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Class of 2019

Megan Campbell
Humanities, University of Toronto, Trinity College

Years at Del: Grade 9-12
Extra-curriculars: Debate Society, Theatre De La Salle, Oakleaves, Peer Tutoring (French), Link Crew, WIDPSC Team Canada
Scholarships: University of Toronto Scholar Award

Enter to Learn: It is no secret that Del is a challenging academic environment. We are pushed to perform at our highest level in each and every one of our classes, without exception. That said, when we “enter to learn”, it is not only from the lessons we might find in our textbooks. We learned from each other, and sometimes from ourselves. Some of the most important lessons I learned at Del were learned not behind a desk, but in the halls, on stage, behind a podium, on walks home with my friends and everywhere in-between. Certainly we enter to learn, but learning at Del extends far beyond the academic.

Leave to Serve: I feel very privileged to have been given this education. The foundation given to us here at Del is not something to be taken lightly. With every privilege, however, there comes a responsibility. I believe that it is our responsibility to take the lessons that we have learned here and apply them moving forward, so that we might make a positive difference in our future communities, wherever they may be.

Important Lesson: Cliché as it sounds, I learned that stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow. Some of the most positive experiences I look back on at my time at Del were the ones that terrified me most at the time. Whether it was stepping on stage with the school musical, debating against a challenging team in an unfamiliar place — meeting new people and trying new things, those were the most formative moments for me at Del. Next year means a great deal of new starts; that said, I carry with me Del’s lesson that trying something new shows you something new about yourself.

Most Memorable Moment: In our matinee performance of this year’s play, the fire alarm went off mid-scene. Stressful (and hilarious) as it was at the time, the show went on and we all had a good laugh about it afterwards. I look back on that fondly as a reminder that when things don’t go to plan, you need to find the humour in it.

Looking Forward: No more rush hour commutes! In all seriousness though, I am looking forward to meeting new people and broadening my horizons.

Christian D’Ambrosi
History and International Relations, The University of Toronto (St. George Campus)

Years at Del: 9-12
Athletic teams: Cross Country, Swimming, and Track and Field
Extra-curriculars: Debate Team, Oak Leaves Section Editor, Salesian Leadership Retreat Leader, Class Mass Lector, School Tour Guide, Piano Instructor, Swim Instructor
Scholarships: University of St. Michael’s College Entrance Scholarship ($2000)

Enter to Learn: Del has a reputation for being an exceptionally academic school, and the amazing teachers on staff have helped me develop into a much more effective writer and critical thinker, which I know will help me in my future studies. However, learning at Del really goes far beyond the classroom. Be it developing logical arguments and speaking persuasively as part of the Debate Team, or working hard and leading by example as captain of the Swim Team, I know the skills I learned here will help me both in my future career in law and beyond.

Leave to Serve: What makes Del special in comparison to other schools is that rather than the attainment of high marks being the emphasis, the value of seeking the truth and developing a good worldview has always been paramount. Through courses such as Grade 10 Catholic Moral Theology and Grade 12 Philosophy, and through the various community service opportunities we were given throughout the year, we were always encouraged to use our knowledge to serve others rather than solely for personal gain. As a result, Del really inspired me to continue to find ways to serve the community as I go into university.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I learned at Del was the value of always looking beyond myself. Whether it be improving technique and race strategies as a coach or senior member of an athletic team, serving others through community outreach, or even just helping a struggling classmate learn material before a test, I was given many opportunities to help others. However, what I noticed was that I always found this really rewarding, and thus I plan to continue to find ways to give to others while in university.

Most Memorable Moment: I would say that I made some of my best memories on the Swim Team. I was on the team for all four years of high school, and I can truly say that the team became increasingly stronger and more supportive with each passing year. Although I started off relatively weak in Grade Nine, the dedication and determination of my fellow teammates pushed me to be my best. Consequently, by Grade Twelve, I had not only developed into the captain of the team, but also assumed the role as coach and had the opportunity to support others as well. When combined with the great experiences I had at the OFSAA (provincial) competitions from Grades 10-12, and some of the great results we were able to collectively achieve at this competition, it definitely was a highlight of my time at Del.

Looking Forward: I’m looking forward to finally being able to be truly independent, both personally and academically, this upcoming year. I will have the opportunity to live on residence at UofT, and as a result will be able to go about my business completely on my own schedule. I will also have the freedom to study fields that I am extremely passionate about, and will be able to develop skills that will aid me in my future goal of becoming a lawyer. Thankfully, I know that the time management and critical thinking skills that I developed while at Del will help me chart the right path

Giacomo D’Andrea
Architectural Studies, University of Toronto

Years at Del: 9-12
Athletic teams: Swim Team, Track and Field
Extra-curriculars: Visual Arts, Piano, Bmx
Scholarships: John H. Daniels Entrance Scholarship

Enter to Learn: “Enter to Lean” accurately expresses my mindset and view towards high school entering Del. I knew it was going to be a challenging and enriched educational experience, and this excited me. This part of our motto reminds me that we should always enter new experiences and periods of our lives ready to learn.

