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McDonald Presented With Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers

Char-Lan DHS Science Teacher Receives
Governor General’s Sovereign’s
Medal for Volunteers



Submitted Photo

(Pictured above: Char-Lan District High School teacher Sandy McDonald is pictured shaking hands with Governor General David Johnston after McDonald received a Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers during a recent ceremony at Rideau Hall.)

By Mark Calder

(Williamstown) – A local science teacher who has helped rejuvenate the air cadets squadron in Cornwall has been honoured with a Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers  from the Governor General of Canada.

Sandy McDonald, commander of the 325 Cornwall Kiwanis Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron , was recognized for several years of dedicated service to cadets. The 29-year-old science teacher at Char-Lan District High School , was presented with the honour during a recent ceremony at Rideau Hall. McDonald was one of only 55 recipients to receive the medal during its inaugural year.

McDonald appreciated the honour, but added he was caught off-guard.

“To be honest with you, it was a bit of a surprise,” he said. “I don’t do it for the recognition.”

What he has been “doing” is providing the chance for students to develop under the cadet program and to enjoy athletic and other opportunities they might not otherwise experience, from learning how to fly gliders to canoe trips and band.

“I was an air cadet myself for seven years and I really enjoyed the program so I decided to come back as an officer to give back and create opportunities for other kids to enjoy cadets,” he said.

McDonald started the squadron’s popular biathlon team four years ago and supervises training and competition. For the past three years the squadron has had cadets advance to provincial competition, with one winning silver last year.

Seven years ago he resurrected the squadron’s band program, which provides musical opportunities for the students. He also leads twice-yearly canoeing trips which have allowed cadets to explore the Rideau Canal system from Kingston to Ottawa, the St. Lawrence River, Algonquin Park and Frontenac Park.

While McDonald is in his final year of a three-year posting as commander of the Cornwall squadron, he plans to stay on as an officer to ensure the band, biathlon team and canoe trips continue to be offered to area youth.

Posted April 18, 2016

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