Abby Orchard

General Amherst High School recognizes their top academic students



By Ron Giofu


General Amherst High School took time out last Wednesday night to pay tribute to those students who made the honour roll last year.

Students and their parents, grandparents and guardians were at the Ciociaro Club for the banquet with principal Melissa DeBruyne noting that she often reflects on the journey that students take to get to where they are. She said making mistakes is part of the journey and that mistakes are how a person learns.

“This is a celebration of excellence and we are so proud of the students we are recognizing,” said DeBruyne.

Emma Fleming, Jeremie Bornais and Abby Orchard were this year’s “Top Dog” award winners.

DeBruyne noted that success is also something that happens because of the parents, grandparents and guardians as well as the community.

Parent council chair Julie Wingerden congratulated the students as well as the parents, grandparents and guardians. She credited staff for not only teaching the students, but spending extra time with them with sports teams and clubs.

“There are so many things happening at our school and it wouldn’t happen without the time they give to the school,” said Wingerden.

Wingerden added that every student is different as some have to work for every grade they get while others are able to get good grades easier. She encouraged students not to be jealous of one another but to concentrate on the things they can do well.

Grade 9, 10 and 11 honour roll students were recognized last Wednesday night.

“Chances are you can do something they can’t,” said Wingerden.

Vice principal Bonnie Desjardins said the academic banquet was one of her favourite events of the year and encouraged the students to keep working hard.

“Keep up the great work,” said Desjardins. “We look forward to celebrating your achievements next year.”

Among the list of award winners included the three “Top Dog Award” winners, which is for the highest grade averages in each of Grade 9, 10 and 11. The Grade 9 award went to Emma Fleming while Abby Orchard won the Grade 10 award. The “Top Dog” in Grade 11 was Jeremie Bornais.

General Amherst High School raises over $5,500 at Terry Fox Run



By Ron Giofu


The students and staff at General Amherst High School hit the walking track next to the school all in the name of cancer research.

The school held a Terry Fox Run/Walk last Thursday. As of Thursday morning, about $4,000 had been raised for the Terry Fox Foundation. When all was said and done, General Amherst High School had brought in $5,500.

The event was organized by General Amherst’s fitness and recreation leadership class and student Abby Orchard said it was not just about raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation, but to raise awareness as well.

“The run is really to raise for cancer research,” explained Orchard. “Hopefully, we can reach our (fundraising) goal. Regardless, I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished here today.”

Orchard pointed out that “everyone has been affected by cancer at some point in their lives” and that the class and the entire school wants to raise awareness and funds so that the disease can be cured once and for all. She added they are thankful to all of those who supported the Terry Fox Run/Walk.

Public health nurse Dawnice Kavanaugh recalled seeing photos of Terry Fox when he was running in his “Marathon of Hope” in 1980.

“He was a young guy with curly, wild hair and he ran with an artificial leg,” she said.

Kavanaugh noted he ran 42 km per day, equivalent of going from Amherstburg to the Windsor riverfront daily.

General Amherst High School held its Terry Fox Run last Thursday with the school raising over $5,500.
The event was organized by the fitness and recreation leadership class and involved the entire student body and staff.


“He ran in rain, blizzards and the heat,” she said, noting Fox did it to raise money for cancer research.

“I’m proud of you guys today,” Kavanaugh told the students. “You are raising awareness and you are involved in a physical activity.”

Kavanaugh also urged staff and students to avoid cancer-causing activities, such as smoking and staying out in the sun too long without sunscreen.

Cancer survivor Julie Wingerden, mother of student council prime minister Jordan Wingerden, told the students and staff of her cancer journey. That journey began Sept. 2, 2014, when she had to tell her children she had cancer. She has been cancer-free since 2015 but still gets pain stemming from her eight chemotherapy treatments.

The chemotherapy “beat me up bad,” she recalled.

“There were some days where I couldn’t get off the couch.”

Terry Fox runs/walks as well as similar events are very important, Wingerden emphasized, as they raise funds for important research.

“I came to the realization if Terry Fox didn’t do his run, I could be dead today,” said Wingerden.

As a result of the “Marathon of Hope” and subsequent fundraising events, millions have been raised and Wingerden stated “I will be forever grateful.”

Cancer doesn’t discriminate on who it impacts, she added.

“It’s serious. Cancer really sucks and can affect any one of us,” said Wingerden. “I think it’s important we do these walks. We have to hope there will be a cure one day.”

Wingerden challenged students to do nice things for others. She also encouraged the students to do whatever they can to overcome tough times.

“There’s always hope you can overcome it,” said Wingerden.

Lady Gens improve to 6-0-1 win win over Kennedy



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens are still undefeated after a pair of wins on the soccer pitch last week.

The most recent win for the Lady Gens was a 3-0 defeat of the Kennedy Clippers on a wet Thursday afternoon at Windsor Stadium. General Amherst got a goal early in the game and sported a 1-0 halftime lead as the rain pounded down. The rain cleared as the second half began and the Lady Gens added a pair of goals in the final half to win the soccer game.

The win gave General Amherst six wins on the 2018 WECSSAA Tier 3 girls soccer season against no defeats and one tie (6-0-1).

General Amherst was missing some key players during last week’s game, as there were players away on a school leadership retreat.

Cassidy Zelle and Madison Salvati help Abby Orchard (centre) celebrate her second half goal in General Amherst’s May 3 win over Kennedy.

“We thought it was a solid game for a ten-lady team,” said coach Mark Sweet after last Thursday afternoon’s game. “Absolutely solid.”

Sweet said it was the fifth “clean sheet” of the season for goalkeeper Delilah Brouwer.

“The passing and movement was the best I’ve seen,” said Sweet. “The attitude from everyone (Thursday) was 100 per cent perfect.”

The team has also come together well and the girls are playing well as a unit, he added.

While many missed the game due to the leadership retreat, those who were still there showed leadership as well.

“We had leaders all over the field,” said Sweet.

Jenna Fiala (right)
battles for the ball against a Kennedy defender.

Jenna Fiala, one of the captains last Thursday afternoon, said the Lady Gens played well despite being short one player on the field throughout the game.

“I thought we underestimated what we could do as a team,” said Fiala. “I’m proud of my team.”

The Lady Gens were in Leamington last Tuesday afternoon and picked up a 4-2 victory over the Lions.

General Amherst concluded the regular season Tuesday, after this issue of the River Town Times went to press. They hosted Lamothe-Cadillac in a 3:15 p.m. game at the Libro Centre.