Leave to Serve: “Leave to serve” demonstrates my attitude towards graduating and entering the world a more mature and educated person after my time at Del. I will leave to serve my fellow human beings and leave to serve the Lord using the knowledge I have gained at this special school. I hope to use this part of our motto to guide my future decisions in life and always remember my roots.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I learned at Del was that school and grades are not everything. Extracurriculars and making friends are just as important, if not more, in most cases. I learned that pursuing things that make for a more interesting person are extremely valuable for one’s soul. Education is about becoming a better human, and Del has taught me how to put that education to good use. Grades mean nothing if you’re a robot, the real value lies in your heart.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del was the very first period of my very first day at this school. I remember feeling so nervous and excited at the same time for the next 4 years to come. As I looked around the room I saw other faces who seemed to be thinking the same things. I remember every student who was in that class and all of my first impressions (good and bad). I knew how important that day was and how significant the next few years of my life would be after that. 

Looking Forward: I am most looking forward to discovering myself and continuing my education. I’m excited to work on new art projects and further develop my artistic voice in the future, because I know that these are things that will always grow and change throughout time. I also hope to pursue education long after I graduate Del because you can never know too much. 

Erika Dignam
Business Administration – Schulich School of Business, York University

Years at Del: 9-12
Athletic teams: Cross Country, Swim Team
Extra-curriculars: DECA, Link Crew, Lasallian Youth Team, Meagan’s Walk Committee, Swimming Instructor, Lifeguard, Peer Tutor (math, economics and accounting)
Scholarships: Automatic Entrance Scholarship and Student Life Award

Enter to Learn: When I got accepted to Del, I knew that I had a very challenging learning experience ahead of me. Throughout the years, we have been faced with many academic obstacles that we all overcame. By being taught university-level content, we have been forced to not give up on our studies but instead take those challenges and work through them. The intense learning environment that the school has provided has taught me many important skills, specifically about time management. Not only do we learn in classrooms, we also learn an important skill set that only comes with time. It took me four years to be able to effectively manage my time while at the same time enjoy my high school experience. I believe the extensive curriculum that is taught will be very beneficial in my future academic endeavors. I say with certainty that every course I have taken over the past four years has benefited me in some way. Coming to DEL has allowed me to improve my work ethic that I would not have been able to enhance anywhere else. I will most definitely take these imperative skills with me to university, which I know will guarantee my academic success in the future.

Leave to Serve: Being at Del has shaped me into a student that I would definitely not be if I went to school anywhere else. Every single lesson that I have learned at Del I will for sure take with me into my next chapter. Not only have I learned many lessons academically, I have learned many life lessons that have helped me grow into a person that my grade-nine-self would aspire to be. Through initiatives that the school is a part of, such as Meagan’s Walk or the Lasallian Youth Team, I have been able to give back to my community, even if it is in such a miniscule way. Any contribution to the well-being of society, big or small, truly does make a difference. This is a very important aspect of the Del experience that teaches you the importance of serving others and how that makes a difference in other’s lives. Without a doubt, I know that I will never forget the importance of serving the community and I will definitely take those values and lessons with me in my future academic endeavors.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson that I have learned at Del is that you cannot cheat hard work. You have to put 100% into everything that you do. Looking back, sometimes the standards that Del has challenged us with have seemed nearly impossible to achieve. However, they have taught me that I always need to try my absolute best to guarantee the best results. The academic environment that I have been surrounded by during the past few years taught me how to work hard and try my best even when the conditions seemed nearly impossible.

Most Memorable Moment: Being part of the music program at Del has been an unforgettable experience. The trips that I have been on over that past two years to New York and Orlando have been the perfect culmination of the music journey I have been on at Del. Mr. Shields was very considerate of our busy schedules throughout our final year; however, he pushed us hard to perform to the best of our abilities. I will never forget the memories that we made touring New York or spending numerous days at theme parks in Orlando. The trips that we have been on and the friendships that I made will most certainly never be forgotten.

Looking Forward: I am so excited to spend the next four years with two of my amazing, smart and talented friends, Carmine and Daniel. Throughout the years, we have grown close and being able to continue our academic endeavors together is something that I never would have thought to happen. We bring out the best in each other and we continuously encourage each other to be the best version of ourselves.

Solyana Gedlu
Health Science, Queen’s University

Years at Del: 9-12
Extra-Curriculars: DECA, The Society of Africanist Archaeologists
Scholarships: Queen’s Principle Scholarship ($6000)

Enter to Learn: It is no exaggeration that Del is an academically rigorous school. Still, I was shocked when I transitioned from my elementary school to Del. The reverence for academics at Del was unprecedented for me. This shocking transition was quite difficult initially; however, I was lucky enough to have helpful teachers who eased this transition by providing tutorials after school and extra help in the mornings. Seeing teachers come before or stay after school hours to help students out was a new sight for me. It was through moments like these that I realized that the first half of Del’s motto, “Enter to Learn,” was not exclusive to academics. It included learning to be punctual, determined, considerate, compassionate, and to have perseverance. These characteristics which I have learned through the demonstration of my teachers as well as through challenging times have led me to live a fulfilled life as a Christian student. These lessons will be well applied in my future years at university and I am extremely grateful for that.

