Board Awards – 2016

Board Awards – 2016

Rainbow District School Board paid tribute to dedicated employees and community partners on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 with the presentation of Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program, Community Partnership Awards, Awards for Excellence, the Go Green Globe Awards, the Barbara Konarek Memorial Award, the William N. Roman Teacher of the Year Awards and the Apple Award. Employees with 25 and 35 years of service were also recognized.

“With the presentation of these awards, we continue a rich tradition of honouring excellence in Rainbow Schools,” said Board Chair Doreen Dewar. “We are proud of our employees and community partners for their commitment. On behalf of the Board, I would like to congratulate all award recipients for their outstanding achievement.”

“The contributions of our individual award recipients vary, but they all have one thing in common,” said Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “They are dedicated employees and dynamic educational partners who go above and beyond the call of duty to reach minds and touch hearts in our schools and the communities that we serve.”

Awards for outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program – 2016

A staff member accepting an award

Patrick Barnholden – Teacher – Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School

A member of the Equity and Inclusive Education Committee, Patrick Barnholden has been an outstanding role model and advocate in Rainbow Schools. A decade ago, he organized the first Gay-Straight Alliance in the Board at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. He articulately and passionately communicated his vision, strategy and goals and then worked diligently to implement his ideas. He then partnered with the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (formerly known as Jer’s Vision) to host Dare to Stand Out, which has grown into an annual board-wide event with 300 student participants. Under his leadership, Rainbow was also the first board in Ontario to host a Gay-Straight Alliance dance. Patrick worked on the Board’s equity survey, gleaning data to determine next steps. He is currently leading a team of educators to develop a resource to support students who identify as transgender. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Sandie Martin – Teacher – MacLeod Public School

Sandie Martin has been a teacher and coach at MacLeod Public School since 2009. She shares her love of basketball and volleyball with junior and intermediate students. She combines expertise, enthusiasm and energy for athletics to ensure that MacLeod athletes excel in all areas of their development. Good is never good enough for Sandie Martin. She has an expectation that Mustangs exemplify sportsmanship and consistently play to the best of their own ability. Sandie has mentored several new coaches in order to help build the co-curricular program at MacLeod. She gives countless hours to organizing games and supporting tournaments at the school and Board level. Sandie vigorously advocates for a healthy lifestyle for all students. She also offers her guidance in selecting equipment for the ever-expanding co-curricular program. The MacLeod community has benefited from Sandie’s love of sport and her willingness to share it. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Antoinette Purdon – Parent Volunteer – MacLeod Public School

Antoinette Purdon is an active parent volunteer. She is a member of the MacLeod School Council, attends field trips, promotes school functions, and participates in fundraisers. Antoinette has two daughters at MacLeod and has been supporting the Mustangs’ co-curricular program since her oldest, now in Grade 8, enrolled ten years ago. Antoinette fundraises for teams by cooking hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches; organizes tournaments; helps sell school spirit wear; drives athletes where they need to go and supports track and field. A skilled athlete, Antoinette has coached many basketball teams to victory, at the junior and intermediate levels, and coaches junior girls’ basketball at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. Antoinette has also mentored new teacher coaches, helping them to build the skills and knowledge necessary to grow the athletics program. MacLeod is an amazing place for children because of parent volunteers like Antoinette Purdon. Thank you!

Community Partnership Award – 2016

A staff member accepting an award

Mike Beaudry – Bus Driver – Leuschen Transportation

Mike Beaudry has been safely transporting students for Leuschen Transportation since 2007. He greets children by name, with a big smile and a friendly hello, and goes out of his way to cheer them up when they have had a tough day. When students are selling items for a school excursion or the less fortunate, he is always willing to support their goal. When they forget personal belongings on the bus, he calls home and delivers them in his own vehicle once he has completed his route. With his sincere care for children, Mike Beaudry is an exceptional role model. His demeanor impacts the day in a positive way, making children available for learning once they arrive at school. Many students who have had Mike as their bus driver think of him as being the one person who truly made a difference. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association

The Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association restores water quality and the fisheries resource on Manitoulin Island and the Great Lakes that surround it. They meet their mandate through collaborative partnerships and education with local stakeholders. This powerful combination has led to a number of educational excursions for students. Students visit a local fish hatchery and learn the value of stocking streams to revitalize the natural aquatic ecosystem and enhance recreational fishing. They also tour rivers and creeks to learn about restoration and research. Manitoulin Streams offers in-school adventures as well, from GIS mapping, learning about invasive species to micro hatcheries where students raise brook trout to be released. Through these dynamic and authentic learning experiences, students gain an appreciation of the important role they play in protecting and preserving our natural resources. Accepting the award on behalf of Manitoulin Streams is Chair Ted Williamson and Co-ordinator Seija Deschenes. Thank you for being a partner in education. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Jackie Balleny, Jennifer Rifou, Rachelle Scanlan, Cindy Watson
Wobniar Construction – Sudbury Secondary School

