Linden Crain

General Amherst bringing “Run for Rocky” to Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The “Run for Rocky,” a fundraising event for local high school Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA’s), is coming to Amherstburg.

After five years of the event being in Windsor, where April 9 is Run for Rocky Day, General Amherst High School is hosting their own event April 26. Teacher Greg Scott, whose fitness and recreation leadership class is helping to organize the event, said the Campana family’s five-year commitment to run the event is over but they hope it will continue in school communities. The event is in memory of Rocky Campana.

“Their thought was that individual schools would do something on their own,” said Scott. “We decided to keep the run going and give it a try at our school.”

Linden Crain, student parliament prime minister, said it will involve not only General Amherst students, but students from Amherstburg Public School as well. The general public is also invited to drop by the school and donate or show up the day of the event and take part.

“It’s a minimum $5 pledge,” said Crain. “Any other donations are greatly appreciated.”

Rocky’s father Rob Campana is expected to attend the April 26 event. Rocky’s uncle Dan is a teacher at General Amherst High School.

Proceeds will go towards a project fund with GSA’s from any school able to tap into that fund to help pay for guest speakers, library materials and other projects. Trevor Klundert, a guidance counsellor at General Amherst and the GSA staff liaison, said the next national GSA conference will be in New Brunswick and funds could be used to help pay for travel to that event.

“Even though it’s taking place in Amherstburg, it helps other schools too,” Crain said of the local Run for Rocky.

Student parliament prime minister Linden Crain and Karlie Simon, a member of General Amherst’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) stand near a poster promoting the GSA and the Run for Rocky. General Amherst High School is teaming with Amherstburg Public School to hold a Run for Rocky 5K event April 26.

Karlie Simon, one of the five Grade 9 students in the General Amherst GSA, said the event will also showcase what GSA’s can do and promote what they are and how they help. She said people don’t have to be from the LGBTQ community to help out. Klundert added that the April 26 event will also show students who may not have come out yet that other students “have their back” and will make it more comfortable to let them be who they want to be at school.

The 5K run/walk will start next to the high school and proceed to Toddy Jones Park. It will then go down Dalhousie St. to Front Road South (near the Blue Haven Motel) before coming back. There will be food and music at the start/finish area.

“We’re keeping things to the sidewalks,” explained Scott, adding they don’t plan on asking for any road closures.

The event will run from 12:30-2 p.m. April 26.

According to the Run for Rocky website (www.runforrocky.com), “Run for Rocky was a charity run/walk that took place in Windsor, Ontario for five years which was inspired by Rocky Campana who passed away in 2012 after attempting to take his own life. The Campana Family, along with the Windsor Pride Community, Education and Resource Centre, wanted to share Rocky’s story. Through their collaboration, they have been able to fund GSAs in the local high school and post-secondary school systems, ensuring that parents, educators and youth have the knowledge and funding needed to help create Safe Schools, and creating a support system for youth in times of crisis. Rocky paved the path to make a difference while living, and the Run for Rocky Legacy Fund will continue to make a significant difference in his absence for years to come.”

General Amherst donation to Heart & Stroke Foundation doubles last year’s

 

By Ron Giofu

General Amherst High School stepped up to help the Heart and Stroke Foundation with the donation being double of what it was last year.

Student parliament donated $500 last Wednesday morning, with the cheque being presented to Heart and Stroke Foundation area manager Holly Kirk McLean. McLean said that the Heart and Stroke Foundation is about research, education and advocacy.

The money raised will have a direct benefit locally, she noted.

“It funds the research which helps save the lives that we want to save,” said McLean.

Student parliament members from General Amherst High School presented a $500 cheque to the Heart and Stroke Foundation last week. From left: deputy PM Tate Levesque, student parliament Prime Minister Linden Crain, Cassidy Zelle, Heart and Stroke Foundation area manager Holly Kirk McLean and Ethan Richard.

Heart disease has a devastating impact on women, as it kills five times more females than breast cancer. Youth are also seeing negative impacts to their health as obesity rates are up 30 per cent, said McLean, with Type 2 diabetes also being on the rise.

There are reports of youth with cholesterol levels as high as their parents and grandparents, she added.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation also wants to increase access to healthcare to Indigenous people, said McLean. She said there is a big divide in what Indigenous people receive as compared to the rest of the population and the Heart and Stroke Foundation wants to help close that gap.

Educating people on the risks and what they can do to mitigate those risks is important, McLean stated.

Tate Levesque, deputy prime minister at General Amherst, said student parliament held a number of events around the high school including a pong tournament, hat days and candy gram and “crush cans” on Valentine’s Day.

Prime Minister Linden Crain said the donation and the events leading up to it were more than just raising money.

