Sussex Regional High School
Anglophone South School District Skip Navigation LinksHome > Sussex Regional High School > Sonic Walk of Fame

Sonic Walk of Fame


The Sonic Walk of Fame celebrates alumni and past students of Sussex Regional High School

Frank McKenna, 1966
Frank McKenna graduated from Sussex High School in 1966.
He is also a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University as well as Queen's University, where he completed his post-graduate degree in political science and the University of New Brunswick Law School. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2008 and is the recipient of eight honourary doctorates.
Frank has held numerous leadership positions in both the public and private sector. For a decade (1987-1997) he was Premier of New Brunswick, having earned three consecutive majority governments, including the historic victory in 1987 of all 58 seats in the legislature. Frank also served as Canadian Ambassador to the United States.
Appointed on May 1, 2006, Frank's current role is Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group. He is also on the boards of Brookfield Asset Management and Canadian Natural Resources.

Bruce Northrup, 1973
Bruce Northrup (Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins) was elected to the 56th Legislature in 2006 and re-elected to the 57th Legislature in the provincial election of 2010 where he was appointed as Minister of Natural Resources.
He is a proud graduate of Sussex Regional Highschool (Class of 1973).
Born in Sussex in 1955, he is married to Kim (Lewis) and they have two adult children: Jessica and Brad.

Minister Northrup has been actively involved in the community with various charities and sports activities. He has coached minor hockey, baseball and soccer. He coached the New Brunswick Canada Games Hockey Team in 1983 and the Sussex-Kennebecasis Valley Subway Rangers who, in the spring of 2006, won the Atlantic Midget Minor AAA Championship.

Northrup is past president of Sussex Minor Hockey and past vice-president of the Sussex area Children's Wish Foundation. He was a co-chair of the Sussex-area Relay for Life, a Sussex town councilor from 1986 to 1989, and a current member of the Sussex Rotary Club.
His lives by his motto - “Every day is a good day!”

Cheryl (Brown) Ellis, 1976​

I graduated from Sussex High School in 1976. After high school I immediately entered the work force working for local companies such as Bank of Nova Scotia, Kent Building Supplies and New Yorker Boiler. During my time at these organizations I continued to hone my skills by taking evening courses through the NBCC.
In 1986 an opportunity came to me that truly shaped the rest of my career. I began working for the local school district. Although I was hired for an accounting position, shortly after beginning work an opportunity came up for me to transfer in the Payroll/Human Resources world, and I haven’t looked back since! Over the next 25 years I participated in many committees at the Provincial level which resulted in the Province totally revamping the way payroll was processed at the school district level.
In 1992, I met and married Harvey Ellis. After our marriage I moved from Sussex to Quispamsis, and with my close proximity to UNBSJ, I decided it was time again to continue with my formal education. During the next 3 years, I completed a Business Certificate program at the university.
In 1998, again, opportunity knocked and I was offered a position of Assistant Human Resources Manager with School District 8, which at the time was the largest school district in the province. I worked with some wonderful mentors at the school district, and was offered many opportunities to take courses and training. I became a certified mediator, and continued to work with the Department of Education on ways of improving the payroll and human resources processes used by all of the school district. During the next 3 years I received my provincial Certified Human Resources Professional designation, and followed that by later by receiving the Canadian designation.
In 2001, I became the Director of Human Resources for the school district. This gave me more involvement into the strategic planning over the entire school operations. I worked with 5 different unions involved in the school districts and I am pleased to say that my relations with all of them were excellent and the Union Executives were some of the most dedicated and professional people I have met. I also participated on 2 occasions in the collective bargaining process as a member of the Employer Bargaining team with the New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation.
In 2007, I was honoured to be nominated by my peers for the Atlantic Canada Human Resources Association award as a “Leader in Human Resoruces”. Although I did not win the award, to have been named as one of the 3 finalists throughout all of Atlantic Canada, certainly made me proud of what I do.
I was very fortunate to have a job that allowed me to work with people I liked and respected. All that being said, in June 2011 I made another life changing decision and that was to retire! This gave my husband and me the opportunity to do something else that we both loved and that was to travel. We have travelled by plane, bus, car and ship and have seen many wonderful sights! We have visited Europe, South America, Mexico and though out the United States and Canada.
On a musical note, I have also been involved in singing with the Valley Jamboree in Sussex. The founder, Gary Morris of Morris Music, started the Valley Jamboree in August of 1986, and I have been blessed to be a part of it since then. I started my singing career at the ripe old age of 9, when my brothers and I entered a local talent show in the Centennial Hall in Apohaqui. We won first place and the grand prize of $7.00!

