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Highland Heroes: Vote for your Primary Pupil of the Year

By Leah Williamson

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Youngsters (from left) Yeva Ivanstok, Marina Proce and Kornelia Porozynska have all been nominated to win the prize.
Youngsters (from left) Yeva Ivanstok, Marina Proce and Kornelia Porozynska have all been nominated to win the prize.

Marina Price

IS a six-year-old girl who dressed up as a nurse to help her mum after surgery, your idea of primary pupil of the year?

Despite a challenging time where her parents separated, Marina Price relocated from Kiltarlity to Inverness, moved to a new school, and even though her mum was diagnosed with cancer, she continued to flourish.

Marina has made new friends, excels at her schoolwork, was voted for pupil council, and has even helped fundraise more than £250 for Maggie’s Highlands (cancer care).

On hearing of her nomination her mum, Amber, said: “Marina would be over the moon if she won this award. She’s my little hero; even when things have been really tough she’s kept us all going with her big smiles and bright spirit.

She’s settled in so well at Lochardil Primary school and she continues to amaze us with her creativity by baking and making jewellery as gifts for her friends. She’s incredibly kind and thoughtful, and her resilience is second to none.

“Although I’m a little biased, I think she’s a natural born leader.”

Vote here

Yeva Ivanstok

A NOMINATION for Ukrainian-born Yeva Ivanstok to win the primary pupil of the year award included the sentence: “There are no words to describe how wonderful this child is!”

Yeva, 10 years old, moved with her mum Yuliia, to a host family in Tomich (near Cannich) in August last year because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Within a week Yeva was able to speak full sentences in English, read short novels with clarity, and continue with her online schooling alongside her Ukrainian peers at 5.30am – as well as attend Cannich Bridge Primary School.

She’s said to have brought huge amounts of happiness to the local community which has fallen in love with her’ because of her caring, compassionate nature and the joy that she finds in everyday life.

Sue Fraser and her husband Donald, are hosting Yeva and her family which includes her older sister Lera who attends high school in Drumnadrochit, her mum Yuliia, and her Granny Gala.

Sue said: “Yeva has the most amazing smile and is such a bright spark.

“She’s clever and respectful and her attitude has shown us all what’s possible even in difficult times; she makes time every day to ask other people how their day is going – and she loves to hear the answer.”

Vote here

Kornelia Porozynska

TWELVE-year-old Kornelia Porozynska, from Tain, has been nominated for primary school pupil of the year for her volunteer work at the local YMCA.

Her nomination said: “Kornelia is probably the most enthusiastic volunteer we have ever had! She helped us run the lunch club, toddlers group and Friday fun sessions during the Easter, summer and October holidays last year.” Kornelia was awarded Tain YMCA’s young volunteer of the year award in 2022, and also became the youngest ever recipient of the Dynamic Youth Award.

Kornelia, who is currently in P7 at Knockbreck Primary School, is said to be a ray of sunshine in the Youth Cafe because she makes friends with everyone and knows how to make them smile.

Her mum Barbara said: “Kornelia will be so excited to know she’s been nominated and shortlisted, never mind if she wins the actual award!

“She’s full of life and always jumping about and singing at the top of her voice.

“She’s a very compassionate girl; when she was little I took her on a trip to Edinburgh, she saw a homeless man sitting outside a coffee shop and was so moved by it she made me buy a cookie to give to him.

“I’m very proud of who she is and who she’s becoming.”

Vote here

Words from our category sponsor: Kenny Addison, from Graintek, was delighted to support the Heroes campaign and sponsor the award for primary pupil of the year: “Primary school is such an important time in a child’s life. It’s when they really start to develop their own character and personality.

“So many youngsters at that age develop an understanding of caring for others, and helping those less fortunate than themselves, show determination to overcome challenges and work hard to achieve their goals.

“We are delighted to sponsor the primary pupil of the year award and celebrate our amazing youngsters.”

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