Melanie Pledger (2015 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement), Owen Sound

Learning from the past

I’m proud to be a Canadian. I’m also proud to be an Ontarian. Going one step further, I’m proud to be a Falcon.

In 2014, I graduated from one of the oldest high schools in Canada – the Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute (OSCVI). It was founded in 1856, making it older even than Ontario itself. It saw some now-famous names pass through its halls – including Billy Bishop, Norman Bethune and Agnes Macphail. In 2013, the new Memorial Hall was unveiled, honouring those students who fought and died in the wars. Just three years later, in 2016, the school as we knew it ceased to be. OSCVI and another Owen Sound high school, West Hill Secondary School, amalgamated – creating Owen Sound District Secondary School. While OSCVI may be closed, its teachers work on to inspire and guide students. Thank you to the teachers who supported and continue to support me, as well as set me up for opportunities such as this. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.

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