Cornwall Middle School might want to think about changing the name of the Sands Award to the Gagnon Award.
To date, three of the six siblings who have graduated from eighth grade, have received the award for highest grade point average in their class. The latest recipient is Kathryn. She follows her sister, Megan, who received the award in 2011, and her brother, Jonathan, who earned it last year.
“I was really happy,” Gagnon said when she heard her name announced at the moving up ceremony last week. “I couldn’t stop smiling. It was just amazing to walk up on stage and receive that applause.”
Gagnon wasn’t aware she’d be receiving the award until that night, but it was something she’s been working toward.
Throughout the year, Gagnon knew she had a high grade point average, but so did her friends. Her average after three quarters was a 99 or 100.
“I went to their awards ceremonies when I was younger and I remember seeing them walk up there and get the award,” Gagnon said referring to her older brother and sister. “I just wanted to get it too.”
In order to do so, Gagnon made sure to finish her homework and study for tests every night, especially on areas she knew she needed the most work.
After coming home from school, Gagnon would spend about 30 minutes relaxing before hitting the books. She’d break for dinner and then resume her studies.
Gagnon played soccer for the junior varsity, as well as a club team, and practices were typically held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. She would try to finish all her work beforehand, but if she felt unprepared for a test she might do some more reviewing before bed.
On top of athletics, Gagnon also balances playing two instruments – piano and trombone. Generally she practices in the morning before school.
“Everyone in my family has taken piano lessons at some point in their life, so I’ve just been continuing on with that. My oldest brother played trombone. I remember hearing him play in the band, so I wanted to play too.”
Looking ahead to high school, Gagnon hopes her grades stay consistent so she can vie for valedictorian. Jonathan will be starting his sophomore year in the fall and Megan was the valedictorian when she graduated in 2015.
Gagnon has four younger siblings. Her sister, Morgan, will be entering seventh grade and she already has her mind set on earning the Sands Award.
“I don’t think it’s unusual,” Gagnon said about her and her siblings receiving the award. “We all worked hard to get it. We all encouraged each other to get it, too.”