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Credit Unions of Manitoba Scholar Athlete Awards Presented

The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, with support from Manitoba’s Credit Unions, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016-2017 Credit Unions of Manitoba High School Scholar Athlete Awards. These $1000 scholarships are awarded to four graduating high school student athletes who maintained a minimum 85% average and competed in at least two interscholastic sports.  Other criteria included school, community, volunteer, and citizenship activities.

The presentation took place at a ceremony hosted by Her Honour, the Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba at Government House.  Awards were presented by the Lieutenant Governor Janice C. Filmon, MHSAA President Mr. Chris Gudziunas (Assistant Superintendent of Hanover School Division), Mr. Kurtis Brown (Oak Bank Credit Union) and Ms. Amy Doerksen (Westoba Credit Union).

34 students were nominated this year:

Danielle Algera – Calvin Christian Collegiate

Kezia Balzer – River East Collegiate

Kieran Baydock – Shaftsbury High School

Charlot Butler – Vincent Massey High School (Brandon)

Stephen Crew – St. Paul’s High School

Sarah Demare – Kelvin High School

Skylar Diamond-Burchuk – Kelvin High School

Erin Doherty – Morden Collegiate

Jessica Edel – Morris School

Bailey Grantham – Portage Collegiate

Trent Favoni-Grossart – Dakota Collegiate

Ashlyn LaLiberty – Tec Voc High School

Sarah Jensen – Arborg Collegiate

Zachary Janzen – Linden Christian School

Jake Ledochowski – Teulon Collegiate

Kailen Ledochowski – Teulon Collegiate

Calli Lenderbeck (Benes) – Hapnot Collegiate (Flin Flon)

Carley Matkowski – Gimli High School

Georgia-Rae Maxwell – Elton Collegiate (Forrest)

Rylan McCallum – Morden Collegiate

Carson Ouellette – Stonewall Collegiate

Bailey Paziuk – Ste. Rose School

Cole Penner – Garden City Collegiate

Jordyn Pickup – Major Pratt School (Russell)

Taylor Opperman – Killarney Collegiate

Jolene Rondeau – Prairie Mountain High School (Somerset)

Jennifer Saj – John Taylor Collegiate

Robert Scharfenberg – Rosenort School

Cole Scott – Roseau Valley School (Dominion City)

Samantha Siemens – Virden Collegiate

Rebecca Silk – Miles Macdonell Collegiate

Dylan Sutherland – Vincent Massey High School (Brandon)

Victoria Tachinski – Vincent Massey Collegiate (Winnipeg)

Haley White – Dakota Collegiate


The four student athletes awarded $1000 scholarships were:


Jessica Edel of Morris School - participates in volleyball, basketball, soccer and track & field.  She was captain of both her volleyball and basketball teams, and won zone banners in both sports.  Jessica received the Players Choice Award at Provincials and was also named to the Graduating All Star Teams in both Volleyball and Basketball.  She was also awarded the Ron Meyer’s Leadership Award and the McDonald’s Leadership Award.  Jessica maintains an academic average of 93% while also participating in Club Volleyball, President of the Student Council, Grad Committee, Year Book Committee, Band, Kids Caring for Kids and Teens Against Destructive Decisions.  She volunteers to keep score and officiate at volleyball and basketball games, as well as teaching Sunday School, volunteering for Love Morris, Cancer Care and her church Tec Committee.  

Jessica states: “Growing up in a small school gives you lots of opportunities to play sport. I can’t imagine my life without athletics. I believe high school sport is important because it teaches life lessons that shaped me into the person I am today. I have learned many things including: teamwork, work ethic, time management and dedication and how to deal with challenges. Sports is critical in helping to deal with failure and loses. It teaches you that any failure is just a temporary setback from which lessons can be learned to improve. I will never forget the life lessons that school sports have taught me.”


Carley Matkowski of Gimli High School – holds an academic average of 95.6% while participating in soccer, golf, cross country, volleyball, basketball, badminton and track and field. Several of her sports teams participated at the Provincials. She was awarded MVP at the volleyball and basketball provincials, won the basketball “AA” Provincials, was captain of her volleyball and basketball teams and has participated as a graduating all-star in basketball. She is on her schools Honour Roll, and has received the Science and Literature award and was a finalist for the Loran Scholarship. She is president of the student council, is involved in the social justice club, environment club, drama, band and the yearbook committee as well as the student representative on the Evergreen School Division Board. She coaches boxing, is a personal trainer for Dream Fit, volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Minds in Motion and Community Fair Trade Committee and will be one of the torch bearers for the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

Carley states: “I am extremely grateful and privileged to have participated in the athletic community throughout high school. Sports have provided opportunities for athletic, personal, and career development, but most significantly, shaped me into the person I am today.  Involvement in school sports teams and extracurricular fitness has taught the importance of teamwork and when faced with adversity, how to work with others respectfully and productively. I have established relationships and gained many diverse friendships through sports-related experiences; I have built another “family” along this journey.”


Georgia-Rae Maxwell of Elton Collegiate – participates in basketball, volleyball, badminton and track and field. She was awarded the Dr. Dale Iwanoczko Memorial Scholarship for volleyball and played in the Provincial Championships for basketball and volleyball, and was chosen as a graduating all-star in both sports. She finished first at badminton zones. Georgia-Rae is a member of the Elton Collegiate Honour Roll and has refereed volleyball and basketball for junior high as well she is a member of the grad committee.  She maintains an academic average of 99% while also volunteering her time at the Brandon Humane Society, and is a Sunday School teacher, and sings in the choir. She had been awarded the McFadden Piano Scholarship for the highest mark and the Grade 10 Piano Solo Award at the Rolling River Festival of the Arts.  

Georgia-Rae states: “In my opinion, high school sports prepare students for the real world better than anything else in the education system. The world outside of school is alien to most students and requires many skills that you can’t learn in the classroom. High School sports help students to positively deal with success and failure. They teach you that the amount of effort and hard work you put in directly relates to the amount of reward. In addition, they teach essential job skills, such as, time management, leadership, and working with others. I believe high school sports allows athletes to build confidence and meaningful relationships.”


Cole Penner of Garden City Collegiate – was captain of both the volleyball and basketball team.  He was ranked 7th in the Province in both Volleyball and Basketball. He participated in men’s doubles in badminton and finished 2nd at KPAC and Provincials to help win the team aggregate points.  He was a volleyball graduating all-star, athlete of the month, and leading team scorer in basketball.  He received the Carl Ridd Award in basketball and was chosen Athlete of the Week by MHSAA.  Cole was also a recipient of the McDonald’s Leadership Award.  He maintains an academic average of 99% while also participating in the grad committee, Garden City Fundraising, peer tutoring, junior high and junior varsity volleyball and basketball practices, Salvation Army clothing drive and referee for junior high volleyball.

Cole states: “High school sports are so much more than games, scores, wins and losses. There are several life lessons and skills that athletic participation can teach a person.  All the qualities needed to be successful in post-secondary studies as well in the work force are mirrored in athletics.  As a result, the traits which sports can develop in people arguably prepare them for the future more so than, or just as well as, the classroom does. I have gained so many positive experiences from sports that it would be impossible for me to choose just one as my favorite.  It’s the overall journey – the highs, the lows, the success and the failures – that makes it significant and unforgettable. There isn’t one thing I would change regarding my high school athletic career. It’s my life and I have no regrets.  High School Athletics, the other half of education, have helped make me the person I am today.”


Each of the four winners received a $1000 scholarship courtesy of Manitoba’s Credit Unions.