Leave to Serve: The second half of Del’s motto, “Leave to Serve,” was evident to me early on in my high school career. Before attending Del, I was not accustomed to volunteer work or community service. After my 4 years attending Del, it is now a critical component of my life. The lessons learned from volunteering at the Good Shepherd and St. Francis Table are ones that will reside with me for the rest of my life. I now have a reverence for serving those in need. To serve does not only apply for those in desperate need, but even those within the walls of Del. The countless hours that teachers spent trying to help their students understand a concept or the many meetings scheduled by our guidance counselors to ensure we took the proper steps forward for university preparations are all a testament to the second half of the school’s motto. Never had I seen teachers and staff members so invested in bettering the lives and quality of education for their students. After being surrounded by this climate for 4 years, I am inspired to live out this part of Del’s motto. I am inspired to serve others within the walls of my university but also to serve those outside. Del has reminded me that there are people in need who are often neglected, and it is my duty as a Christian person and Del alum to serve those people.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I have learned from Del is to find balance in life. Although academics is held to a high standard at Del, so is being sociable and serving those in need. I learned that ending my high school career with only a diploma in mind was not the right mindset. My high school career encompassed the friendships I made, the memories I will remember, the academic achievements, the service I participated in, the extra-curriculars I partook in, and much more. This balance will lead me to success in university because too much emphasis in any one aspect will lead a lack in another.

Most Memorable Moment: There are many memories that come to mind when trying to pick a favourite one. Perhaps the memory that sits best with me was when I joined the DECA club. I was in grade 12 and had never really taken a business-related course nor had I participated in DECA before; nevertheless, I joined with enthusiasm. Once regionals came around, the nervousness hit. I unfortunately reminded myself of my lack of experience in the business world. My oral event seemed to have gone horribly and my mood was ruined. During the award ceremony, I did not win anything, which was not a surprise to me at that moment; yet, I was still upset. Luckily, my peers and friends had won awards which brightened my mood since I was happy for them and the reputation they were giving Del. A few weeks went by when Ms. Katz announced that the list of competitors who had qualified for provincials was outside her room. I checked the list out of pure curiosity and to my surprise, my name was on the list. I had qualified for DECA provincials and I was shocked to say the least. My mood immediately changed and I was proud, although this feat may have not been a big one for other people. Nonetheless, I learned to have confidence, to never lose hope, and to have faith in myself. These lessons learned have made this moment most memorable for me.

Looking Forward: I am most excited for the variety of things offered at universities. Whether it be clubs, societies, or electives, any interest you have is most likely covered in some shape or form. I am excited to immerse myself in this opportunity along with meeting new people along the way.

Daniel Grossi
Business Administration -Schulich School of Business, York University

Years at Del: Grades 9-12
Athletic Team: Ski Team
Extra Curriculars: Theatre De La Salle Stage Manager, DECA, Link Crew, Brother Wilfred House Leader, Lasallian Youth Team, Math Peer Tutor
Scholarships: Student Life Award and Automatic Entrance Scholarship

Enter to Learn: “Enter to Learn” embodies the Lasallian student experience as this motto emphasizes the hard work and determination required to grasp the great education that this school provides. Del challenges its students while allowing them to develop skills to overcome obstacles, not only academically but through all aspects of life into the future. Del aids in evolving the intellects of its students by expanding beyond the average curriculum and allowing students to reach theoretical and moral conclusions autonomously. In the future, I will continue to use the positive and objective outlook on learning that Del has taught me when facing new settings and challenges.

Leave to Serve: Del does not only offer an exceptional education within the classroom, but it also shapes students who are virtuous and aim to serve their communities. The latter half of our school’s motto is a representation of the Lasallian virtues of gravity, humility, and generosity, and the selfless drive of the Lasallian student to help others. Throughout my experience at Del, this has been exemplified through our religious retreats, school fundraisers, and service days. Specifically, with initiatives like St. Francis Table and Out of the Cold we have received first hand perspectives of rewarding community service. Through these experiences I have recognized how fortunate I am to have these opportunities and that we have a responsibility to help those in need. As I leave the Del community and enter the global community, I will carry with me the important virtues of charity and responsibility to continue to serve others.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson that Del has taught me is that the friendships we have created throughout our journey at this school are like familial bonds. It is essential that we look around and embrace what we have now and who we are experiencing that with. Life is not meant to be spent with your head down doing work, but sharing your experiences with people you love.

Most Memorable Moment: There are hundreds of amazing memories that I hold dear from my time at Del, but the most special and impactful one for me has to be being the Salutatorian at graduation. I was honoured to be chosen to do this by my peers and wanted to deliver a comedic, sentimental, and memorable address. It was extremely nerve wracking. I will never forget the relief after finishing it, but also the happiness from seeing the reactions from my graduating class, their families, and my teachers.

Looking Forward: Leaving Del, I am ecstatic to apply all that this school has taught me in my next educational experience at Schulich. I am also embarking on this journey with two great friends from Del, Erika and Carmine. I hope that together we can use our work ethic and Lasllian morality to bring a positive learning environment to our next destination.            

Layla Haddad
Science, Queen’s University

Years at Del: 8-12
Athletic teams: Swim Team, Ultimate Frisbee
Extra-curriculars: Yearbook Club, Peer Tutoring, Eco-Team, Lasallian Youth Team member and Co-Head (2019), South Africa Excursion, Brother Michael House Leader, Sunnybrook Rehab Center Volunteer, Lasallian Youth Assembly, Camp Counsellor
Scholarships: Queen’s University Entrance Scholarship ($2000)

Enter to Learn: Being a new student in Grade 8 was definitely a challenge for me as I was unfamiliar to what a school like Del offered its students, especially academically. It did take me a couple years to familiarize myself with the right way to succeed at Del and at times I struggled to persevere, especially with the hefty workload. However, it wasn’t a journey I took alone. De La Salle is a school full of teachers who care for you on an intimate level, who teach you how to learn and think differently and in a more sophisticated manner and who push and support you to succeed in life. I was challenged in every single one of my classes and pushed to do things I believed were beyond my abilities. However, the enthusiasm that my teachers possessed while teaching their respective courses made me love and enjoy learning in those classes so much more. My grade 12 year was my most rewarding in that I could understand the passion that each of my teacher’s possessed about biology, chemistry, and math.

