Ladysmith Secondary School valedictorians Ben Cawthra and Hahlay Buck both have their sights set on the medical field

LSS valedictorians both eyeing careers in medicine

Ladysmith Secondary School valedictorians Hahlay Buck and Ben Cawthra are both scientifically minded.

Ladysmith Secondary chose a pair of scientifically minded, engaged students as valedictorians for its graduating class of 2013.

Hahlay Buck and Ben Cawthra were scheduled to deliver a pair of valedictory speeches at Friday’s commencement ceremony and Saturday’s graduation banquet, preparing their presentations by exchanging additions and revisions via e-mail while Cawthra was competing in the BC Provincial High School AA Rugby Championships in Abbotsford.

Buck said their speech would focus on “who we are as a grad class and how we’ve grown more in the past five years than in our seven years in elementary school.”

Buck and Cawthra were surprised by the news of their nominations — both students received so many nominations that LSS chose to skip a vote — and both admitted to experiencing mild cases of stage fright.

“I was in shock when I first find out,” Cawthra added, “but it was kind of cool.”

Buck, meanwhile, said she considered her nomination to be “an honour.”

“I just hope we don’t mess up,” Cawthra added.

Buck and Cawthra both credited their involvement in student-run volunteer organizations as the primary reason why they were nominated.

Buck served as one of LSS’s three “grad executives,” acting as liaison between this year’s graduates and students’ parents. She also served as president of the LSS Green Team this year, overseeing the installation of a native plant garden on school grounds.

Cawthra, meanwhile, has played rugby with the 49ers for the duration of his tenure at LSS. He’s also a member of Roots, an LSS club promoting social justice; Cawthra sheered his shoulder-length locks down to stubble to help Roots and LSS raise $1,600 for Cops for Cancer.

Cawthra made an additional cameo in the school’s 2013 spring musical, Legally Blonde, as the “gay pool boy,” as “Elle’s father” and as a courtroom guard, he said.

Both Buck and Cawthra are members of LSS’s Grade Eight Leaders team which sees them guiding LSS’s youngest students through the transition from intermediate or primary school to high school.

As for future plans, both of LSS’s valedictorians have their sights set on the medical field.

Cawthra will attend the University of Victoria’s kinesiology program starting in September, he said, in pursuit of a post-graduate degree in physiotherapy.

Buck, meanwhile, will relocate to Kelowna to study general sciences at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. After completing a bachelor of sciences, Buck said she plans to pursue medicine.

Assuming academic inclinations are any indication of future prospects, all signs point to success for both students; Buck’s favourite classes at LSS were chemistry and biology, while Cawthra admitted to fostering a love-hate relationship with physics, crediting his teacher Bob Boyko with keeping things interesting.

Buck summed up her outlook on gaining entrance to the world at large by sharing her earnest enthusiasm regarding university life.

“I don’t know anyone else [from LSS] who’s going there,” Buck said, adding that she’s looking forward to a “fresh start.”

“I think it’s exciting,” she added.

Just Posted

Ladysmith author honours late sister in new children’s book

Sarah de Vries disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1998

Chemainus ‘Mountain Man’ joins search for Ben Kilmer

Kevin Shiell has been putting his extensive outdoor skills to good use

Search for missing Cowichan man moves towards Hill 60

Volunteer searchers are moving westward

North Cowichan celebrates public art for Local Government Awareness Week

North Cowichan is showcasing a piece of public art in Crofton in… Continue reading

VIDEO: SAR reinforcements from up Island arrive Sunday to help search for Ben Kilmer

Family, RCMP ‘extremely happy’ with the search effort so far, search manager tells volunteers

Winnipeg’s JP Hoe performs in Ladysmith

Six-time Western Canada Music Award nominee and Winnipeg native JP Hoe performed… Continue reading

Man dead after crashing vehicle into hydro pole and tree in Gibsons

Dog also hurt in collision, which happened Wednesday morning

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

VIDEO: B.C. woman gets up-close view of Royal wedding

Kelly Samra won a trip back to her home country to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say ‘I do’

Construction crane tips over at Nanaimo work site

Incident happened Wednesday morning at Turner Road and Uplands Drive

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Most Read