Former students honoured at Case of Distinction event

October 8, 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Jeff Doner
The King City Secondary School alumni association held their 10th annual Case of Distinction induction ceremony to honour four more former students for their achievements on Saturday.
Added to the distindistinction trioguished group were Dorothy Engelman, Dr. Grant Ferris, Dr. Ivan Joseph and Rosie MacLennan.
Former KCSS principal, Jim McGugan, was one of the many members who helped get the project off the ground. McGugan said the idea for the case of distinction came when former NHLer and KCSS alumni Jeff O’Neill played in the Stanley Cup finals. He wanted to extend the idea and honour other past students who achieved success in their respective fields.

Dr. Grant Ferris

Dr. Ferris attended KCSS from 1971-1976. He pursued a post-secondary education at the University of Guelph, eventually completing a B.Sc. in microbiology in 1980. He then went on to graduate school and completed his doctorate in 1985 and after received a scholarship from NASA to study at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.
He returned to Canada and joined the Department of Geology at Western University. After his fellowship there ended in 1988, he moved to Calgary to work in the private sector on pipeline corrosion, enhanced oil recovery and cleaning up refinery wastes.
Then in 1991, he became a university professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto.
Since going back to work as a professor, Dr. Ferris said the most important thing to him is mentoring young people coming out of high school, throughout graduate studies and into graduate school.
Throughout the years, he has influenced many students and has served as an editor for several world-renown scientific journals as well as a member of grant selection panels across the world.
He has left his mark on his field and has been an influence in many others, leading to an election to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012.
“Thank-you to all the former students and all my former teachers for making my career so wonderful,” he said.

Dorothy Engelman

Engelman came to KCSS from 1973-1978 after her family moved to King from Ithica, New York. Having been moved ahead in school, Engelman entered KCSS when she was just 12 and said at first she felt like a fish out of water always trying to find a way to belong.
Through heavy engagement in sport and school activities, Engleman said she learned what she needed to get to where she is today with a successful career in media and communications.
It was through determination, good influences and a lot of hard work that Engelman credits for her success.
“There are lots of people here today who have been instrumental in who I am today and I really want to thank them,” she said. “Reflecting back on these years, I look back for a thread leading to what I do today. I used to do the morning announcements and now I do voice over work. Being busy and active has really been the thread of my life.”
At the ceremony she said high school was the perfect place for youth to find and explore who they are and KCSS was the right place for her.
She also said now is the time to celebrate and acknowledge the people that were instrumental in getting her to where she is today.
Engelman took film studies at Queen’s University, which helped her get a job at CTV at a young age. She has also worked for Global and CBC and has traveled the world covering stories and producing numerous television programs.
These days most of her time is devoted to her family and her communications agency, Q Media Solutions.

Dr. Ivan Joseph

Described by one of his former coaches as a young athlete with poor organizational skills and a beaming smile, Dr. Ivan Joseph admitted he was all of the above.
The perfect example of hard work and determination, Joseph was a young student with waning interest in classes, but an amazing athlete.
He attended KCSS from 1987-1989 and praised his former high school and his family, along with a relentless work ethic, for helping him realize his goals.
Dr. Joseph said his parents taught him the importance of working hard and his teachers and coaches nurtured him and promoted success.
“I took it for granted, those two,” he said referencing two of his past coaches. “I didn’t realize that those teachers were there every single day.
“King City was where I realized I wanted to be a coach. It gave me the opportunity to flourish and spread my wings.”
After graduating from KCSS, Joseph went to Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa on a track and field scholarship. After that he stayed in Iowa to become a soccer coach and during this time, earned his MSc and PhD and eventually became a professor.
As a coach, Joseph had both his men’s and women’s teams ranked number one in the U.S. and won a national championship and national coach of the year accolades.
He has recently taken on the challenging role as the athletic director at Ryerson University, charged with transforming the program.
“I would not be here without the strong support I have received,” he said. “Hats off and thank-you King City for the opportunities. I appreciate it.”
Olympic gold medalist Rosie MacLennan was unable to attend the ceremony, but will be officially inducted at a later date yet to be announced.
The Case of Distinction in the halls of KCSS now holds nearly 50 inductees.
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