Florence Kalia received her Governor General award from the Strathmore High School for the 2021-2022 school year, which is awarded to the top-performing academic student during their grade 11 and 12 years.

Kalia had an incredible 98% average in grade 11 and 96.2% in grade 12, which earned her the award. Perhaps even more impressive than her remarkable grades though was her commitment to all the clubs, sports, and volunteering she did.

"She did it all, she played basketball, she did cross country, she was on Spartan council, so she was involved in leadership activities throughout the school. She was wheeling a cart of doughnuts and pop for teachers at parent-teacher interviews. She was so committed to our school culture and just made it an amazing place to be," Associate Principal Agnieszka Barwacz Riou said. 

Explaining "it was a lot of fun to always be around in the school," Kalia said there were so many great clubs and memories that she couldn't pinpoint one specific highlight or favourite moment. However, being a part of the environmental club and watching it grow into the greenhouse project since she left has been especially special.

"It's so amazing, it feels so nice to know that I was able to help even a little bit, so it's very exciting to see that it has all come together," Kalia said.

Kalia also couldn't think of one specific highlight because she loved the entire high school experience, but she said that in and of itself is something she treasures.

"Instances like these where I would run into a teacher or a friend and just spend time in the hall talking to them, even if it was just 2 minutes before class and we had to run afterwards, that time would be so precious. I feel like I'm reliving that moment right now, I just ran into a friend and we took a few moments to say hi and that just really touches your heart now because I miss that so much."

Now a student at the University of British Columbia for pharmaceutical science, Kalia returned to Strathmore for the summer and really enjoyed the chance to see her friends and teachers again, and of course receive the Governor General Award.

"This award, it really, really means a lot to me, and even though I'm not part of the high school as a student anymore, I know I can always come back and I will still be as appreciated as I was before. It's really nice to know you have that support even when you're moving on in life." 

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