Zoe Watson, 1977

Zoë Watson - 1977 Sussex Regional High School Graduate and Class President
Zoë started her teaching career at Sussex Corner Elementary School teaching grade 6 after graduating from UNB-Fredericton. Since then, she has held a variety of positions within education. Most notably:
· Administrator at Sussex Corner Elementary and Sussex Elementary School
· Supervisor of Elementary Schools for the Salisbury to Sussex schools and those from Fundy Park to Hillsborough.
· Coordinator of Elementary Education at the Department of Education
· Elementary School Supervisor within the Fredericton School District
· Director of Education for former School District 2 in Moncton
· Superintendent of former School District 6 in Rothesay
· Assistant Deputy Minister of Education, a position she held until May of 2012, when she was appointed Superintendent of Anglophone South School District, the same position she holds today.
Zoe lives in Rothesay with her husband Gervais Warren, a retired educator.
Thank you for including me on the Sonic Walk of Fame!


​Phil O'Donnell, 1980

Phil O’Donnell, graduate of 1980, made his first trip to Nashville in 1983 and began developing his skills as a songwriter. He officially made the move in 1994.
O’Donnell has also worked as a musician, playing guitar with many artists including Craig Morgan, Jeff Carson, Kevin Denney, Johnny Lee, and Sherrie Austin
O’Donnell’s songwriting credits include George Straits 60th #1 "Give It All We Got Tonight, #1 single, “Back When I Knew It All” recorded by Montgomery Gentry, “Love Remembers” and “I Got You”, "More Trucks Than Cars"(Craig Morgan), “Tougher Than Nails” (Joe Diffie), “Fore She Was Mama”, “She Won't Be Lonely Long” (Clay Walker), and “Sounds Like Life to Me”, (Darryl Worley)
Phil O’Donnell has also had songs cut by Blake Shelton, Rodney Atkins, Darius Rucker, Josh Thompson, Justin Moore, Tate Stevens, Scotty McCreery, Brad Paisley, Parmalee, Jawga Boyz, Trace Atkins, Matt Stillwell, Matt Mason, Mark Chestnut, Gord Bamford, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Travis Tritt, Jason Blain, Gretchen Wilson, Randy Travis, James Wesley, Ash Bowers, Joey & Rory, High Valley, Marty Raybon, Gabe Garcia, Guy Penrod, Lila McCann, Kevin Denny, Trent Willmon, Andy Griggs, Neal McCoy, Tracy Lawrence, Sammy Kershaw, Cole Deggs And The Lonesome, Chalee Tennison, John Conley, Ed Bruce, and Jill King.
In addition to having a successful career as a songwriter, O’Donnell also has served as producer for artists such as Craig Morgan, Josh Thompson, Keith Anderson, Matt Mason, Justin McBride, Chris Janson, Mark Wills, Tara Oram, Jason Blaine, High Valley, Steve Richard, and Davisson Bros.Band.
Among his many production credits is the six-week #1 country hit, “That’s What I Love About Sunday” (Craig Morgan), which was the most played country song of 2005.
Phil is currently producing a studio album on Joe Diffie.

