News release

BACKGROUNDER: Recipients and biographies – 2024 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Student Award


Category Name Grade Region City School Board
Grade 6 Kairoh Winiandy 6 North Grande Prairie, AB Grande Prairie Public School Division
Johnny Beaverbones 6 Central Nordegg, AB Wild Rose School Division
Edith Salazar Godinez 6 South Airdrie, AB Calgary Catholic School Division
Grade 9 Adam Auclair 9 North Fox Creek, AB Northern Gateway Public Schools
Gavin Checkosis 9 Central Paradise Valley, AB Buffalo Trail Public Schools
Keagan Farmer      9 South Drumheller, AB Golden Hills School Division
Grade 11 Shayden Fayant 11 North Cold Lake, AB Northern Lights Public Schools
Maria Laiton Ochoa 11 Central Edmonton, AB Edmonton Catholic Schools
Cassandra Klak 11 South Calgary, AB Calgary Catholic School Division



Grade 6

Kairoh Winiandy: Grande Prairie, AB – North
Kairoh Winiandy is a grade 6 student at Hillside Community School in Grande Prairie, Alberta. ​He is known for his positive attitude, kindness, empathy, and compassion for others. When you see Kairoh interact with other students you see someone who treats others the way you want to be treated. He demonstrates a commitment to fostering a sense of belonging which serves as an example to others. ​Kairoh is involved in different sports teams and events – furthering his connections and promoting a sense of community. He consistently puts effort into his schoolwork and strives to do well in his studies. ​​Kairoh is an incredible student with valuable knowledge and stories to share.

Johnny Beaverbones: Nordegg, AB – Central

As a grade 6 student at Pioneer Middle School in Nordegg, Johnny Beaverbones has shown himself to be a dedicated and hardworking student. He demonstrates kindness, generosity, and a caring nature. Johnny arrives at school with a great smile, and he comes prepared ready for the day.​ His cultural identity is important to him, and he shows it by taking pride in sharing his experiences and knowledge with others. Johnny’s thoughtfulness is evident as he makes time to create handmade beaded mukluk ornaments, which he presents to those around him with pride. ​Johnny has expressed his goal of finishing school – understanding the importance of education to secure a good job in the future. ​

Edith Salazar Godinez: Airdrie, AB – South

Edith is a grade 6 student at Our Lady Queen of Peace school in Airdrie who has shown remarkable growth in her academic achievements. Her outstanding attitude, actions, and characteristics set her apart as an exemplary student. Since arriving in Canada in 2019 from Mexico, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her education and personal growth. Despite English being her second language, she has made tremendous efforts in her studies, consistently holding herself to a high standard of excellence. She is caring and respectful and has formed strong peer relationships, making sure that her peers feel welcome and safe.  Her resilience and determination motivate her to pursue excellence in all aspects of her life.

Grade 9

Adam Auclair: Fox Creek, AB – North

Adam is a grade 9 student at Fox Creek School. He is inquisitive, polite and considerate and he advocates for firm, fair and consistent rules. He is a determined, independent young man who has overcome both personal and academic challenges. In joining the local Cadets, he has learned about the importance of striving to do things you love and the self-reward of doing your best through determination and persistence. Adam has gained a reverence and pride in living and being a valuable part of his community. He continues to demonstrate improvement and leadership, inspiring  his peers to grow and develop  both academically and socially.

Gavin Checkosis: Paradise Valley, AB – Central

Gavin Checkosis is a grade 9 student at E.H Walter School in Paradise Valley and has been since kindergarten. He impresses his classmates and teachers with his personal and academic growth. He is determined and shows initiative through his concerted efforts to increase his marks, particularly in math, so that he can pursue his goal of post-secondary education. He is known for being the first one to class, ready to learn and actively participating in his own learning. He also pursues extracurricular activities including track and field and basketball. He models quiet leadership skills, is a team player, and a driven athlete who strives to be his very best. As part of his personal growth, Gavin attends the local youth group where he actively contributes to fundraisers and events to help with community initiatives.

Keagan Farmer: Drumheller, AB – South

Keagan Farmer showcases positivity, growth, determination and independence every day as a grade 9 student at Drumheller Valley Secondary School. He shares his positivity and sense of humour with those around him. He is driven to succeed in academics, and his focus on others reveals his sensitivity, empathy, and emotional maturity. His positive attitude is evident in his interactions with others and his sense of humour comes out through his “dad jokes” and class pranks. Keagan pushes himself and has gained his voice becoming an active and vocal participant in class. Keagan is driven in his academics. He doesn’t like to miss classes, shows a desire to achieve, and is engaged in class work and discussion. He is tenacious and always bounces back from adversity. If he gets a poor mark on an assignment, he does his best to reconcile how he can improve and puts the effort into improving. Keagan continues to display knowledge of self and works towards his goals in small steps every day.

Grade 11

Shayden Fayant: Fishing Lake, AB – North

Shayden is a Grade 11 student at Cold Lake High School. Shayden has persevered in his young life with great dedication and resilience in overcoming academic and personal challenges. He is a model student and inspires his peers to work harder and find pride in their own work. Shayden sees education as a path to success and perseveres in the face of adversity. He is driven to succeed and understands the importance of education in pursuing his life and career goals. One of his teachers noted that he has taught for 32 years and has not seen anyone like Shayden. He does not settle for anything mediocre.  He is focusing on his studies so that he can attend university so he can pursue a career that will allow him to have a positive impact in his community.

Maria Laiton Ochoa: Edmonton, AB – Central
Maria is a Grade 11 student at Archbishop O’Leary Catholic School in Edmonton, who moved from Columbia during the pandemic. Due to processing issues, she could not attend school for two years, but used this time to learn English on her own. Once in school Maria decided to challenge herself by pursing all English language studies.  Maria has put in tremendous effort learning English and holds herself to the highest standard. She always leads by example. Through her friendships she has inspired classmates to consistently work hard and take advantage of every resource available to achieve success. Maria has accomplished a great deal since her arrival in Canada; she is a breath of fresh air who helps others see that they too are capable of being the best they can be.

Cassandra Klak: Calgary, AB – South

Cassie, as her friends call her, is a Grade 11 student at All Saints High School in Calgary. Despite early challenges in learning, she has not let that limit her success. “I can do it” had become the guiding theme for her learning. Cassie has worked hard to succeed and is an inspiration to her peers. Cassie recently changed learning streams where she continues to defy those limitations that characterize her learning abilities. She consistently looks for constructive feedback for improvement from her teachers. She has become a role model for her peers in her ES1 class. She is succeeding in all her classes and is on track to qualify for admission to a Medical Assistant program at Bow Valley College. Her journey of growth serves as a testament to her outstanding character and determination.