Leave to Serve: As soon as you begin your journey at De La Salle, you begin the preparation to be able to make the motto “Leave to Serve” a reality. Our educators instill a sense of confidence within us that shows us that we can achieve anything we set our minds to whether it be introducing new clubs or teams or suggesting different volunteer opportunities. The school offers ample opportunities to serve our community such as St Francis Table and Good Shepherd Ministries where we learn that these opportunities are not just mandatory retreats, but they are ways that we can begin to give back our communities. We learn so many important values that we can take with us when we depart from Del and enter a world that is so much bigger and unknown to us. Being a De la Salle student teaches you that you don’t only have to use what you learned, in those many years of schooling, to get a good job and make a lot of money, it teaches you how to be the best version of yourself no matter the circumstances and to always look at the world around you from a different perspective. It teaches you how to give back and fight for those around you who aren’t able to provide for themselves. We leave to serve as the Lasallians we were taught to be.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I’ve learned at Del is that your teachers aren’t there to judge you, they’re there to help you and support you. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or to seek clarification on things you don’t understand. Tutorials are your saving grace at Del and hopefully will be too next year.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del was the day that I graduated. It was the day that I completely understood all the hard work that the teachers and guidance counselors put in, in order to successfully graduate 102 incoherent and babbling students. It was also listening to the valedictorian speech and having it begin and end with tears. She finally put into words how every single graduate felt about Del. I finally had the chance to speak with teachers in a more personal way and realized that it was because of them that I am moving on to the next chapter of my life. It was walking across the stage at graduation, being handed my diploma in front of everyone I cared about and being helped down in my heels by a little Grade 7 Cadet.

Looking Forward: I’m looking forward to starting the next step of my life away from everything I’ve known and everything I’m used to. To being independent and relying solely on myself. To understanding everything that I am capable or incapable of doing. I’m also looking forward to being able to travel and help the people around the world who weren’t as fortunate as I was.

Aliki Karanikas
Health Sciences, Queen’s University

Years at Del: 7-12
Athletic teams: U14 Soccer, Varsity Field Hockey, Figure Skating (outside of school)
Extra-curriculars: Student Council Vice President 2017-18, Student Council President 2018-19, Lasallian Youth Team, HOSA Club, Meagan’s Walk Committee, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program, Junior Jazz Band, Therapeutic Recreation Volunteer: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Dialysis Clinic Volunteer: Michael Garron Hospital, CanSkate Coach, Greek School Student, RCM Grade 8 Pianist
Scholarships: Principal’s Scholarship

Enter to Learn: The academic program at Del is rigorous, with a strong focus on each student’s development through formal education. I attended this school with an understanding that I would be well prepared for university since the curriculum went above and beyond that which was required. What pleasantly surprised me was how encouraged I was to learn and grow in all aspects of my life. The teachers I had throughout my time at this school were a testament to how invested the faculty is in seeing its students become good people who seek learning opportunities outside of the classroom. “Enter to Learn” means taking advantage of the knowledge and resources that an experience may offer you because ultimately, you are responsible for your own progress. In my next chapter, I will be sure to advocate for myself in the instances where I feel something is to be learned. At the beginning of my time at Del, I was tentative to ask the teachers for extra help in tutorials, but in taking that step to resolve any issues I had, I was humbled by the kindness of my educators. In future, I will also continue to value the insights of my peers because they often prove to be great teachers as well.

Leave to Serve: I was fortunate enough to attend Del, and we were always reminded that our improvement and growth should be put to help others. I know that my mission, not only as a Lasallian, but as a human, is to use the gifts and knowledge imparted upon me to assist my fellow person. Del encouraged and offered service opportunities to anyone who was interested. I realized how privileged we as a community were to have such a focus on sharing what we could with those in need. “Leave to Serve” means that I can look well beyond myself to use the education I have received and channel it to benefit others. In my next chapter, I look forward to continuing my community service work as well as joining more organizations that have a strong focus on service. Eventually, I hope to be in a profession of service because I know that both my upbringing and education ingrained that spirit within me.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I learned at Del is that every person you meet along your journey contributes to your formation in some respect. Your educators, your classmates, your family, and the others you meet will teach you about yourself and the world. We will all touch the lives of individuals we come across, so we must strive to have a positive impact and make meaningful connections.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del was this past year’s Student Council event entitled: “Christmas Cards and Cheer.” The night before our final day leading up to the Christmas Break, the Council members and Teacher Moderators stayed at Del until 11:00 p.m. to put up handwritten Christmas cards and candy canes on every single student’s locker. The next morning upon our arrival at school, we received positive feedback from thrilled students about the kind messages. It was a wonderful way to send our peers off for the break, and lined the hallways with a bit more holiday cheer. Although this exercise was tiring, and at times frustrating, we were gratified by how well it was received, and happy to have shared a little Christmas joy on that last day.

Looking Forward: I am most looking forward to the new and exciting learning experiences that are to come in the next years. I will engage myself in the community life and connect with passionate professors and peers as I have at Del. This school will always have a special place in my heart, and I will look back at my time with a sense of fondness and gratitude. I will also be able to confidently approach my future knowing that I have a great foundation to start.