Gary Hall, 1981​

If you had known me in high school you probably would not have predicted my path. I certainly wouldn’t have. Students who came from the little village of Norton often felt a bit intimidated by the big high school in Sussex and I certainly arrived at the old SHS in the fall of 1978 with a fair bit of trepidation. The following year we moved to the new SRHS and I still remember the feeling of grandeur when we walked into the lobby for the first time.
When I reflect on my high school years, I remember the feeling of being on the outside looking in. I was introverted and in the words of the day, a bit a bit of a geek. I’m sure there were many of my classmates who wouldn’t have known who I was after our three years together. I say this not to invoke pity or to suggest that SRHS was not a positive place for me, but rather that I was, as are many teenagers, a bit lost for my three high school years.
After high school I went on to university at Acadia where I received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Mount Saint Vincent where I studied Education and finally the University of New Brunswick where I received a Master in Special Education. Throughout those years I began to use my voice; the voice that in high school had only been expressed in my head. I found that my thoughts and ideas were every bit as relevant, creative and brilliant as those expressed by my peers and I began to gain confidence in myself. I discovered that I had a passion for helping children, especially those who were disadvantaged and needed extra support to succeed.
I went on to become a Resource and Methods teacher and worked on Grand Manan Island before I returned to Sussex as an itinerant Resource teacher working with multiply handicapped students. This led to becoming the Supervisor of Student Services. I discovered that I had leadership skills and have held a number of leadership positions, including Principal, Elementary Learning Specialist, Professional Development Learning Specialist, Director of Education, and Acting Superintendent. I have worked in Districts 4,6, and 8 and now work for the Department of Education as the Regional Director of Early Childhood Services for the Anglophone South School District.
For those students who may have had a high school experience similar to mine, remember that with confidence and hard work you can achieve your goals. I look at my years at Sussex Regional High School as providing me with the skills that I needed to continue on as a learner and as one of my first stops on a journey that led me to becoming a leader.


 Mike Eagles, Honorary Sonic​

I was born in Sussex on March 7th, 1963.
I loved all sports growing up and played two years on the high school soccer team, my first year I was still in Junior High, and also ran Track and Field. I left Sussex Regional High School after Grade Ten to pursue a hockey career. I played four years of Junior Hockey and was fortunate to play on the National Junior team in 1983 where we won a bronze medal in the Soviet Union. I played 17 years of professional hockey, 15 of those in the NHL. I ended up playing over 1000 professional games, 853 regular season games in the NHL, retiring in the year 2000.
Since that time I coached the Men’s Hockey Team at St. Thomas University for nine years and have been Athletic Director at STU since 2008.
I am fortunate to be the NB Sports Hall of Fame and the Sussex and Fredericton Walls of Fame.
My competitive spirit continues today as I love to race in triathlons and completed my first Half-Ironman in 2012.
I have great memories growing up in Sussex and loved my school experience.
My coaches and Phys. Ed teachers were fantastic, in particular Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Muscroft and Mr. MacAleenan.
Thanks for the memories, I very proud to be a former Sonic!


​David Alston, 1985

I grew up on a small farm near Sussex and graduated from SRHS in 1985. Back in ’81, at the old Sussex Junior High School, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend two weeks working on one of the school’s Commodore CBM computers during an Advanced Math course. It was a good friend that pointed out just how creative one could be coding on a computer and the rest was history. High school was a mix of playing Sonic’s Basketball and programming on the C64. That led to consecutive summer jobs as a programmer at Royal Gardens (in Penobsquis), which helped put me through university at Acadia.
With BBA in hand I was off to Saint John to work with NBTel (now Aliant) in a number of roles that mixed my love of marketing and tech. That experience taught me what is was like to focus on the customer and that you could be a world leader regardless of where you lived. Then I got a taste of what it was like to work at my first startup, being New North Media (became Innovatia). I loved the adrenaline rush that came from creating something from scratch and after that it was pretty much tech startups for me – iMagicTV (acquired by Alcatel), Radian6 (acquired by and now Introhive, with a couple of PR/Ad agency firms in between.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to constantly work with amazing talent here in NB. I’ve never had a need to “move to the big city” because frankly the ability to build world-class tech here and take it to the world has always been possible. In fact, with my past two startups most of my team worked remotely, as I did – when I wasn’t on a plane. The need for punching the clock and doing time at a physical office is mostly over. At least for tech, it’s all moving to “the cloud”.
While my family would tell me I eat and sleep business, I have had a chance to do a few other fun things along the way. From performing in Saint John Theatre Company and Improvisational Corporation productions (sorry for subjecting you to the constant repeat airings of Funzai on Rogers TV J) and coaching a bit of basketball, to co-authoring a few Christmas plays with my wife and singing the occasional Johnny Cash tune.
Due to my line of work I have a pretty heavy presence on social & traditional media channels. I’m honoured to be ranked as one of the top 10 CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) on Twitter, to be quoted or mentioned in over a half dozen books on Social Media and Marketing, and to have spoken at probably 50 events around the world. And of all of the trips I’ve been fortunate to make in my life, one of the most fulfilling has to be a recent trip to Uganda. It was the warmth of the people and their amazing community spirit that reminded me so much about growing up in Sussex.
Thanks for asking me to be part of the SRHS Sonic Walk of Fame.
You can find me @davidalston on Twitter and


