Week 14 - Student of the Week

Downsview Secondary School
Student of the Week
January 8, 2024

Abigail H. & Vashana S.

W14_Abigail_H W14_Vashana_S

Downsview, for this first week of the new year, January 8th, 2024, we honour two students as our Students of the Week. Ninth grade student Abigail H. and twelfth grade student, Vashana S., are our recipients.

Once again, we honour two worthy people this week, a fitting start to a new year. One of our recipients is in the early days of her high school career; the other will soon graduate. There’s a common thread here, though; both are leaders in our school.

Let’s hear about our recipients. First, from Ms Persaud: “I first met Vashana in Grade 9 English. I am so proud of all of her accomplishments over the last four years. She continues to work hard and get involved, taking advantage of the many opportunities offered to her. She has been a part of Student Council, Black Brilliance and so many other school initiatives throughout the years. Congratulations on your achievement, Vashana!”

And, from Ms Khan: “Congratulations Ms. Abigail Hall on becoming Student of the Week! Abigail is a bright young lady with a very bright future. She is a leader inside and outside of the classroom. Abigail is outspoken with her academics and extracurriculars. Not only does she submit well done work, but she also finds the time to participate in girls basketball, girls volleyball, the snack program, Black Brilliance, and is the manager for the boys basketball team. She strives to do her best in everything she does and it shows. Ms. Hall will be a great leader at downsview in the years to come. Congratulations once again. You’ve earned it.”

Hear this, from Ms Lee: “Vashana is the person behind the voice, making the announcements for all the workshops that are offered to students like the resume writing workshops, CPR and First Aid certifications. At the workshops she takes attendance, assists the guest speaker, distributes handouts and keeps students on task. These tasks require organization, communication skills and a level of confidence. Working with Vashana as our student ambassador has been easy. She responds quickly and completes her ambassador duties with efficiency and poise. Congratulations,Vashana!  It's been a pleasure seeing your leadership develop at school. The world awaits you!”

From Mr Hum: “Vashie is a bright student that leads through example. Her quiet leadership can be seen in class where she thrives in group work, taking control of a project in an organized, diplomatic, and friendly approach. Vashie is well respected by her peers. She always has a smile on her face and gets along with everyone around her. If you ask her friends, they will say she always has their back. Congrats Vashie, keep up the good work!”

Ms de Jersey adds: “When I first saw Abby, I thought, ‘wow! She moves like she means it!’ Abby has a spring in her step and she moves with focus and determination. She is a lunch hour volunteer and I am so glad to have her; undaunted by crowds and busy-ness, Abby cheerfully gets the job done. Hearing that Abby was a Black Brilliance presenter came as no surprise - her new-ish status as a ninth grade student is well behind her. Abby is growing as a central leader at DSS.”

And, from Mr Wallace: “Vashana has always had a strong sense of who she is; just watch her acerbic sense of humour, a little bit caustic and often revealing a truth that wasn't being revealed. I have watched her since grade 9 develop into a young woman who is unafraid to share what she sees and feels. She is comfortable with pushing boundaries. Her preferred way of operating is quietly, in the shadows, but sometimes strength and intelligence and passion need a more direct response. This year, the Black Brilliance team had a number of leaders who made sure to deliver. Vashana was one of them. As one of this year's conference MCs, Vashana expertly set the right tone for all the participants. In addition, other workshop groups looked to Vashana and her teammates, Ariana and Georgia, for how to create and present on an important topic, in their case, the intersection between the LGBTQ+ and Black communities. In so many other parts of the school, such as the QSA or as scorekeeper for multiple sports, Vashana has been there, and the school is stronger for it.”

Finally, from Mr Henriques: “I had the pleasure of coaching Abigail on the Downsview girls basketball team. Abigail’s heart and determination was always present. Big things are on the horizon for Abigail at Downsview. Vashana’s helpful nature has been a joy to see at Downsview. Whether it was for basketball or volleyball scorekeeping, a great job was always done. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Vashana.”

Vashana, Abigail, you heard it here. The smart energy that you put into our school is infectious. You know what leadership means and you value community. Congratulations Abigail, and congratulations, Vashana on your well-earned wins as our first Students of the Week for 2024.