Savanna La Selva

Years at Del: 7-12
Extra-Curricular: Theatre De La Salle, Senior Wind Ensemble, Mental Health Committee, Karate Instructor

Enter to Learn: “Enter to Learn” is a phrase used at Del which could not be more accurate. In my past six years at Del, I have come to realize the true importance of hard work and perseverance. I would not consider this time of my life to have been particularly easy. However, I have learned that nothing in life will be handed to you if you don’t dedicate yourself whole heartedly to your goals. Whether I was in class, outside of class, or outside of school all together, Del remains the voice in my head which tells me to keep on going. The rigorous academic curriculum and encouraging teachers have shaped me in the hard-working person I am today.

Leave to Serve: Knowing that I will never enter Del as a student again, “Leave to Serve” has been a motto I have thought about a lot recently. Del provided us with so many opportunities to give back to the community and I will hold myself to that standard all throughout the next chapter of my life. I was taught the value of being a compassionate human being and the difference one person can make in the world. I intend to continue my journey as a Lasallian by treating all people with equal respect and virtue.

Important Lessons: The most important lesson I learned at Del was the value of friendship. My peers and I have gone through so much together that I am proud to call our graduating class my family. Nothing comes easily, but in surrounding myself with people who cared about me and shared similar goals, nothing was too difficult to endure. My friends have taught me life lessons that you could never learn from any textbook.

Most Memorable Moment: My favourite moment at Del would have to be our production of Mary Poppins this year. Sharing the stage with my best friends for the last time was an experience incomparable to anything else. The seven-month rehearsal process allowed for every cast member to become a part of one big family. The laughs (and tears) we shared will never be forgotten.

Looking Forward: What I am most looking forward to would have to be this Summer. In these few short months I hope to be able to spend as much time with my friends before we all part ways. Additionally, I will be attending a 3-week musical theatre intensive in Palm Beach, Florida. This experience will hopefully help me in preparing for the many more adventures of travel and theatre to come!

Evelyn Locke
Criminal Justice and Public Policy, University of Guelph

Years at Del: Grade 5 Survivor
Athletic Teams: Sr. Girls Badminton (Grade 9-11)
Extra-curriculars: Wind Ensemble, Blood Donor, Oakleaves Section Editor, Lasallian Youth Team
Scholarships: University of Guelph Entrance Scholarship (90% or higher)

Enter to Learn: When I came to Del in Grade 5, I was extremely nervous and had no idea what to expect of the new school where I would be spending the next eight years. However, after getting used to the daily routine at the College, I grew accustomed to the workload and intensity of the education at Del. For me, the phrase “Enter to Learn” gained it’s meaning for me within those first few months. Entering to learn revolves around entering difficult situations with a positive attitude, no matter how tough they may seem.

Leave to Serve: Leaving Del and moving on to post-secondary education is quite the daunting task, but one that I feel completely prepared for. My time at Del has been completely life-changing and made me into the person that I am today. As my time at Del has concluded, I’m ready to move forward onto university with a positive attitude and be the best student and friend I can be, in the way that Del has fully taught me to do. 

Important Lessons: One of the most important things that Del has taught me is to have balance in both my academic life and my social life. Grade 12 was one of the busiest years I have ever experienced but being able to take time for myself and spend time with friends and family was a crucial part in making this past year a great one. Moreover, De La Salle has taught me that hard work and diligence really does pay off in the end. Although the hours of writing papers and doing math homework felt useless at times, all the work that my teachers gave me was to make me a better and more well-rounded student.

Most Memorable Moment: Although the last eight years have been so memorable, some of my favourite memories would have to be from the Heritage Festival Music trip that we took to New York City in Grade 11. Music has been a constant throughout my time at Del and being able to go to New York City to compete with other musicians while also sightseeing around the city with my peers was an unforgettable experience. We were even able to bring home the Gold and the Spirit of New York trophies!

Looking Forward: I’m looking forward to moving to a new city and starting new in a completely different environment. The idea of starting from scratch is scary in a way, but also endlessly exciting on the other hand.  I know that my Del family will always be there for me and when I return home, they’ll be there to hear about where all our respective paths have taken us.

Siena Margorian
Science/Education (Concurrent), Queen’s University 

Years at Del: Grade 6-12
Athletic teams: Basketball, Ultimate Frisbee
Extra-curriculars: Student Council, Scouting, School Musical, Comic-Book Club
Scholarships: Queen's University Excellence Scholarship

Enter to Learn: When I entered Del I knew that I was entering a rigorous learning environment, but I have grown much more than I thought I would. My experiences at Del have taught me much more than just the lessons we learned inside the classroom. Teachers and fellow students have helped me grow mentally, spiritually, and physically into a well-rounded individual.

Leave to Serve: Leaving Del I feel that I must use the valuable lessons that I have learned to contribute to the effort of shaping the world around me into a more loving and caring place. It is important to me that I help give the same amazing opportunities that Del has given me to as many individuals as I can.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson that I learned at Del is that my studies are not a means to personal greatness but to goodness that I can share with others.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del was the Student Council initiative where we wrote Christmas cards for all the students in the school. I felt that it really brought the student body together in Christmas spirit.

Looking Forward: I am looking forward to meeting new and different people at university that share the same interests as me.