​Laura Araneda, 1987

Laura graduated from Sussex Regional High School in 1987. She graduated from University of New Brunswick in 1991 with a Bachelors of Business Administration.
Laura Araneda is currently the President of Progressive Diamond Drilling Inc. and Terrain Drill Solutions Inc. Araneda believes that attention to quality, safety and environment have helped VPDD and Terrain grow and stand out in a highly competitive mining market by staying focused on doing things right, by drilling safely with care for the environment, employees and host communities.
Some of Laura Araneda’s recent accomplishments are:
Nominated for RBC Female Entrepreneur of the year in 2010 & 2012 where she represented Atlantic Canada as the finalist for 2012 Female Canadian Entrepreneur Impact Award.
A Charter member of the Atlantic Canada Chapter Women’s President Organization.
2012 & 2010, voted in the Top Profit W100 Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs’.
Nominated for the Ernst and Young Atlantic Entrepreneur of the year 2011,
Serves on the Local NB Economic Advisory Board with the aim of growing our local economy.

​Andrew Johnston, 1987

Andrew (Andy) Johnston grew up on a farm near Sussex and graduated from SRHS as class valedictorian in 1987. He then completed a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at UNB, receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s medal as top graduate in the faculty before completing a PhD in Materials Engineering at the University of British Columbia in 1997. Based on his thesis work, conducted in partnership with Boeing, he co-founded Vancouver-based Convergent Manufacturing Technologies (CMT), which develops computer software for modeling of aircraft manufacturing processes. CMT’s software continues to be used by companies around the world to help develop advanced new aircraft including the Boeing 787.
In 1997, Andy joined the National Research Council (NRC) Institute for Aerospace Research in Ottawa, leading NRC’s research in aerospace polymer composite materials. During his 16 years at NRC, he has worked in many areas of composites research with companies, universities and research organizations around the world. His current work includes leading world-class research teams developing composites from non-food crops to make aircraft and other vehicles and using carbon nanotubes and other advanced materials to develop better protective armour for security personnel and soldiers.
Andy has been an Adjunct Professor at UNB and the University of Victoria and taught for several years at Carleton University. He has served on a number of national and international scientific and engineering committees, including presently chairing the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Banting post-doctoral fellowship committee.
When not engaged in professional activities, Andy enjoys spending time with his lovely wife and six year old daughter, reading and playing sports, particularly hockey. He credits much of his professional success to the excellent education he received at SRHS, not only in math and the sciences but also in subjects such as languages and history which provided him with the ability to effectively communicate with his peers and the broader community.


