Week 26

Week 26

Downsview Secondary School
Student of the Week
Week of May 16th, 2022

Bob K., Tommy C., Brandon M., and Jurelle M-S.

Downsview, for the week of May 16th, it is a pleasure to announce a team of four winners as Students of the Week. They are: Tommy Chau, of the twelfth grade, Bob Kha, of the twelfth grade, Brandon Ma of the eleventh grade, and Jurelle Marquez Salespara, of the ninth grade. All are winners separately, and have been united this week, for this honour.

It is appropriate to hear first from Dr Syal, mentor to these young men: “Tommy, Bob, Jurelle and Brandon are part of the Robotics Team. Each of the gentlemen played a vital role in the team's success. 

Bob was reluctant to join the team at the beginning of the season, but later, he saw the team struggling to build the bot. So he stepped in.. At the York University tournament, he played the role of the human player. His role was to feed the cargo to our robot. After the team's success at York University, he wanted to redesign the robot to make it more efficient.  He was so determined, and he helped before school, at lunchtime and after school. I know he is going to be a great engineer in the future. 

Jurelle is in grade 9, part of the Downsview Robotics team. His role on the team was to make sure all the batteries were charged, and he had to change the bumpers. He carried out his responsibilities diligently. He is a role model in the classroom.  He used to get upset with me whenever I called him J.R. (his older brother's name). By winning the Championship, Jurelle made his place on the Downsview Robotics team, and he no longer lives in his older brother's shell. 

Brandon played a vital role at the tournament by fixing all the parts that needed repairs. Whenever a team is looking for spare parts, he will find them.  I had the pleasure of teaching Brandon this year. He brought enthusiasm and excitement to the team by yelling, "Let's go, team." He is already looking forward to next year's robotic season.

Tommy is a quiet member of the team and plays safety inspector. However, he was determined to win the safety award at the Ontario championship. So Tommy built a network of safety inspectors for each team, communicating with 70 teams to get himself elected. His dedication and hard work paid off with him winning the award. Watching him in action at the tournament made me happy that Tommy came out of his shell and became a leader.”

And hear this, from another mentor, Mr Saskin: “I really enjoyed getting to know Bob, Tommy, Brandon and Jurelle for their roles on the Robotics team.  All four of these boys share a quality that doesn't always come out in a classroom, but which was essential to the team's success this year. They all react tremendously well under pressure. When we were down to the wire trying to get the robot built in the first place, these boys weren't getting stressed or worried, but instead kept working away coming up with fast and creative solutions to every problem they faced.  During our tournaments, when our robot needed repairs, with only moments to go before another match, these boys were calm and focused.  Even as the competition dragged on and everyone was hungry and tired, and it was difficult to keep morale high, these boys kept giving a hundred percent. Bob, Tommy, Brandon and Jurelle, you made being the coach on the robotics team a fun job and I want to thank you for that. Congratulations!”

Mr Lewin congratulates the young men with this: “Dear Tommy, Bob, Brandon and Jurelle, Thank you so much for representing Downsview so admirably in terms of  your participation in the Robotics Club. Your commitment to STEM is admirable. You are amazing ambassadors for the Downsview school community. Keep up the great work!”

Hear this, from Ms Susnik: “I first met Bob Kha in the gym when he tried out for the coed volleyball team.  Bob is an outstanding young man who possesses all the characteristics of a mature adult - positive, motivated, charismatic, enthusiastic and kind hearted. He is an asset to the team and being student of the week is a wonderful achievement. Congratulations, Bob!”

Ms Spatola adds: “Jurelle has been a pleasure to teach this semester. Jurelle is kind, thoughtful, and is always willing to lend a helping hand to classmates. Keep up the hard work and congratulations on this achievement!”

From Ms de Jersey: “I remember meeting Brandon when he was a fun, goofy grade nine student, helping meet and greet families at a parent night. Brandon has maintained all the good stuff - he’s fun and energetic, and he’s grown into a smart, directed leader. Congratulations, Brandon, it’s a pleasure to learn alongside you.”

And, from Mr Wallace: “Bob is a talented, ambitious young man, but he has a deep appreciation for collaboration, so that his ambition is not just for himself but for those around him too. Whether in the classroom, or in Robotics or in various sports, Bob is a steady presence, who lends his own resilience to others. As a result, everyone he works and plays with is stronger. Bob is also hungry for knowledge, hungry for understanding and this too is inspiring. Why not be curious? Why not figure things out? Why not use the gifts we have to build a positive life. Bob has discovered that there are many ways to lead and he is practising many of them.

Tommy is not someone who seeks attention, but hang out with him long enough and you start to see his acute intelligence at work. He will bury himself in a corner, so quiet at times that people might think he was asleep. But wait. He raises his head and says the one thing that solves the problem and shows the way forward. This happens often enough that any doubts about his methods must be put aside. Watching Tommy in Robotics and in the classroom, I have seen him become more comfortable in stepping into the conversation. Pay attention to the quiet ones! They are often the ones we need to be listening to.”

Gentlemen, the four of you are part of the fabric of Downsview Secondary School. You demonstrate excellence and collegiality inside and outside the classroom. Congratulations, Jurelle. Congratulations, Brandon. Congratulations, Bob. Congratulations, Tommy. Each of you has earned the title: Student of the Week.