ASSINIBOIA - A sense of pride and belonging comes from hometown connections, many of those created and nurtured during high school years. Success stories past high school are talked about in the community but Assiniboia Composite High School has taken these sources of community pride to another level.
The ACHS Wall of Fame was started in 2010. Nine inductees are currently included and range in accolades from the arts to academics and other avenues of success stories
Principal Brent Chadwick says, “Nominations are accepted at the school and the tenth alumnus will be inducted at graduation ceremonies in 2024. We have much to celebrate here.”
The show case where the Wall of Fame is located highlights recognition of former students and teachers, ACHS past and continues the rich history of the high school since it opened in 1962.
The purpose of the ACHS Wall of Fame is to recognize individuals who have attended the school and have had a significant achievement on the provincial, national or international scene. It is also meant to recognize those individuals who have been part of the ACHS family for a significant number of years and have contributed to the development and betterment of its students.
Nominees must fit specific criteria which includes being a graduate of ACHS and/or have attended two years of schooling there. For those not graduating from ACHS, the reason for leaving must have been for a reason of opportunity for the area that they are being nominated in.
The nominee must have achieved recognition at the provincial, national or international level, with specifications for the international recognition listed on the nomination form.
There are also allowances for nominees being welcome from schools that have been closed in the Assiniboia area, and whose students were designated to attend ACHS as a result of that closure.
The Wall of Fame selection committee is comprised of members of the school’s community council, two ACHS staff members as well as the serving student representative council president.
Once a nominee is selected, they provide the committee a biography detailing their life and story behind their achievements with a photo being provided.
ACHS alumnus, Hal Schrenk, who was inducted in 2015, says of the ACHS induction experience, “I can tell you I’ve been lucky in life, lucky in life to do what I love. And there’s not a second that passes that I’m not grateful for that.”
Schrenk continues stating, “ In my careers of art and music I’ve been blessed with awards, including a Juno, but nothing means more to me than being an Assiniboia Hall of Fame inductee. You see, I can’t shake my roots, I can’t shake those people who helped me along the way… the teachers, parents, friends and the Assiniboia community in general. I still keep working on it… hoping to make my hometown proud… not necessarily of me, but of the potential that we all have growing up in such a place.”
The purpose of the ACHS Wall of Fame is not just to recognize alumni significant achievements beyond their high school years, but also provides inspiration and incentive to current students as they see the goals of their peers and past students once they have left the hallowed halls of high school.
There is a great sense of pride for staff of ACHS when one of “their own” is selected to be recognized, as they have seen first hand the hard work of the nominee and they may have experienced some of the greatness while they were students.
Hometown pride also evolves each time a nominee is inducted as well as for those events that tour guests, many of whom are former students, through the school and they can see first hand the success stories that have come from the ACHS student body.
The preservation and promotion of the high school’s history and tradition through success stories such as those showcased on the Wall od Fame is a key to its viability. ACHS feels their Hall of fame recognitions are important because the connect the past with the present. Some say a Hall of Fame showcase also helps current students see a blueprint for success.
The full circle from these inductions truly ties in these lauded alumni to their alma mater and helps grow even more connectivity to today’s student body and staff knowing the school and all the people they grew up with was an important ingredient to their success.
In addition to celebrating success stories from past students and staff, ACHS proudly hangs a number of academic, athletic and achievement banners in the school, adding another source of pride for all who attend and all those who have ties to the school as alumni, parents of alumni or community members.