Alex Mastromarini
Business Management & Organization Studies (advanced entry into IVEY), University of Western Ontario

Years at Del: Grade 5 Survivor
Athletic teams: Badminton, Track & Field, Soccer, Hockey.
Extra-curriculars: Vice-President DECA, Co-Head of Lasallian Youth Team, Chess Club, Tennis Club, Hockey (North York Knights ‘Select’ Assistant Captain), Recreational Soccer, Student Council (general council member), Meagan’s Walk Committee leader, School Tour Guide
Scholarships: Continuing admission scholarship ($10,000)

Enter to Learn: As a school known for the excellence of its academic program, I think this part of the school’s motto is quite fitting to define my experience at Del. I came to Del in Grade five, experiencing bouts of strenuous schoolwork and exams for the very first time. Although it was not easy, I am thankful that I endured and learned; I can now confidently say I have written over one-hundred exams and an unimaginable number of tests and quizzes. Despite seeming like a damaging and stressful experience, Del’s trials and tribulations have shaped me into an organized, responsible, and driven individual; someone who, in the future, will always be willing to test their limits, learn from their countless mistakes, and adapt to best succeed in any situation.

Leave to Serve: In addition to its academic programs and athletic teams, Del takes pride in encouraging its students to be spiritual. For many students, their spiritual satisfaction came solely from their church and religion; however, as a student who took interest in the less fortunate communities of Toronto, especially those who were considered youth, I decided to use service clubs, such as the Lasallian Youth Team, as an outlet to “serve.” After countless hours of organizing fundraisers or directly serving at shelters and food banks, I now feel an ever-growing obligation to benefit those around me. Service has greatly shaped my experience at Del, helping me to realize that it is my obligation to give back to a community that has given me so much. As I enter a university setting, I hope to not only continue to serve through the organizations I have in the past and the organizations currently in place at the university, but also create my own service outlets to directly solve the problems for which I am most passionate.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I learned at Del is that you can succeed at any amalgamation of tasks with careful planning and a steady passion for success. Although it might seem platitudinous, I truly learned this lesson after agreeing to write and study for four AP exams, while completing two cumulative assignments; a crazy task that all occurred within in five days and is something no sane person would attempt.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del was winning the Junior Soccer CISAA championship in Grade nine. After four years of playing soccer with no championship to show for it, I had become extremely eager to succeed in Grade nine. I will never forget the effort each and every player gave in order to finish undefeated at the end of the season and qualify for the playoffs. Additionally, even though we played another undefeated team in the finals, we fought every minute of the game and ended up scoring a header in the dying seconds of the game.

Looking Forward: As I graduate and attend Western University, I look forward to reuniting with my fellow graduates in the years to come. I am certain that many of my fellow graduates will do amazing things in the future and I am eager to see who will continue the trajectory of success that Del has set us on.

Olivia Misasi
Software Engineering (Honours Co-op), University of Waterloo

Years at Del: Grade 5 Survivor
Athletic teams: Varsity Girls Softball (Gr. 10)
Extra-curriculars: Co-Founder of STEM Club, Co-Founder of Comic Book Club, Senior Head of Robotics Club, Senior Editor of Oakleaves, Coffee House Student Organizer, Wind Ensemble, Theatre de la Salle, Debate Society, mixed martial arts, competitive dance, instrumental music
Scholarships: University of Waterloo President’s Scholarship of Distinction

Enter to Learn: On entering Del in Grade 5, I understood our motto solely in the literal sense. Del is a school that will stimulate you intellectually and challenge you in terms of academic expectations. There is no doubt that this will serve me well in university. However, what Del really excels at teaching its students is what it means to be a part of a community as that is what it means to be a Lasallian. At Del, you learn what it means to be a caring, humble, and generous individual. Becoming someone that embodies these virtues will take you farther in life than any science or math lesson you may learn.

Leave to Serve: Del is a school that engrains the importance of serving your community into your education. Throughout my high school career, there have been numerous retreats to The Good Sheppard and St. Francis Table allowing us to give back to our community in a personal way. These retreats, along with various fundraisers and community events, help us to recognize our privilege and understand the value that compassion and empathy hold. I have embraced this learning and will carry it with me into my future endeavours. I hope to use my education in software engineering to develop new technologies for the purposes of improving our society.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I’ve learned at Del is that balance is necessary to surviving a challenging school environment. Though I needed reminding on occasion, I learned that it isn’t healthy to constantly put schoolwork before everything else. While grades are important, the full high school experience is dependent on different aspects. Whether it is participating in extracurricular activities, spending time with friends, or putting away your work by a certain point in the night, a well-balanced approach to high school will prevent you from burning out and help you to excel.

Most Memorable Moment: One of my most memorable moments at Del is an event that shouldn’t really be repeated, however I am compelled to share it as I have now graduated. In winter, while still in junior school, the cafeteria trays became makeshift toboggans. Those in the class of 2019 would take turns sliding down the frozen Woodlawn hill. No one was ever injured, no trays were ever damaged, and it’s a memory that makes me smile every time I think about it.

Looking Forward: I’m looking forward to a change of environment and meeting new people. I consider myself to be an outgoing person, so having the opportunity to forge new relationships with people who have the potential to become my close friends excites me. As well, having been at Del for the past 8 years, the idea of expanding my horizons and entering an entirely new environment, though slightly terrifying, makes me eager for September to arrive.

Carmine Reda
Business Administration -Schulich School of Business, York University

Years at Del: 9-12
Extra-curriculars: Link Crew, Lasallian Youth Team, American History Club Founder, DECA Provincialist, Student Ambassador, House Leaders, Mathematics Tutor
Scholarships: Automatic Entry Scholarship and Student Life Scholarship

Enter to Learn: Long before I came to De La Salle I knew that this is where I had to be. When I heard “Enter to Learn” l automatically thought of the excellent standards of education at the College. Throughout the years I realized that the work was challenging and time management was crucial; however, I also realized that I felt prepared for whatever the future had in store. “Enter to Learn” also deals with the importance of faith and giving back to the community. Furthermore, it deals with learning to grow socially and becoming a well-rounded individual. I am now confident in saying that Del has prepared me for university and beyond.

