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F.P. Walshe school honours outstanding students

F.P. Walshe students

Raj Parmar and Carlin Van Driesten, recipients of the Danny Van Wyck Memorial Award for most outstanding students at F.P. Walshe, with principal Bill Forster.

Two Grade 12s were honoured Wednesday as outstanding students at F.P. Walshe school.
Carlin Van Driesten and Raj Parmar received the Danny Van Wyck Memorial Award at Blue and White Night.
“They’re both fabulous fabulous people, but together they’re an unstoppable team,” F.P. Walshe school principal Bill Forster said.
The popular students also took home the Wes Olmstead Student Leadership Award.
The award for outstanding students was named for F.P. Walshe school student Danny Van Wyck after he was killed in 1975 in a car accident.
The Danny Van Wyck Memorial Award recognizes all-around individuals for their pleasant personalities, outstanding moral character, compassion and involvement in school life.
Van Wyck served on student council and played basketball for his school team, and was also noted for his compassion toward fellow students.
“We save this award for last every year,” Forster said. “Really, when you look at the criteria for the award there are lots of points, but it’s the most outstanding students at F.P. Walshe school.”
Earlier in the evening, Carlin, Raj and Amy Cook were named the most valuable people on the grad committee.
Carlin and Raj were also both named to the Order of Walshe at Blue and White Night for their work on student council.
Both students received certificate awards for their work on We Day projects, and Raj also received a certificate award as a member of the prom committee.
Carlin was named most valuable player and was named to the Order of Walshe by the senior girls volleyball team.
Forster asked staff members what they could say about Carlin and Raj.
“It was the weirdest response because people said, ‘I’m not really sure,’ which sounds kind of odd for this award,” Forster said. “But here’s the problem — the best quote I got was, ‘They’re so consistently fabulous, that they’re boring.’ It sounds like a backhanded compliment, but it’s really not.”
Forster said since Grade 7 Carlin and Raj have been leaders at F.P. Walshe school, even once organizing a dance before informing administration.
“Every single event in this school that had to do with school spirit . . . these two have been central, and inseparably,” Forster said, listing dances, Tiger and Shark weeks and citizenship assemblies. “Where there is one, there is the other.”
Forster said a staff member also noted Carlin and Raj do not compete. Rather, they make each other better.
“They bounce ideas off of each other,” Forster said. “Individually they are spectacular. As a team they are unstoppable.”
“It really has been a privilege this year to work with both Raj and Carlin.”
Teacher Courtney Wehlage presented the Wes Olmstead Student Leadership Award to Carlin and Raj.
“They are leaders,” Wehlage said. “They are our leaders and they inspire leadership in others, and they inspire greatness in others.”
A former vice-principal, Wes Olmstead was the staff representative on student council for 21 years at F.P. Walshe school and a strong supporter of student government and leadership.
The award was initiated in 2004 by the student council in honour of Olmstead, who retired after 35 years at F.P. Walshe school.
The Olmstead award is presented to a student or students who demonstrate exceptional leadership and commitment with student council, and have an innate concern for people.
The award recipients are to be a humble people who are not looking for recognition, and accomplish tasks out of the goodness of his or her heart. They are dependable and compassionate and can be turned to in times of need or guidance.
Eligible students are in Grade 11 or 12 with at least three years of service on student council.
F.P. Walshe school staff and advisors select the recipients through a nomination process.
Carlin and Raj served as co-presidents of the student council at F.P. Walshe school.
“These wonderful humans worked so hard and tirelessly,” Wehlage said. “They put together tons of stuff.”
Wehlage said when Carlin and Raj encountered adversity in their roles as co-presidents of the student council, they adjusted and got the job done.
That included working through objections presented by school administration to do more, bigger and better things.
“They’re my role models, they’re my friends, and I love them,” Wehlage said.
Forster noted it is said there is a vacuum when great leaders are gone.
“They are going to be truly missed,” Forster said.

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