Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut February 11, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Cambridge Bay schools get a hand up from critical care workers

Students earn prizes from pro hockey player

PETER VARGA
Collin Goyman, left, and co-worker Chris Hillary of Advanced Medical Solutions’ medevac service in Cambridge Bay awarded hockey memorabilia prizes Feb. 7 to Kiilinik High School students Nigel Tologanak, Lutaya Uttak and Dean Evetalegak as part of the school’s “Got Ya” program. (PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLIN GOYMAN)
Collin Goyman, left, and co-worker Chris Hillary of Advanced Medical Solutions’ medevac service in Cambridge Bay awarded hockey memorabilia prizes Feb. 7 to Kiilinik High School students Nigel Tologanak, Lutaya Uttak and Dean Evetalegak as part of the school’s “Got Ya” program. (PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLIN GOYMAN)

Cambridge Bay’s two schools recently got some unexpected support from friends in the community, who donated a few well-timed prizes for students who are hitting the right notes.

Collin Goyman, a flight paramedic stationed in the community, happens to be an old friend of National Hockey League star Mike Richards.

The pro hockey player, who grew up with Goyman in Kenora, Ont. and plays with the Los Angeles Kings, willingly sent a few autographed items to his old friend — to pass on as prizes for Cambridge Bay students.

Goyman offered L.A. Kings jerseys and ball caps, signed by the Stanley Cup-winning star himself, to some exemplary students of Kiilinik High School and Kullik Ilihakvik elementary school.

Goyman’s idea started at the high school, where he sometimes helps as a substitute teacher when he’s not on medevac duty for Advanced Medical Solutions Inc.

Principal Lorne Penney and school staff were ready to launch a program called “Got ya,” which encourages respect and model behaviour among students.

Prizes are drawn for students who make exceptional contributions to others at the school each week. Goyman was ready to offer L.A. Kings-Mike Richards prizes for the first draw, Feb. 7.

“It was excellent, the kids were excited,” said Penney. “We’re trying to encourage kids to stay in school, and encourage them to show good behaviour,” the principal said of the school program.

“Got ya” is a play on words, in this case used for catching kids doing good rather than bad.

“A lot of times, it’s the ones who are doing things that are negatively impacting everybody else, that get all the attention,” Penney said.

“We’re just trying to turn it all around and focus on the positive stuff. And it happens all the time, at the school, but doesn’t get recognized enough.”

The program calls for staff to take note of students who perform an act of kindness, generosity, or help for others in school. These are submitted, and prize-winners are drawn every Friday from a whole week’s collection of entries.

Three students drawn in the first week of the program won Mike Richards-autographed items, which included one L.A. Kings jersey and two ball caps.

“I figured they might get a kick out of having a big-name player take the time to sign some jerseys and hats, and send them up here,” said Goyman. “It meant a lot to them.”

Goyman brought a second set of similar prizes to Kullik Ilihakvik elementary school next door, where principal Cathie Rowan used them for a school attendance contest.

Students with the best attendance records from August to December last year were entered for a chance to win a jersey or one of two ball caps, also signed by Richards. The winners’ names were drawn Feb. 10.

“This was a really nice gift for the school and for the kids,” Rowan said. “Unexpected, and the timing couldn’t have been better.”

“This week, we have an Olympic theme happening throughout the school,” the principal said Feb. 10. “We were talking about Olympics and sports, and commitment and hard work, and all of the things that are important to being successful.”

Goyman and co-worker Chris Hillary, a critical care flight nurse, presented the Richards-autographed prizes to the students.

“When Chris and Collin came in with these lovely gifts, from someone who is recognized as a top player, it was just wonderful,” Rowan said. “When someone from outside the school reaches in to try and support us, that’s a treasure.”

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