Leave to Serve: The phrase “Leave to Serve” has always been an imperative motto for all Del students. It is our duty as Lasallians to continue the great work done by our founder many years ago. De La Salle gives every student the opportunity to give back and support those that are less fortunate. Through service days at organizations such as St. Francis Table, and The Good Sheppard I have been able to experience something so amazing that I will keep with me as I continue to give back to my community even as I leave De La Salle. For me, “Leave to Serve” has always meant to go out into the World and make it a better place. Even if it is by volunteering your time at a soup kitchen, it is embedded in us all to help those who truly need it. I know that from my many experiences helping the community, whether it is with Del or not, have shaped me into the individual I am today and who I will become.

Important Lessons: The most important lesson I learned from Del is to never give up. I know it sounds cliché, but it is true. Life can be very challenging at times, when you have tests, assignments, extra curriculars, and exams are just a few weeks away. But it is critical that you just manage your time, and get the work done. You can’t simply give up when it seems too hard. Del has taught me to persevere, even in the most challenging of times.

Most Memorable Moment: An experience that I will never forget is the Roman Holiday Program in the summer of 2018. Every year, students entering grade 12 have the opportunity to go on a trip of a lifetime to Rome to complete grade 12 English with Mr. Bellisario. In Rome we were able to immerse ourselves into the amazing culture of Italy. We ate remarkable food, toured the whole city, and of course ate a lot of Gelato. Throughout the month, we made memories, and new friendships that will last a lifetime.

Looking Forward: I am looking forward to a new beginning next year. I am excited to experience what university has to offer. I am eager to get involved in the school community and make new friendships. I am going to take what Del has instilled in me and do my best next year.

Zain Shah
Political Science, University of British Columbia

Years at Del: 10-12
Athletic teams: Soccer, Track and Field
Extra-curriculars: Chess Club, Film Club, American History Club, UHN Toronto General Hospital

Enter to Learn: It was only three years ago that I moved to Canada and it was also only three years ago that I became a part of this family that is Del. Despite belonging to a different faith and a widely different culture, Del treated me as its own. The passion and effort teachers put into us was heartwarming, and the amount of care each member of this community had for each other was exceptional. Del truly felt like a family. One enters Del to learn not only the wide array of courses it provides, but to the learn the lessons and values needed to become a better and stronger person.

Leave to Serve: The knowledge, lessons, and values that I take with me from Del will, without a shadow of a doubt, be the ones that push me towards the service of others. Del’s message of service for me is not only a strong symbol of its faith, but also its humanity. This service travels beyond the confines of faith, opening itself to anyone and everyone. Ant that is why I believe Del is so very special. It allows ordinary people to do something special in the world.

Important Lesson: Two widely different lessons. First, Respect. Respect your teachers and respect your friends. Your teachers always want what is best for you, especially at Del, and your friends will always respect and love you as long as you do the same. Second, Perseverance. At many times, Del can seem like a rigorous struggle, but beyond the struggle is a lesson; If you try hard enough, you can make it. 

Most Memorable Moment: It’s almost impossible to come up with one memorable Del experience when the whole experience seems like an unforgettable ride, but the end of Grade 12 is certainly one that will stand out for me for obvious emotional reasons.

Looking Forward: It’s definitely starting my new chapter in life with everything I’ve learned at Del. The importance of community and care that Del has so very much emphasized on is the reason behind why I hope to pursue a career in Politics. Hopefully one day, these lessons can help me and my fellow Del graduates change the world for better!

Julia Simone
Bachelor of Medical Sciences: Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, University of Western Ontario

Years at Del: Grade 5 Survivor
Athletic Teams: Basketball, Volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee
Extra-Curriculars: Athletic Council, Link Crew, HOSA: Copresident (12), Senior Wind Ensemble, St. Michaels Hospital: Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute Laboratory Research Volunteer
Scholarship: Western Scholarship of Excellence

Enter to Learn: I have definitely learned a lot in my experiences at Del. A lot of credit can go to my teachers for all of the curriculum that I’ve learned the past 8 years, but nothing compares to the important life lessons the school has taught me. While academics gave me knowledge, teamwork and leadership skills were enforced by the athletics I participated in, commitment and responsibility were instilled by my extra-curricular experiences, and time management and organization were acquired in juggling all three. Most of all, virtues like compassion, friendship, and community were always an underlying theme in all that we did, which I think is something rare and unique to this school in particular.

Leave to Serve: I think that it is important to recognize that a high school and undergraduate education are not only an opportunity that we should be grateful to have been given, but a responsibility to use our good fortune and newfound knowledge to help those who don’t have the ability to do so.

Important Lesson: Del has taught me many important things, but the lessons that I learned during my time here that have impacted me the most all came from my friends. I am so lucky to have found a group of people who love and support each other unconditionally, and never hesitate to help me when I’m down. My amazing group of friends has taught me what it means to be humble, to be kind, and to be selfless. Being around them inspires me to be better. I hope that I can measure up to be half the friend that they were to me, because they deserve to receive the good that they put out into the school and people around them.

