When he looks back on his four years at Our Lady of the Bay, Matthew Kremer is left with a feeling of hope.
For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we spoke with Kremer, 17, 2023 valedictorian for Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born in Barrie. My family moved to Collingwood when I was three.
Q: What brought your family here?
A: My grandparents lived here. My mom decided she didn’t want to live in Barrie anymore.
Q: What schools have you attended here?
A: I went to St. Mary’s, and now Our Lady of the Bay.
Q: What are your interests? Are you a member of any clubs or special interest groups?
A: I was part of the robotics club last year. I did some A/V (audio/visual) stuff when we participated in the Hockey Battles Cancer event. I helped set up the recording equipment to livestream the game.
I was involved in student leadership a little, but because of my schedule I stopped going to meetings.
Q: You’ve been named Our Lady of the Bay’s valedictorian this year. How did it feel when you found out?
A: Pretty good!
There’s a student vote, and the teachers vote on it too. About two weeks ago we had a graduate breakfast and all the candidates for valedictorian gave a nomination speech.
I think I had an OK speech. I tried to connect more with students. I added a little bit of humour. There were four of us running for it.
Q: Your cohort has had a unique school experience because of the pandemic. Now that you’re graduating, do you feel that unique experience has helped, or hindered you?
A: It definitely took a bit away from the high school experience, being stuck online.
It helped with problem solving. It was a challenge, but I think most people came through pretty OK.
I’m a little disappointed that for about a year and a half of high school, I was stuck online.
I think I did OK. This year’s been pretty good because everything’s pretty much back to normal.
Q: What advice would you like to impart to graduating students?
A: We faced a lot of challenges, and going into where everybody’s going to end up – university, college, trades, maybe taking a gap year – they’ll face challenges there too.
They’ll be able to overcome it.
There’s a lot of uncertainty coming into high school and going through high school. We’ll get through it. There’s a lot of hope.
Q: Where are you going after graduating?
A: I’m going to the University of Guelph for history.
I need a bachelor of arts if I’m going to law school, and history is the one that sets you up best. I also like history. It’s a win-win for me.
I want to be a corporate lawyer. I’m also interested in civil litigation, like personal injury claims.
I’ve always had an interest in the law. It’s important, and it’s important that the right people get into law.
I don’t know if I’m the right person, but I think I have a pretty good head on my shoulders.
The law plays such an important role in our lives.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like people in Collingwood to know about you?
A: In Collingwood, there’s a good sense of community. Especially at our school here.
Everybody is looking out for each other here.
For our feature People of Collingwood, we speak with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature runs on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email [email protected].