General Amherst High School

General Amherst hosts third annual teddy bear drive

 

By Danica Skakavac

This year marks the third annual year of the Teddy Bear Drive hosted by General Amherst students Celina Varacalli and Cristina Cercel. The drive ran from February 20 to the 28 but was extended to March 3.

For these two weeks, students had the opportunity to bring in new bears to their second period class in hopes of winning a Bull’s Eye pizza party. There was also the option of participating in a raffle, so students could buy tickets for a gift basket instead.

The total number of bears once the drive finished was 143. The custodian, Jim Craig, kindly donated 25 of those bears. From the earnings of the raffle, Varacalli used the money to purchase 67 of those total bears. All the bears will be given to the pediatric floor for sick kids at the Windsor Regional Hospital.

General Amherst High School donated 143 teddy bears to Windsor Regional Hospital just prior to March Break. From left: Cristina Cercel, Windsor Regional Hospital vice president of public affairs, communications and philanthropy Ron Foster and Celina Varacalli. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

General Amherst High School donated 143 teddy bears to Windsor Regional Hospital just prior to March Break. From left: Cristina Cercel, Windsor Regional Hospital vice president of public affairs, communications and philanthropy Ron Foster and Celina Varacalli. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

“There’s a lot of sick kids in Windsor and Essex County so if General Amherst could help in any way, it would be giving teddy bears to put a smile on their faces,” said Celina Varacalli, who had been the brains and brawn of the operation this year.

She added she was, “proud of the outcome. General Amherst did a great job.” According to Ron Foster, the Vice President of Public Affairs, Communication and Philanthropy of Windsor Regional Hospital, they need literally thousands of bears because new children are always coming in.

“The bears reduce anxiety and stress when they come in the hospital,” said Foster. And the best part is, every child gets to keep it.

Gibson Gallery showcasing “Artists of the Future”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Work of art students from a pair of local high schools is on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery through March 19.

“Artists of the Future” is the opening exhibit of 2017 at the gallery with roughly 100 pieces of work by General Amherst High School students on display with 200-250 pieces of art created by St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School also featured.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery's "Artists of the Future" exhibit.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery’s “Artists of the Future” exhibit.

“The Grade 12’s worked really hard to put this show together,” said General Amherst art teacher Andrea Craig-Wammes. “It’s part of the curriculum to get pieces ready for an art gallery.”

While the show features work from students in Grade 9-12, Craig-Wammes noted the Grade 12 students were the ones getting the pieces titled, mounted and ready to be showcased.

“They’ve put in a lot of effort,” said Craig-Wammes.

The work that came from General Amherst students was chosen either by the students or Craig-Wammes herself. Students didn’t have to have their work exhibited, but Craig-Wammes didn’t recall any student taking that option.

“They had the opportunity to deny it but everyone is excited about showcasing their work,” she said. “It’s a huge honour for them to have their artwork in a gallery and to be able to showcase their talent.

A wide range of mediums was used by General Amherst students from sculptures to painting to scratch art and more, with the Villanova students also displaying their talents through a number of ways.

“We have a lot of variety of work,” explained Villanova art teacher Lisa Bastien. “Our students are encouraged to think outside the box. They are posed problems and have to solve them independently.”

Concepts are presented to the students with students able to work with the concepts in their own way, Bastien said, adding they also work with the students on their technique as well.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the "Artists of the Future" exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the “Artists of the Future” exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Roughly 400 students per year enroll in Villanova’s art program with the show being much of what has been done in the first semester. While work is showcased in the school, exhibiting it in an art gallery puts a different context on it, Bastien added.

“It makes the kids feel important to have it in a gallery space,” she said. “I’m just really proud of the kids and the families who came by and supported them.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. Their hours are Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 519-736-2826, e-mail office@gibsonartgallery.com or visit www.gibsonartgallery.com.

Lady Gens win two and lose one in volleyball action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team won two matches and lost a close third one to finish the WECSSAA Tier 2 regular season at 9-1.

After cruising to a three-set victory over visiting Maranatha (25-18, 25-15, 25-16), the Lady Gens closed the week with a pair of competitive matches. The first came at Walkerville where the Lady Gens won two games to one (25-20, 18-25, 25-21) and the second was back at General Amherst Thursday evening, which Brennan won two games to one (19-25, 25-15, 20-25).

Bryanna France (12) sets the ball during the General Amherst-Brennan volleyball match last Thursday afternoon.

Bryanna France (12) sets the ball during the General Amherst-Brennan volleyball match last Thursday afternoon.

Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said they were expecting a tough match against Brennan, as they were one-two in the Tier 2 standings. With the Lady Gens gaining a victory in one set, it ensures they will finish ahead of the Cardinals come playoff time.

“I knew it was going to be the best match of the year,” said Miller.

Assistant coach Mary Ewer said the Lady Gens started out the first set against Brennan down 11-1 but fought back to make it close. She said the momentum carried over into the second set but Brennan got the momentum back in the third game.

“All in all, it was a tough match,” she said. “We played well. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, there was a lot of that.”

“We’ve just got to control what we can control,” said Miller.

