Ontario Parks Partners Recognizes Student Employees

Forty students recently received $500 educational bursaries for their outstanding performance as Ontario Parks summer employees.

The 12th annual Ontario Parks Partners Bursary program was hosted by Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and held in Barrie on November 18. This program recognizes Ontario Parks students who excel in their jobs by demonstrating a high level of initiative, dedication, volunteerism and customer service. Ontario Parks is the largest employer of students in the Ontario Public Service hiring more than 1800 students each summer.

Bursary recipient Hillary Hatzipetrakos, represented all of the students and addressed the audience with enthusiasm, citing her involvement in the piping plover program at Awenda Provincial Park. She quipped, “There I was observing an endangered species nesting on Ontario shorelines for the first time in 30 years, and I was doing this as part of my job!”

This year’s ceremony marked the introduction of a special bursary, the Amber Booth Award, to commemorate Amber Booth, an Ontario Parks student who passed away in a traffic accident this summer. This award is given to a student who excelled in the area of health and safety. Jillian Shell, who worked at Fairbank Provincial Park, was this year’s recipient and she was recognized for her compassion, maturity and kindness following the passing of Mark, a fellow Ontario Parks employee. Jillian maintained strong communications with Mark’s family to ensure that there was a positive connection between them and Mark’s workplace. This connection helped many people heal.

Amber Booth’s father, Mr. Ted Booth unveiled the award, and assisted Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, David O’Toole in presenting Ms. Shell with this special honour.

Marco Campana, Sustainability and Store Outreach Coordinator at MEC’s Barrie store served as the ceremony’s MC, and afterwards provided a great tour of the store highlighting the numerous “green” initiatives built right into the architecture.

Congratulations to this year’s bursary recipients, and thank you to all the corporate partners and Friends organizations whose contributions make the Ontario Parks Partners Bursary program possible.

Ontario Parks Partners Bursary Program Award Recipients:

Student Name – Home Town – School – Provincial Park
Amy Adair – Whitby – University of Guelph – Killarney
Brittany Armstrong – Omemee – Queen’s University – Emily
Natasha Baker – Wasaga Beach – Georgian College – Wasaga Beach
Luke Bedard – Schreiber – University of Waterloo – Rainbow Falls
Katie Biddie – Bolton – University of Guelph – Killbear
Stacey Boldt – Coboconk – University of Guelph – Balsam Lake
Erin Campbell – Thunder Bay – Lakehead University – Kakabeka Falls
Maura Christie – Picton – Queen’s University – Sandbanks
Hayleigh Conway – Ottawa – University of Guelph – Algonquin
Sarah Louise Conway – Chute-a-Blondeau – University of Ottawa – Voyageur
Christina Culliton – Callander – Nipissing University – Grundy Lake
Kathryn Dnes – Uxbridge – Queen’s University – Rushing River
Mackenzie Green – Peterborough – University of Ottawa – Algonquin
Hannah Gutoskie – Combermere – Carleton University – Bonnechere
Kaitlin Hamilton – Lyndhurst – University of Guelph – Charleston Lake
Hillary Hatzipetrakos – Penetanguishene – Ontario College of Art & Design – Awenda
Molly Johnston – Orillia – University of Guelph – Mara
Jill Legault – Thunder Bay – Lakehead University – Quetico
Jordan Lundrigan – Sault St. Marie – Sault College – Pancake Bay
Alexis MacNeill – Manitouwadge – Lakehead University – White Lake
Sarah Malott – Ridgetown – University of Windsor – Rondeau
Sarah Marcotte – Kapuskasing – Confederation College – Rene Brunelle
Valerie Montrose – Port Rowan – Fanshawe College – Long Point
Naythan Murtha – Peterborough – University of Guelph – Bon Echo
Katie Nap – Everett – Carleton University – Earl Rowe
Kevin Obbard – Peterborough – University of Waterloo – Algonquin
Cheyene Ramsey – Maberly – Fleming College – Silver Lake
Julie Roen – Schreiber – University of Guelph – Rainbow Falls
Jonathan Rygiel – Lake St. Peter – Sault College – Blue Lake
Jason Scott – Straffordville – Fanshawe College – Port Burwell
Andy Seguire – Codrington – York University – Presqu’ile
Jillian Schell – Lively – Cambrian College – Fairbank
Ainsley Southorn – Waubaushene – University of Guelph – Six Mile Lake
Amy St. Jarre – Thunder Bay – Lakehead University – Sleeping Giant
Mark Stead – Perth – Fleming College – Murphys Point
Jessica Stubbs – Port Franks – Fanshawe College – Pinery
Erin Van Breda – Massey – Laurentian University – Chutes
Amberly Warren – Innisfil – Brock University – Samuel de Champlain
Priscilla Weber – Simcoe – Georgian College – Turkey Point
Sarah Wood – Port Elgin – Carleton University – MacGregor Point

The Ontario Parks Partners Bursary Program is funded by the following partners:

-Brian Peck Management
-Coleman Canada
-The Edge Screen Studio
-Friends of Algonquin
-Friends of Bon Echo
-Friends of Charleston Lake
-Friends of Ouimet Canyon
-Friends of Rondeau
-Friends of Sandbanks
-Friends of Wasaga Beach
-Johnson Outdoors Canada – Eureka
-Mountain Equipment Co-Op
-PepsiCo Beverages Canada
-SC Johnson Canada
-Swish Maintenance Limited
-Van Houtte Inc.
-Wayfarer Insurance