Most Memorable Moment: Traveling to OFSAA this fall with the Senior Girls’ Basketball Team has to be one of my most memorable and treasured experiences at this school. Not only was I with an amazing group of girls whose drive and effort were incomparable, but we also played some impressive basketball.

Looking Forward: I can’t quite put a finger on one specific thing that I am looking forward to next. As cheesy as it sounds, I’m excited for a new beginning. Being at Del since Grade 5, I haven’t had a big change in scenery since the age of ten, so picking up and starting all over in a new place is scary and exciting all at once, and I look forward to seeing where that takes me.

Lilian Yoffe
BSc Biological, Biomedical & Life Sciences, McGill University

Years at Del: 9-12
Athletic teams: Track and Field, Ultimate Frisbee
Extra-curriculars: Lasallian Youth Team, Debate Society, Wind Ensemble, Oak Leaves Section Editor, Homework Club tutoring, Blood Donor, House Leader, Out of the Cold, Math peer tutoring, ballet

Enter to Learn: Looking back at my academic experience at Del, I can confidently say that the school provides students not only with a high level of education, but also with knowledge and wisdom that cannot be acquired solely through a textbook or a PowerPoint presentation. I certainly would not say that students at Del have it easy when it comes to balancing academics and extracurriculars, or just managing to excel academically. However, while the high-level education they provide students certainly prepares us for future academic endeavours, this motto also includes the true essence of education which encompasses human growth and teaches us the lessons that help us become the better version of ourselves.

Leave to Serve: Once a Lasallian, always a Lasallian. This motto characterizes my experience at Del and the path I will take afterwards as Del has not only given us skills and knowledge, but also has shown us how to share them with the world. The message of the school is not about how to get to the top by any means, by demoralizing and belittling others, but rather by helping others to realize their potential by bettering each other. Whether it be your friends, family, or the Lasallian community more broadly, it is our responsibility to care for one another and give back to the community that had given us so much. Though I will leave the halls of this institution, the important lesson of respect, compassion and love will be close to my heart as I continue on with our journey. The aspect of service in the Lasallian education holds a special value, and as we have the opportunity to give back to the community, I will continue to cherish the values instilled in us through the education we received at Del.

Important Lesson: Among the countless lessons that I learned at Del, the one that speaks to me the most would be the importance of knowing how to think. Whether it be on tests or essays, it is simple if you merely copied down the thought process of someone else to argue a certain point. However, Del encourages students to think on their own and to enhance their critical thinking skills. By doing so, students are empowered to think through each situation and come to a conclusion that is based on a solid foundation. This skill is essential in future studies but also in our daily lives as we tend to forget how to think for ourselves. Deeper understanding of difficult matters and making life-changing decisions can only be based on your own thinking, independent and informed. I believe Del has given me the opportunity to truly express how I think, and I cannot wait to further develop my ability to think critically at university and be able to apply my knowledge in different fields in the future.

Most Memorable Moment: The most memorable moment at Del would be the trip we took to Orlando to participate in the Heritage Music Festival. Though taking the plane at 6:00 in the morning was not exactly my style, being surrounded by my friends and sharing laughs from the second we met at the airport, bubbling excitedly about what this trip was going to be like already spoke loudly about how this trip was going to be. The wind ensemble had been working hard for this Festival since the beginning of the year. The feeling of anticipation, nervousness, and excitement that I sensed rising deep inside me moments before the performance is definitely one of my favourite moments. Though there were both good and bad days throughout the year, this moment represents the pinnacle of our intense work and close friendships, incredibly emotional when the group comes together as a unit, as one to create music that only we can. This trip unified the band and deepened my love for music.

Looking Forward: This step that we are taking after high school is a critical one, to say the least. While scared to leave everything that is familiar and safe, just like a cocoon, it is time to embark on a new adventure where each and every one of us will start exploring the world. The academic challenges I will face while pursuing my interest in the field of science is definitely something that terrifies me, but also excites me. Certain courses that are only offered at the university level integrate science and our morality, such as ethics. I look forward to these courses as they fuse together my favourite subjects and their application in our lives. As we think more about specific moral issues that arise from scientific and technological advancements, we need to gain a much deeper understanding of the interface between sciences and humanities, of the forces that will shape our reality and of the role we as professionals will be able to play in the world in front of us.  

Nick Zalewski
Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo

Years at Del: 9-12
Athletic teams: Swim Team, Cross Country, Ultimate Frisbee
Extra-curriculars: Altar Server, Piano, Peer Tutoring, Hockey
Scholarships: President's Scholarship of Distinction

Enter to Learn: My experience at Del was defined by the constant learning that took place everywhere I looked. Del taught me many things, most of which were outside of the classroom, and which I will remember forever. In the next part of my life I will remember many of the things that I learned here and keep the great memories I made at Del.

Leave to Serve: Del prepared me in many ways to serve my community and gave me many tools to move into the world. One quote I think embodies my experience here is, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.” (Luke 12: 48) Del is a great school that gave a lot to me and taught me to appreciate the gifts I have by giving back.

Important Lesson: The most important lesson I will take to university is that life throws curveballs all the time and you have to know when to change your plans and even when to start over from scratch. Going back to the beginning isn’t a failure if you learn from the mistakes you made before.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del was the dance battle I had with Mr. Cheeseman at Semi-Formal in Grade 10.

Looking Forward: I am looking forward to making new friends in university and living on my own. University brings a lot of new challenges that I’ll have to deal with, but knowing that I’m not alone in not knowing how to live on my own, and having support from friends going with me, will definitely make the transition easier.