Anne McShane, 1987

"I'm a community builder.
I try to keep myself busy and (mostly) out of trouble by helping to move urban issues forward. I've served on the board and executive of Uptown Saint John for the last 10 years, chaired the citizen advisory committee for Saint John's new municipal plan (PlanSJ), and sit on the city's Planning Advisory Committee. Most recently, I was fortunate enough to be asked to chair the urban development team for the region's new economic development plan (True Growth 2.0). All that to say, I want to help build a more livable and sustainable city.
In the end, many of the lessons I take with me to the tables of debate on urban issues come from the quality of life experiences I learned naturally from living in Sussex. Walkability, a centralized business core and animated streetscapes are all things Sussex does well and successful cities aspire to do well...things I may have taken for granted when growing up, but can certainly see the advantages of today.
The path here was pretty straight forward. I played basketball and field hockey at Sussex Regional High and graduated in 1987. I finished up a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Marketing from Mount Allison University and returned to Sussex to work at Potacan Mining Company for 6 years (a little accounting, a little human resources). I then moved to Saint John to work, first, for a Real Estate company as a comptroller and, later, as a contract manager for an IT company. Ultimately, hungry to build something of my own, I opened a retail wellness store, The Feel Good Store, in Uptown Saint John which I've had for the last 11 years. You can track me down on twitter spouting all sorts of urban nonsense: @feelgoodsj"

​Akoulina Connell (Akou), 1988

Akoulina Connell (Akou) grew up in Sussex, N.B., and went to Sussex Regional High, graduating in 1988. While she was a student at Sussex Regional High School, she had lead roles in Annie Get Your Gun and The Pajama Game. She also played field hockey.
She completed her B.A. in English literature at St.F.X., where she had lead roles in Theatre Antigonish productions of The Pirates of Penzance and Jesus Christ Superstar. She played AUAA field hockey, managed the St.F.X. volleyball team, and volunteered as a peer tutor.
After St. F.X., she tried a year of the Interior Design program at Ryerson, and then switched to an M.A. in English Literature at McGill. Prior to taking the Executive Director post at artsnb, she was Managing Editor at Goose Lane Editions, and has a background in communications for the Federal government, with career sidebars in marketing and IT.
When she isn’t in the office or on the road for artsnb business, she is a dedicated arts and soccer mom. Writing short fiction and spending time outdoors are also high on her priority list.
Dare to dream and be true to your passions, whatever people say about the job prospects of your interest area. A liberal arts degree *can* take you on a truly inspiring and meaningful career path - and an authentic life dedicated to your passion means high quality of life.

Lloyd Ravn, 1990

Lloyd Ravn graduated from Sussex Regional High School in 1990
Born and raised in Sussex, NB, Lloyd began performing stand-up comedy in Toronto in 2006. His material is autobiographical in nature, focusing on his life as a husband, father of three, former chef, and the youngest person named Lloyd most people have ever met. Lloyd is the founder and producer of the Bay of Funny Comedy Circuit. He has performed at venues across Canada and in the United States, and was selected out of 700 entrants as a top-10 finalist for the “Canada’s Next Top Comic 2011″ competition.
Lloyd can be heard on CJCW (AM 590 in Sussex) as the host of Lloyd’s Morning Cup of Jokes, a 2-minute segment featuring clips from some of his favourite comedians (including himself!) from around the world. His comedy is also in rotation on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
He was featured as the comedian of the week by GQ Magazine in the UK, who called him one of “North America’s hottest young comics” (even though he recently turned 40) and predicted he would soon “storm the Just for Laughs Festival.”
Studying under some of the best sketch and improv comics in Canada, Lloyd completed the Second City Improvisation course series from the world-famous Second City Training Centre in Toronto.
Lloyd has written about comedy and humour for magazines and even a high school literacy textbook, Nelson Literacy, currently in use across Canada.
After about 15 years away, Lloyd recently moved back to his hometown of Sussex, but still has never tried cow tipping.


