Focus on Youth: St. Mark Co-President proud of school’s canned food fundraiser

By Phill Potter

Name: Claire Lamothe                                  

Age: 17

School: St. Mark High    

Grade: 12

Parents: Jennifer Peppler and Michael Lamothe

Brother: Nicholas (19), second year of university

Pets: Three dogs: Lucy, 7-year-old Labradoodle; Sadie 2-year-old Cockapoo; Phoebe, 1-year-old Cockapoo

Pet Peeve: “One of my pet peeves is socks that don’t match.”

Part-time Work: “I work with the city of Ottawa at Deborah Anne Kirwan Pool. I have been working at this facility for two years as a customer service representative, lifeguard, and swim instructor. I truly love my job as it has taught me so much about hard work and dedication. I love working with children and seeing the smiles on their faces every time they learn a new skill. Lifeguarding is an amazing job and it has allowed me to appreciate the importance of responsibility and safety.”

Favourite Subjects: “My favourite subjects are biology and math. This year I’m taking biology, chemistry, advanced functions, calculus, French, religion and English. I’ve been in French Immersion since grade 4 and have truly enjoyed the opportunity of being able to be immersed in a second language throughout the course of my education.  I have a passion for the sciences, most especially biology.  I love learning about the human body and how it functions all the way down to the chemical reactions that take place between each individual cell. One day, I aspire to pursue a career in medicine and dedicate my life to studying the human body.”

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure? “I enjoy reading online articles and journals, because I feel it’s important to stay current in the times and know what is going on in the world around us.

“In terms of novels, I love ready historical fiction stories. I find them to be very interesting, and educational at the same time. One of my all time favourite books would probably be The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It is very well written from an interesting perspective, and follows a  precious story of a girl growing up during World War II in Germany who learns to read by stealing books.

“Overall, I love historical fiction novels. I’m always searching to learn more about the past through historically accurate books.”

Who is your favourite author?

“Lucy Maud Montgomery. The story of Anne of Green Gables has been a favourite of mine since I was a young kid. Her work has been so incredibly impactful. She was the first Canadian woman to be made a member of the British Royal Society of Arts.”

What is your greatest accomplishment? “One of my greatest and most recent accomplishments would be being elected as Co-President with Gab (Gabrielle Vaillancourt). Such an amazing partner!

“I’ve been involved in my school community since grade 7, and dreamed of one day being on Student Council since day one. I have always been a very hard working student with a passion for school spirit. Being elected by my peers this year, showed me how all of my hard work and dedication has paid off. I am very grateful to be in this position and look forward to creating a school year that is fun and full of activities for everyone, especially given the trying times of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

School Activities: “This year extracurriculars at school are much more limited, and very different than normal years. Even though our work has been different than normal years, I am very grateful to be one of the Co-Presidents on Student Council. I love working with such a great group of students under amazing teacher supervisors.

“We’ve been able to take advantage of the power of technology and social media this year, to run one of the most successful canned food drives our school has done – completely virtual this year. We ended up raising over $35,000; all thanks to our school and the community around us. We plan to hold more virtual events over the next few months, and continue to embrace our school community in a unique way.

“Outside of school, Gab and I are a part of the Student Senate made up of Co-Presidents from all of the schools across our school board. Already this year, we’ve been able to meet virtually and talk to students from all over the city. We collaborated with each other, and brainstormed new ways of increasing spirit within our schools during these trying times.

“I have also been able to join the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee for our school board, and have been enjoying meeting virtually for that committee as well.”

Other Activities/Interests: “Outside of school I have enjoyed getting involved within my community. I’m a volunteer at the Ottawa General Hospital, and just recently joined Youthnet’s Advisory Committee as a volunteer. Although I have been unable to volunteer at the hospital during the pandemic, I’ve been able to join weekly virtual meetings as a part of Youthnet.

“I am also a part of the provincial EQAO Student Advisory Committee. I’ve enjoyed meeting virtually this year to discuss the new online model of the grade 9 math EQAO.

“Finally, I have been enjoying tutoring two elementary students in many subject areas, including math, french, and geography.”

Career Goals: “Next year I am planning on attending Queens University for Nursing. As mentioned above, it’s my dream to one day pursue a career in medicine, as I have a real passion for science and helping others. I would love to one day be a nurse or a doctor, and to travel the world to provide medical care in third world countries. Wherever I end up, I know I will be happy, as long as I am helping others and making a difference in the world around me.”