It is with great pleasure that I nominate my student and outdoor education club member Emily Matisho for the Cydney Weir Award.
Emily lives in a small community west of Swift Current, and attends the Swift Current Comprehensive High School as a grade twelve student. At any point in the year, she can be found hiking, paddling, and orienteering across Saskatchewan.
During her studies at SCCHS, I have had the pleasure of teaching Emily three times; once in an environmental science class, once in a senior biology class and currently in my senior earth science class. Emily is a passionate student who loves science and nature, is very conscientious of her work, is dedicated to high achievement, and is very independent and mature in her work ethic. She regularly exceeds my expectations on projects requiring a great deal of effort, creativity, and thinking outside of the “box”. It makes me incredibly proud that Emily is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science next year, and will be choosing between the University of Saskatchewan or the University of Alberta to complete her studies.
As a member of our SCCHS outdoor education program for all three of her high school years, Emily has shone with her survival skill knowledge, her passion, and her dedication to learning more about the outdoors. She is enthusiastic about each and every adventure we have been on, from hiking the Adams River to watch the salmon run in British Columbia, to paddling the whitewater of the Churchill River system in Northern Saskatchewan.
While enrolled in our outdoor education program, Emily has participated in ten different experiences, and each was met with excitement, resilience, and preparation. She has been a wonderful addition to our program, and we are both deeply disappointed that our trips and experiences were limited in her last year of high school. She was very excited to see the polar bears in Churchill, which unfortunately was postponed to fall of 2021 due to COVID.
Even without a formally planned trip through our club this past year, Emily planned her own kayak adventure this summer, making preparations and planning her route with the skill of a seasoned outdoor traveller!
Emily is also highly involved as a youth member with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, and has participated in a number of their outdoor leadership programs held during the summer. She has instructed our outdoor education group numerous times about some of her survival skills learned while in these programs, and always has demonstrated a natural teaching and leadership style. Her latest achievement was to partner with Saskatchewan Wildlife and volunteer with Prairie Pursuit, spending an entire day filming a segment for Wild TV (Canada’s Hunting and Sports network).
Emily is a wonderful student, an incredible young woman, and has been a fantastic addition to our outdoor program. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she will take all of her accumulated outdoor knowledge and experiences and translate them into an amazing career in environmental science. I could not be more proud and excited to see where Emily’s adventures lead her in the future. It has been my absolute pleasure to have her as an integral part of our outdoor program and as part of my science classes, and I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of this award.
Nominated by Kristen Simonson, SCCHS Senior Science and Outdoor Education