YCDSB’s top students all recognized they wanted to be challenged in high school
Three York Catholic students graduated with a perfect 100 per cent average this past June; the Board congratulates Brett Gugel of St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS, Jessica Schneider of St. Robert CHS and James Xu of Father Michael McGivney CA on this remarkable accomplishment. Brett, Jessica and James each earned perfect grades in their top-six Grade 12 courses, earning them a three-way tie for the title of the top graduating student for the York Catholic District School Board in 2019.
Brett Gugel was enrolled in the AP (Advanced Placement) program at St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School in Richmond Hill. He said that he owes much of his success to his parents, who always emphasized the importance of education. “We decided that I should attend St. Theresa because its AP program has a great reputation and we knew I would get a high-quality education there,” said Brett. “The AP program was excellent, and the others in it were all bright students, who like myself were looking for that extra challenge.” Brett was a member of the school’s varsity baseball team throughout his high school career and was its captain during his senior year. He was also a member of the school’s debate team during Grade 12.
Brett’s ability to avoid procrastinating helped him earn a perfect graduating average. “If you procrastinate, your work will pile up,” he said. “I always stayed on top of my work and paid attention in class instead of cramming at the last minute; for me this worked.”
In September, Brett will begin a degree in Management and Organizational Studies at the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School.
Jessica Scheider enrolled in the IB (International Baccalaureate) Programme at St. Robert Catholic High School in Markham because her older sister graduated from it and said that it would provide the challenge Jessica was looking for. “The IB Programme at St. Robert taught me the importance of time management and how to live a balanced life,” she said. “It stressed creativity, service to others, and participation in activities.” Throughout high school Jessica was a member of St. Robert’s social justice council and also participated in the health, and business leadership clubs in Grades 10 – 12, badminton team in Grades 9 and 10, and ultimate Frisbee team in Grade 11.
Jessica credited her academic success to having a great support system made up of teachers, family and friends. “The teachers at St. Robert are amazing,” she said. “They encouraged me to ask questions, which I was afraid to do when I was younger and I think it held me back in elementary school. Also having a great network of family and friends to support me, especially whenever I was feeling mentally drained, helped me live a more authentic, joyful and balanced life.”
Jessica will begin the Life Sciences program at McMaster University in Hamilton this September.
James Xu was enrolled in the IB Programme at Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in Markham. James enrolled in McGivney’s IB Programme because he was looking for a challenge. “There are a lot of exemplary teachers at Father Michael McGivney,” he said. He was a member of the school’s art club in Grades 9 – 12, a graphic designer for the school newspaper in Grade 11 and 12, and on the cross-country team in Grade 12.
James attributed much of his success to his love of reading. “I read a lot and enjoy learning about new things,” he said. “I found my classes interesting and I also decided that I will always try to do my best in whatever I do. I think I was able to do well in high school because I was interested in the coursework.”
James said that he “likes working with computers and describing the universe through mathematics.” It is this passion that has led him to enroll in the Computer Engineering program at the University of Toronto in September.
“On behalf of the York Catholic District School Board, I congratulate Brett, Jessica and James, along with the 4,533 other York Catholic students who completed high school this 2018-19 school year,” said Ab Falconi, Director of Education. “I wish all of our graduating students continued success in their future endeavours.
“The York Catholic District School Board is proud to have the top 4-year graduation rate among both English and French school boards in the province, as well as the top 5-year graduation rate among English school boards in the province. We attribute this success to the dedication of our school staff who work with students and their families to ensure that all students can succeed and reach their full potential.”
Following is a list of the top graduating student from each York Catholic secondary school, based on the average of their best six Grade 12 courses.
|The Top Scholar from each York Catholic Secondary School, by Municipality|
|Student Name||School||Municipality||Grade 12 Average*|
|Daniel Casbarro||Cardinal Carter CHS||Aurora||98.17|
|Daniel Harrington||St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS||Aurora||98.50|
|Anne Yonan||St. Luke CLC||Aurora / Vaughan**||93.50|
|Alexa Grandy||Our Lady of the Lake CCS||Georgina||95.83|
|James Xu||Father Michael McGivney CA||Markham||100.00|
|Kiyan Karim Jadavji||St. Augustine CHS||Markham||98.00|
|Isaac Cheng||St. Brother Andre CHS||Markham||99.83|
|Jessica Schneider||St. Robert CHS||Markham||100.00|
|David Saunders||Sacred Heart CHS||Newmarket||99.17|
|Brett Gugel||St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS||Richmond Hill||100.00|
|Kate Marisa||Jean Vanier CHS||Richmond Hill||96.67|
|Anthony Colarusso||Father Bressani CHS||Vaughan||99.33|
|Allesandra Di Lieto||Holy Cross CA||Vaughan||98.33|
|Ea Na Han||St. Elizabeth CHS||Vaughan||98.50|
|Anita Sarkis Misrop||St. Jean de Brebeuf CHS||Vaughan||98.83|
|Nadia Cesarina Gaudino||St. Joan of Arc CHS||Vaughan||96.67|
|* Based on the average of the student’s marks in their six best Grade 12 courses, to two decimal places.
** St. Luke Catholic Learning Centre had campuses in Aurora and Vaughan in 2018-19.