan.

As the school’s Skills Canada liaison, Sheehan, along with four other teachers, ensure that students are ready for competition, although she said that students deserve the credit for their efforts.

“These students did this on their own, with very little support from us, because we were in the middle of a lockdown when this all amped up, so for them, it shows their leadership skills, it shows their diversity when put under pressure, it’s just a really great learning experience for all the students,’” she said.

Sheehan also gave kudos to local junior high schools Holy Redeemer and Amalgamated Academy, which also encourage students to compete.

“When kids start to develop theses skills in intermediate, we’re really able to hone in on them in high school,” said Sheehan.

Ascension will now move forward to the National Skills Canada competition.

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