Date: Monday, April 20, 2015 Schools in the Strait Region Celebrate Education Week Four Teachers Recognized for Their Contributions Port Hastings, NS:—Great things are happening in schools throughout the Strait Region. Education Week, April 19 to 25, 2015, provides an opportunity for parents/guardians and the general public to celebrate the achievements of students and teachers, and to acknowledge the contributions that many people, in supporting roles, make to our education system. This year’s Education Week theme is Schools as Communities: Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors / Les écoles communautaires citoyennes: ouverture de coeur, ouverture d’esprit, ouverture des portes. Many of the region's schools are participating in Education Week activities highlighting learning opportunities that are supporting student achievement by engaging the community through service learning, community projects and co-operative education initiatives. One of the features of the Provincial Education Week Committee’s activities is the recognition of educators and partners who have made outstanding contributions to their work relative to the theme. The Strait Regional School Board congratulates the following recipients who have been formally recognized for their commitment and dedication to Schools as Communities during the Provincial Education Week presentation held this afternoon at École du Carrefour in Dartmouth: - Robert MacDonald, Teacher, Richmond Education Centre/Academy - Mike MacIsaac, Teacher, St. Mary's Education Centre/Academy - Tiffany MacNeil, Teacher, H.M. MacDonald Elementary School - Rob Ryan, Guidance Counsellor, Tamarac Education Centre During the Regular Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 6, 2015, the Strait Regional School Board will also recognize the four recipients and their significant contributions to student learning and for encouraging students to be active in their school and communities. Board Chair Francine Boudreau extended sincere thanks to the teachers for sharing their many talents with students in the Strait Region. “Your leadership and support of student learning and success is truly making a meaningful difference in students’ lives,” said Chair Boudreau. - 30 - Note: Information is attached below highlighting the SRSB Recipients of the 2015 Education week Awards. For more information, please contact: Paul Landry, Director of Programs and Student Services, 902-625-7083; Deanna Gillis, Coordinator of Communications, 902-625-7093; firstname.lastname@example.org Strait Regional School Board Recipients of the 2015 Education Week Awards Robert MacDonald– Richmond Education Centre/Academy Through his classroom practices, volunteer initiatives and coaching capacity, Mr. MacDonald has been wholeheartedly committed to the children and youth of Richmond County. In all his roles, he encourages and inspires Richmond Education Centre/Academy students to work hard and succeed to the best of their abilities. As a teacher and coach, Robert strives to give all students an opportunity to develop and use initiative, leadership and judgement. This approach encourages students to take an active and meaningful role in both their studies and sport. His commitment to his students and school community is unsurpassed. Robert has been an outstanding role model to both his students and community and is very deserving of the Education Week Award recognition. The entire Richmond Education Centre/Academy school community is truly appreciative of his dedicated efforts. Mike MacIsaac– St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy As the Options and Opportunities Lead Teacher and Co-operative Education Teacher at St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy, Mr. MacIsaac strives to provide students with opportunities to interact with the school and the community in which they live. In the school, students participate in several school-based service learning initiatives including the Fluoride Rinse Program, the Breakfast Program, and the building of and caring for, a school garden. In the community, Mike’s students have been engaged in and benefitted from service learning opportunities such as organizing and planning activities for the residents at the local nursing home. As part of the Options and Opportunities Program, Mike has developed a strong network of valuable partnerships with local businesses who have opened their doors to students. Business owners have graciously shared their time and expertise with students in presentations and on-site training. Students have significantly benefitted from hands-on experiences completed through co-op placements with local businesses and have enhanced their employability skills. Without a doubt, Mike has worked diligently to support student learning and success by engaging students and the community through service learning, community projects and cooperative education. Tiffany MacNeil– H.M. MacDonald Elementary School Ms. MacNeil is a dedicated teacher who embodies this year’s theme in her school and community. At the school level, Tiffany’s commitment and leadership has been integral to the success of numerous service learning and extra-curricular activities. Last year, she supervised the H.M. MacDonald Student Leadership Group’s fundraisers for the IWK Children’s Hospital and the local food bank, as well as visits to the local nursing home and the Pink in the Rink initiative. Tiffany has worked tirelessly to provide direction and guidance as well as to raise awareness among students in relation to International Child Labour. Under her supervision, students created informative PowerPoint presentations that were used to teach their peers about this important global issue. Through her weekly meetings with the student leaders, Tiffany empowers them to take responsibility and be accountable for the community projects they choose while encouraging their social activism and awareness. At the community level, Tiffany has been a key coordinator for the "A Playground for Every Body" project at Antigonish Education Centre. This project’s focus is on creating an accessible community-based playground for everyone to enjoy. Tiffany has been actively involved from the project's inception sharing her skills in the areas of design, media, fundraising, promotion and writing applications for financial support, to name a few. She also finds time to serve as a leader for the local 4-H Club. Through her innovative teaching practices, Tiffany is supporting student development and success by providing students with multiple opportunities to take action and become engaged in thoughtful projects that are making a positive difference in school and in the community. Rob Ryan– Tamarac Education Centre In both his in school practices and community involvement, Mr. Ryan is a firm believer in the traditional African proverb“it takes a village to raise a child”. Rob truly believes schools embody communities through “open hearts, open minds and open doors”. Whether it was supporting students through consultations with colleagues or community agency partners, he has always been available to discuss students’ needs and share his ideas on how to work, and build a rapport, with youth and in particular those experiencing specific challenges. As Guidance Counselor at Tamarac Education Centre, Rob’s efforts have helped to create a safe and welcoming learning environment for all. He always has his door open to students and encourages positive social interactions by allowing them to have their recess and lunch in the guidance area. His professional leadership and compassionate abilities have also been instrumental in his role as Crisis Intervention Coordinator for the Strait Regional School Board for the past number of years. During this time, he has provided leadership to the Regional Crisis Intervention Team as well as School Crisis Intervention Teams as they dealt with various situations that significantly impacted students and school communities. Rob’s calming presence and down-to-earth approach have provided a pillar of support to students, staff and the broader school community. Tamarac Education Centre has also benefitted from Rob’s skills as sound and light technician which have enhanced student performances and school events. Rob truly cares about children and youth and is always there for them regardless of how big or small their concerns. Rob’s commitment and dedication to bettering the lives of students and school communities makes him a very worthy recipient of a 2015 Education Week Award.