Gracie Clifford (1) and Reese Jones (8) attempt to block a Brennan shot at the net during the second game of the three-game match that Amherst played last Thursday.

Gracie Clifford (1) and Reese Jones (8) attempt to block a Brennan shot at the net during the second game of the three-game match that Amherst played last Thursday.

Miller said once they started playing defense against the Cardinals, the match started to tighten up.

Even though AA-sized schools will drop down from Tier 1 for the playoffs, Miller expects the Lady Gens to still be in the top four.

“We’ve probably exceed expectations up to this point,” said Miller. “Now we’re going into the playoffs and we get to see what we are made of.”
The playoffs are expected to start in early February after the high school exam break.

 

 

Prospective students and parents attend Grade 8 open house at General Amherst

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Students interested in coming to General Amherst High School next year got a look at their new digs last week.

The bleachers in the gymnasium were filled with prospective students and parents last Wednesday night for the annual Grade 8 open house. Principal Hazel Keefner said they changed the format based on the feedback they received, as introductions were kept short so that families could tour the building and query the teachers about their respective programs.

Teacher Rocco Stella plays “The Math is Right” with Leslie Turnbull during the Jan. 11 Grade 8 open house at General Amherst High School.

Teacher Rocco Stella plays “The Math is Right” with Leslie Turnbull during the Jan. 11 Grade 8 open house at General Amherst High School.

Keefner said the size of the school is an asset as is the fact it is right in Amherstburg.

“It’s a community school in every sense of the word,” said Keefner. “It feels like a family.”

Keefner said students and teachers look after one another.

“We care about each other,” she said. “It leads to a nice atmosphere of co-operation and collaboration.”

General Amherst teacher Pat Garrett explains co-operative education and OYAP opportunities with a group of Grade 8 parents and students.

General Amherst teacher Pat Garrett explains co-operative education and OYAP opportunities with a group of Grade 8 parents and students.

Many parents and grandparents also went to General Amherst and that leads to another connection for people. With Amherst being a community school, Keefner said that results in an extra set of eyes and ears looking out for their children.

Academic scores are above the provincial averages, she said. Students do well because they feel cared about and also care about their teachers, said Keefner.

While next year’s crop of Grade 9 students will be entering the current building at 130 Sandwich St. S., Keefner said they are looking forward to the new school that will house both General Amherst and Western.

“Although we love this building, it is old,” she said.

The new school will have the latest technology and amenities but staff does what it can to educate the students in the best way possible.

“We do what we can with what we have but new is always nice,” said Keefner.

The auto shop at General Amherst was one of the popular stops during the Grade 8 open house Jan. 11.

The auto shop at General Amherst was one of the popular stops during the Grade 8 open house Jan. 11.

General Amherst has a current enrolment of 640 students and Grade 9 students usually amount to 150-175 of that, she added.

General Amherst student parliament prime minister Ruben Tar said it felt like yesterday when he was at his own Grade 8 night. He said General Amherst is “the high school for me” because there is a sense of pride and family day in and day out in being a Bulldog. The school makes a student feel wanted and needed, he said.

Tar also outlined the clubs and sports teams offered at General Amherst, noting the championships and accomplishments those groups and teams have achieved in recent years.

Admirals to play Petrolia in make-up game this Saturday night

By RTT Staff

 

The heavy snowfall the area had on Sunday wreaked havoc on the PJHL schedule, including the game that was to be played in Amherstburg.

Due to the weather conditions, the game between the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and the Petrolia Flyers was postponed. A make-up date has now been announced and the game will be played this Saturday (Dec. 17) at 7:30 p.m.

admirals

The Admirals next game is scheduled for Wednesday night (Dec. 14) in Wallaceburg with Amherstburg also scheduled to have a road game this Friday night (Dec. 16) in Dresden.

Their next home game is next Sunday night (Dec. 18) against the Wheatley Sharks.

 

Sr. Boys basketball   The General Amherst Bulldogs and the Villanova Wildcats opened the 2016-17 WECSSAA senior boys basketball season last Thursday at Villanova.

The Wildcats pulled off a 47-36 win in their home opener with two road games scheduled for this week. Villanova was at Essex Tuesday night after this issue went to press with a game at L’Essor Thursday afternoon.

Conversely, the Bulldogs have two home games this week. They hosted L’Essor Tuesday night and will welcome the Brennan Cardinals Thursday evening.

 

Sr. Boys hockey   The General Amherst Bulldogs fell to 1-3-1 on the 2016-17 WECSSAA Tier 1 boys hockey season after losing 6-3 at Belle River last Wednesday. The game, played at the Atlas Tube Centre, saw Brock Beaudoin, Kyle Drouillard and Dean Emerson score for the Bulldogs.

Eric Larue led the Nobles’ attack with a hat trick while Hunter Bailey, Reiss Robinson and Colton Candido also tallied for Belle River.

The Bulldogs hosted Sandwich yesterday afternoon after this issue of the RTT went to press. They return to the Libro Centre Thursday afternoon for a 3 p.m. faceoff against the Sandwich Sabres.

 

—The River Town Times welcomes game reports and photos of all minor sports events involving Amherstburg teams. For information or to send in a results, e-mail mail@rivertowntimes.com.