A honey locust tree was planted at NDDHS to celebrate the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 who were unable to have an in-person graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wed., May 4, members of the Rotary Club of Chesterville, SNC vice chair, Steve Densham joined NDDHS principal Michael Deighton and a student representative at the tree. Thompson Goddard Photo
CHESTERVILLE – On Wed., May 4, members of the Rotary Club of Chesterville accompanied by South Nation Conservation vice chair, Steve Densham visited North Dundas District High School on Maple Ridge, and in Chesterville at St. Mary’s Catholic School and Chesterville Public School. Accompanied by a staff member and students at each of the schools, the group visited the location where a honey locust tree had been planted on school grounds.
The trees were planted by the RCC, in collaboration with SNC to celebrate the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 in local schools who were unable to “have a formal graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented RCC president rotarian Christine Cross-Barkley. The honey locust tree is a deciduous tree which is native to central North America and mainly found in river valleys.
“I would really like to thank the Chesterville Rotary Club for taking the time to recognize the incredible challenges that our students, school and community have faced during the past two plus years of the pandemic. The impact on our young people has been significant, and I believe that part of the healing process and our ability to move forward, is to acknowledge with our students and community the impact or trauma that the pandemic has had on our students,” commented NDDHS principal Michael Deighton. He continued the tree and plaque recognize the challenges experienced and perseverance of students, staff, and community members.
There will be a plaque placed next to each tree upon which is written “This tree was planted in honour of the graduates of 2020 and 2021 who did not have a formal graduation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A gift from: Rotary Club of Chesterville South Nation Conservation.”
Carolyn Thompson Goddard, grew up in Chesterville and attended North Dundas District High School. After completing her BA in Political Science at Carleton University she has worked as a medical secretary and library technician. In 2020 she graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Journalism and has been a reporter and column writer for The Chesterville Record for over 10 years.