“The first goal is to raise awareness,” said Crain.

General Amherst opens its doors to prospective students at Grade 8 open house

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The buses were cancelled the day of General Amherst High School’s open house but the hallways were still busy later that night.

The school held its Grade 8 open house with the aim of showing prospective students what the school offers and why they should attend starting next September. The cancellation of buses earlier in the day had no negative impact on the event, stated principal Melissa DeBruyne.

“It’s a perfect night,” she said.

DeBruyne said those students who did attend classes during the day got help in their classes and that also paid dividends for the open house.

General Amherst teacher Jason McLean (right) talks to Grade 8 students and parents during the school’s recent Grade 8 open house.

“It was an opportunity for the kids to get extra help,” said DeBruyne. “The kids who came in for extra help also helped set up (for the Grade 8 open house). It couldn’t have been better, actually.”

DeBruyne believes there are several reasons that students should attend General Amherst. She touted the school’s location in the community, the proximity to stores and restaurants and the ability for students to walk to places for extra-curricular activities and co-op placements.

Another reason students should attend General Amherst, she added, came from alumni she hears from. DeBruyne said former students comment to her about how well they were prepared at Amherst for post-secondary education or the workplace.

“We also get a lot of students talking about our clubs,” she added.

The size of the school also plays a factor, DeBruyne believed.

Members of A-Team Robotics show what their robot can do during the Grade 8 open house at General Amherst High School.

“Because it’s a smaller school, everyone knows each other,” said DeBruyne. “We can connect to community events and we can walk to events.”

The Grade 8 open house is usually held in January, but DeBruyne explained they moved it up one month as they didn’t want to have it close to the exam break.

“It felt a little rushed after the Christmas holidays,” she said. “We wanted to do something different.”

Linden Crain, student parliament prime minister, said students should call General Amherst home for the next four years due to its easy access. He said the school is in town and parents can pick up their children easily. He also said it’s close to restaurants and businesses.

“You can connect with teachers because it’s a smaller school,” he added. “Every teacher is qualified in their subject area and the staff participates and has great spirit.”

General Amherst student council throws Christmas party for Amherstburg Public

 

By Jolene Perron

 

General Amherst student council invited kindergarten classes from Amherstburg Public elementary school to their cafeteria where they set up a number of crafts and games for the children to partake in.

Both English and French classes came out and divided into groups, rotating through stations of cookie decorating, coloring, creating their own reindeer, singing Christmas carols and more.

Amherstburg Public School JK students and General Amherst students gathered for a Christmas party in the Amherst cafeteria last Friday morning.

“It’s kind of an annual thing we do every year and it demonstrates what Amherst has to offer at a younger age so they’re able to come here and kind of see the spirit we have and how welcoming we are,” said 2017-18 prime minister Linden Crain. “It’s great, I love all of them, they’re defiantly easy to get along with and they’re always entertained.”

Grade 9 students get a tour of General Amherst

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

Orientation is a great way for Grade 9 students to experience their new high school, at a slower pace with friendly people willing to take the time to show them around before they are on their own.

“A lot of the kids are shy, but that’s high school,” explained student prime minister Linden Crain. “Grade 9’s who come to this school, at first they are going to be shy but I think that we have a warm environment so we’re trying to introduce them around the halls, if they have any questions or they’re scared about something, or they don’t know where their classes are, they are more than welcome to see our council.”

Jenna Fiala, General Amherst minister of athletics, shows a group of students around during grade nine orientation last Wednesday.

Jenna Fiala, General Amherst minister of athletics, shows a group of students around during Grade 9 orientation last Wednesday.

Crain added, he remembers when he started Grade 9 and how scary it was for him, but events like orientation helped to introduce him to the school and ease his nerves.

To help make the day a little more friendly and welcoming, instead of giving the touring groups numbers, they gave them NHL teams. The groups toured the school, took the students through to their classes, showed them where their lockers will be and how to use their locks and answered any questions the students had. They also played games and allowed them to interact with their fellow grade nine peers to ensure they made new friends and recognized friendly faces.

During Grade 9 orientation, students not only got to experience the school and learn about their classes, but they also played games and got to know fellow classmates.

During Grade 9 orientation, students not only got to experience the school and learn about their classes, but they also played games and got to know fellow classmates.

“I’m really excited,” said Jayda Delgatto, new Grade 9 student. “They made it really easy to find all of my classes and my locker, so I am excited. It’s been really fun so far, I really like it. It’s helped me to get to know people.”

Crain said this year, student council is planning on changing up a few things. They are hoping to get students more involved, introduce more spirit and have fun. Their main focus is homecoming and he hopes all of the students will get involved and help showcase their school spirit.