Henderson Howells, Honorary Sonic

Henderson Howells came by his passion for country music honestly, growing up in a highly musical family. Henderson started playing his father’s jumbo acoustic at five years old, and his grandmother gave him his first guitar shortly thereafter. Henderson started learning from his father and uncle, and then started teaching himself. He would listen to the radio and play along with the songs every chance he had. At age 13 he would watch live bands and then run home and imitate what they did until he got it right. From that point on, Henderson could usually be found with a guitar in hand and singing various styles of music. He then began to write songs as well. Henderson then started playing live shows with a family band at age 14, at which point he started to play for Chris Cummings around New Brunswick, and played numerous live shows throughout the years with other local talent during that time.
At age 19 Henderson moved to Brockville, Ontario to play guitar and sing with country rock band Lonesome Road, while playing along with various bands covering a wide spectrum of genres. He played and sang at shows opening for artists such as The Barenaked Ladies, The Association, Valdi, Garnet Rogers, Johnny Reid, as well as numerous others. Along with guitar playing and song writing, Henderson also is a vocalist who enjoys playing around with a variety of instruments. He has done numerous recordings in the studio; playing guitar, singing, writing and arranging as well as producing and playing tracks for 
R & B, bluegrass, blues, country, Christian contemporary, and various other styles of music for musicians over the years and is currently writing and working on his new full length album In Nashville. Henderson currently resides in Ottawa Canada.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best musicians and people in the world. Being from a small town it has helped me to just be myself. When you are good to others they will be good to you. Never forget family and friends, Dream big, Trust in the good Lord above and If someone says you can't do something try twice as hard and prove them all wrong.
Thanks so much for asking me to take part in the Sonic Walk of Fame


​Ryan Sullivan, 1995

After visiting hundreds of high schools in over 50 countries Ryan still considers SRHS as one of the best!
In high school Ryan played sports and was involved in many clubs and volunteer opportunities but he looks back at the Dairy Town Classic tourneys as some of his fondest high school memories.
While a student at St. Thomas University Ryan had an idea for a business and founded Sully's Ice Cream Parlour in 1998. Sully's has employed dozens of students and has awarded over $50,000 in scholarships to SRHS graduates.
Ryan has remained active in his community by volunteering with a variety of organizations and boards. He was named one of Atlantic Canada's "Emerging Leaders", selected for the Governor General Leadership Canada program, and was voted president of an international organization with over 1500 members from 100 different countries.
Ryan is currently the Director of Recruitment at St. Thomas University in Fredericton where he lives with his wife, Julie.
He returns to Sussex often, especially in the summer for ice cream.


Angelia Crealock, 1997

I was born and raised on a farm near Sussex. I graduated from Sussex Regional High School in 1997. All my life I have been very active and played varsity; volleyball, soccer, field hockey and basketball while at SRHS. I continued my studies at Dalhousie University (therapeutic recreation) while continuing with my love of basketball as Captain of the Dal Tigers. I was named Rookie of the year in the Atlantic conference my first year and won various personal and team awards over the next four years.

After university I was contacted by a European agent who was looking for a Canadian point guard to play professional basketball in France.
I have been here since 2002 and have had the chance to live in multiple regions (Lyon, Dijon, Reims, Strasbourg). I also took advantage of free higher studies and completed a degree in fitness and personal training and a coaching degree.
My current team is CASE Saint Etienne. We are disputing playoffs until the end of May. Then I will be back for the summer to visit friends and family.
Thank you for adding me to the SRHS Walk of Fame!


Aairk Wells, Honorary Sonic​

Aarik Wells is a native of Sussex, New Brunswick. He studied at the Quinte Ballet School and Canada’s National Ballet School and joined the company as a Member of the Corps de Ballet in 2004.
Mr. Wells repertoire includes The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Onegin, An Italian Straw Hat, The Taming of the Shrew, The Seagull, Carmen, Opus 19/The Dreamer, West Side Story Suite, the second detail, Etudes, The Four Seasons and Emergence.
Mr. Wells danced in the world premiere of Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky and the North American premieres of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Christopher Wheeldon and Hamlet by Kevin O’Day.
In 2010, Mr. Wells participated in Ontario Dance Weekend as part of an ensemble cast in In The Cantina by Robert Stephen with fellow dancers Jenna Savella, Klara Houdet, James Leja and Christopher Stalzer. Mr. Wells has also performed with Opera Atelier in Toronto.

