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Posted: July 5, 2017

Citizenship Awards presented to local students

A highlight of the Canada 150 celebrations in Cranbrook was the presentation of Canada Day Citizenship Awards to local youth.

City of Cranbrook Acting Mayor Wes Graham and Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka presented awards to three students from Laurie Middle School, three from Parkland Middle School and three from Mount Baker Secondary School, while two members of the Cranbrook RCMP Detachment stood guard in ceremonial serge uniforms.

Acting Mayor Wes Graham presents a Citizenship Award July 1, as Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka watches on.

“An annual Cranbrook tradition is the presentation of the Canada Day Citizenship Awards to deserving youth. These students have, through their efforts, made Cranbrook and the schools better places by actively participating in school activities, social programs and assisting others in realizing their full potential.   These students have been chosen by their peers, friends and teachers as ideal ambassadors to the city,” Graham told a packed Rotary Park audience.

Before handing out the awards, Graham and Shypitka outlined why the students were receiving them.

From Parkland

Michael McMahon

Michael McMahon has been the driving force behind Parkland’s efforts to support those who needed help the most. From his work both individually and as a team leader on the “WE” group, funds were raised for the victims of the Fort McMurray fire, a local family that suffered a terrible terrible loss, the local Cranbrook Food Bank, and water filtration systems in Bolivia. At such a young age, Michael has already made Cranbrook and the world a better place.

Summer Blackmore

Summer has been lighting up the halls of Parkland Middle School with her smile and positive energy for the past year and a half. She is a gifted athlete competing in track and field, basketball and Rugby. Summer competed on the Rugby 7s- U15 Vancouver team The WAVE in Las Vegas and played for British Columbia U16 Rugby Team in Toronto.

As part of the Eagles Boxing Club, Summer also volunteered in the organization of a local charity fight. A top student with straight As, who plays in the jazz band and spends her lunches creating in the woodshop, Summer is the type of young lady we are proud to have in our community,

Carter White

Carter is the guy who everyone wants to be friends with. He is a sensitive and empathetic young man who feels for others. He has been known to put himself in harm’s way to stick up for those who need it most. Carter is also highly involved in athletics as he plays on Cranbrook club volleyball and basketball teams as well as with his school teams. Carter also works with younger children and is a volunteer basketball referee. This straight A student has already been called a hero by a few people in the Parkland community and it is expected that as he continues on in his journey, more will follow suit.

From Mt. Baker

Shannon Elder

Shannon is involved in the music and arts programs at Mt. Baker; she also enjoys helping with the adapted art class where she has the opportunity to assist students who are struggling with learning disabilities such as downs syndrome and autism. Shannon’s kindness showed through when she invited one of the students to walk with her at prom.

Shannon also assists with people at group and care homes and psychiatric care where she has the opportunity to show her how much she cares for others.

Shannon’s ability to show compassion and inspire many people in the community is why she is a great candidate for a Citizenship Award.

Tace Bradwell

Tace attends the local Mormon church and enjoys a variety of activities such as basketball, parkour, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, camping, track and field, cross-country running, mountaineering, dancing, soccer, rugby, weight lifting, cross fit, writing, photography, modelling, acting, and film making. Meanwhile, he still manages to balance grades.

Tace had a successful year in track and field and qualified for the provincials. He recently traveled to London, England with the Mt Baker band and choir and participated in the last four Mt. Baker school plays. Tace also volunteers at Key City Gymnastics. Tace’s hardwork, motivation and dedication are a few reasons for receiving the Community Citizenship Award. Congratulations Tace, an ideal candidate for receiving the award.

Keesha Steppan

Keesha recently initiated a bee garden at Mt.Baker, through the Climate 150 project . The process included recruiting and gaining support from teachers and other students. With Keesha’s leadership skills, the group was able to build a garden box, pay for soil, flowers, organic fertilizer and tools. Keesha applied to Ottawa as a student writer to help write reports for Minister McKenna, head of Environment Canada. She went to Ottawa on May 5 and worked along side like-minded youth where they created an action plan for the government. The plan was then presented to the minister. Through the process, Keesha presented her project to the Ministry of Education and the government, showing confidence and poise. Keesha’s determination and hard work are assets to the school and community. Thank you and congratulations Keesha.

From Laurie


Natelli is a model student and citizen. She is involved and has given to our community in the way of volunteering time and support. She volunteers her time to help with the peer support group in school, sits on the WE Day committee and is also a member of the District Student Council. She rang the bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas, is involved in one of our local dance companies and performs and entertains at a number of public events. In addition she is a dance assistance teacher and provides tutoring assistance. She is the kind of person who is genuinely concerned for others, is a very thoughtful caring individual and is a good role model for others in our community. She leads by example and her willingness to help in any situation has proven her to be worthy of the Community Citizenship Award. Congratulations Natelie.

Fisher Nelson

Fisher’s respect for property, rights and privileges of others and honoring the difference in individuals truly contributes to making our world a better place

Fisher’s community involvement comes through his commitment to hockey where he was voted captain for his team and has contributed his time to supporting minor hockey as a referee. He is a member of the school choir and band and has shared the gift of music in our community by entertaining at some of our senior homes. He is willing to help in and around the school anytime he is asked to help and is someone who can be counted on to follow through.

Fisher is looked up to my younger students as he demonstrates respect, kindness and consideration of others. He is an all-round great guy who is worth of the Community Citizenship Award. Congratulation Fisher.

Jennifer Bohmer

Jennifer has demonstrated compassion; tolerance, selflessness, leadership and community involvement during her three years at Laurie Middle School. She is often observed engaging with students who have unique and special learning needs.

Jennifer is involved and has given to our community in numerous ways in terms of time and support. Just this year she volunteered to help at the Children’s Festival where she contributed her time to this huge event from start to finish. She is also a dedicated and passionate Kootenay ICE fan who promoted the ICE in our school community and was always pushing to have players visit our school. She had a vision, made a proposal and was relentless in her push for Kootenay ICE players to become involved in school life at Laurie Middle School.

Over and over Jennifer has demonstrated the fact that she walks the walk of a great citizen and more than worthy of the City of Cranbrook Citizenship award. Congratulations Jennifer.

Photos by Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW


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