Morgan Langille, 1999

I graduated from UNB Fredericton with two Bachelor's degrees; biology and computer science. I then completed my PhD at Simon Fraser University in BC and my first postdoctoral fellowship "post-doc" at University of California, Davis.
Now, I'm currently at my second post-doc position at Dalhousie University. My scientific research focuses on developing and using new computational methods to conduct biological research and is referred to as "bioinformatics". More specifically, I study the DNA or genomes from thousands of different species of bacteria to better understand how they interact with the environment and human health.
I am also interested in "open science", which pushes for making data and literature freely available to the public, and have created a website based on the popular BitTorrent sharing protocol to allow scientists to more easily share their data. In total, I have co-authored over 20 scientific papers, 15 invited presentations, and received over $200,000 in scientific funding.


Robert Roulston, 1999

Ashley Roulston, 2005​

Siblings, Robert and Ashley Roulston, graduated from SRHS in 1999 and 2005. They were keen participants of the sporting community of Sussex. Robert went on to represent McGill University in wrestling and Ashley went on to represent University of Victoria as a golfer. That determination that comes from being a dedicated athlete may have been a factor in their determination to succeed in the business world.
Robert graduated from McGill (Biology), and then the two went to University of Victoria at the same time where Robert completed a mechanical engineering degree, and Ashley completed a BCom degree.
During their undergrads they entered their ideas into a few business plan competitions. They were successful in these competitions and received a lot of attention and mentorship from the Victoria business community, who encouraged them to follow through with their ideas. From there the duo incorporated their current company (Industrial Plankton Inc.) based on design ideas that Robert had been formulating over several years. With Ashley working the business side of things and Robert working the scientific side of things, the business is now a producer of a bioreactor that produces algae for shellfish hatcheries. This is the start of several ideas which they hope to develop to improve the sustainability of the aquaculture industry, and global algae production.

Katie Swift, 2000

Born and raised in Sussex, Katie Swift grew up watching her dad rehearse and perform with the community theatre troupe, Class Act (comprised of local teachers). Now, a theatre artist based in Toronto, she was most recently seen at the Summerworks Festival in Toronto performing Wallace Shawn’s Obie Award-winning one-person show, The Fever. Upon graduating from Dalhousie University’s Acting Program in 2006, she continued her training at the National Theatre School of Canada, in Montreal. Since then, she has worked in theatres across the country, including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Centaur Theatre in Montreal, and Theatre New Brunswick, in Fredericton. Selected theatre credits include: Haunted Hillbilly (Centaur); A Doll’s House (TNB/Montgomery); Vimy (NAC/GCTC); Saint Carmen of The Main (NAC/Canadian Stage); Everyday is a beautiful day; Don’t dream… (Rhubarb/Cohort); The Crucible; Our Town; Jerome; The Odyssey (Two Planks); East of Berlin (2btheatre) – Merritt Theatre Award Nomination; Macbeth; Urinetown (DalTheatre). TV: Murdoch Mysteries.
She is a founding member of Cohort Theatre in Toronto, with frequent collaborator, and current Artistic Director of the Directing Program at the National Theatre School, Rose Plotek. Upcoming: Katie will play the title role in award-winning playwright, Jill Connell’s newest work, The Supine Cobbler (A Contemporary Canadian Western for Girls), directed by Rose Plotek. She can also be seen this August at the Summerworks Festival in SideMart Theatrical Grocery’s production of Trying for the Kingdom.
She is forever indebted to Sussex teachers, Tammy Morris, Phyllis Corbett, Patricia Stout, Sheri Smidt and Bonny Hill, her original theatre mentors.

Christian Meier, Honorary Sonic

Christian became a professional cyclist at the age of 21 however he started cycling at 16.
Training almost every day and not giving himself any other option but to succeed, he has been able to accomplish his dream of riding a bike and living in Europe as a career.
He has won Canadian national championships, raced on the highest level with the best cyclists, all over the world, and has even made it to the podium a few times in the last couple years. He plays a key role in the team composed of 30 elite riders and represents Canada as one of only 6 professional world tour cyclists.
You can follow Christian on Twitter: @christianmeier


Do you want to join our Sonic Walk of Fame?
If you would like to be included or know someone we can include in our celebration please send a picture and a small write up to