They call themselves Wobniar Construction or Rainbow read backwards. Together, they form an incredible creative team supporting the Arts Education Program at Sudbury Secondary School. Jackie Balleny, Jennifer Rifou, Rachelle Scanlan and Cindy Watson design and develop the beautiful sets for the school’s main stage productions, providing the perfect platform for the magic of theatre. And Rachelel Scanlan, Jennifer Rifou, Cindy Watson and Jackie Balleny do so with passion and perseverance, bringing a positive and generous “whatever you need” attitude to the tasks at hand. They have recruited many friends to join their efforts, forming a community of builders. Exceptional role models for students, they are a shining example of what can happen when people work together towards a common goal. Rainbow District School Board thanks, from left, Jackie Balleny, Cindy Watson, Rachelle Scanlan and Jennifer Rifou for their immense contribution.

Go Green Globe Awards – 2016

A staff member accepting an award

S. Geiger Public School

S. Geiger Public School received a Silver level EcoSchools certification with the help of their very active Eco Team, made up of students, staff and parent volunteers. The Eco Team delivers regular eco-related presentations and morning announcements. Students participate in classroom projects, exploring modern energy trends, investigating reusable energy sources, monitoring the effects of pollution on clean water, and examining the use of earthworms to convert organic waste into fertilizer. Students enjoy eco-challenges, including waste audits and litterless lunches, and are often rewarded for their environmentally friendly practices. The entire school community conserves energy regularly with lights out. Apple trees shade the schoolyard, and cedar log garden beds are used to grow vegetables for the school’s annual fall harvest feast. Staff and students continue to build prosperous relationships with community volunteers and partners to sustain their efforts. Congratulations S. Geiger Public School! Accepting the award on behalf of S. Geiger Public School are Principal Cori Pitre and teacher Justin Spencer who is a member of the school’s Eco Team.

A staff member accepting an award

Confederation Secondary School

Confederation Secondary School is currently working towards an Ontario EcoSchools certification. This provincial initiative encourages environmentally conscious behaviour through teamwork and leadership, energy conservation, waste minimization and school ground greening. At Confederation Secondary School, students demonstrate teamwork and leadership by participating in the Board’s monthly environmental challenges, including Water Bottle Free Day, Sweater Day and Eat Local Day. Staff and students promote eco-friendly practices, with Lights Out Fridays as well as schoolyard and neighbourhood clean ups. New students are given reusable stainless steel water bottles imprinted with environmental tips. Students and staff practice waste minimization through Good On One Side reusable single-sided paper bins, which are placed throughout the school in photocopy rooms, classrooms and computer labs. Students have also been taught how to properly grow and plant tree seedlings. Rainbow District School Board is pleased to recognize Confederation Secondary School for its efforts to foster sustainability. Congratulations! Accepting the award on behalf of Confederation Secondary School are Principal Pablo Gil-Alfau and teacher Catherine Carriere.

Awards for Excellence – 2016

A staff member accepting an award

Paula Fraser – Office Supervisor – Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School

When you enter the main office at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Paula Fraser greets you with a smile and a warm welcome. An exceptional Office Supervisor, she is an excellent ambassador for the school, where her professionalism and poise make the environment a better place to be. Everyone appreciates her “leave it with me” attitude, sense of humour, ability to handle emergencies with grace and fortitude, resourcefulness, flexibility, and her genuine care and compassion. In her daily interactions with students, parents, teachers and the community, she demonstrates strong interpersonal skills as she proceeds through her tasks, effortlessly juggling the many demands for her time and expertise. It is not uncommon for colleagues to call on her knowledge, which she willingly shares. Paula’s service extends beyond the school day as she generously helps out at school events, building positive relationships for the benefit of students. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Mike Gaudin – Custodian – R.H. Murray Public School

Prior to joining R.H. Murray Public School, Mike Gaudin was a custodian at Webbwood Public School, where he contributed to building community. Whether performing tasks for staff or having students accompany him during his rounds, Mike was always there for anyone in need. He completed his daily duties with pride, and went above and beyond by sharing his talent in arts and athletics. He designed and painted Webbwood Wildcat athletic murals throughout the gym, artwork that will be featured on school spirit wear. He also coached junior and intermediate volleyball teams, leading students into the top ten at Rainbow District School Board tournaments. Graduates would keep Mike updated on their developing skills and proud moments, and he would often make time to watch them play at the high school level. An exceptional role model, Mike Gaudin is most deserving of an Award for Excellence.

A staff member accepting an award

Michele Henschel – Program Coordinator – Gord Ewin Centre for Education

As Program Coordinator for Science and Technological Studies from Grades 7 to 12, Michele Henschel shares her expertise and passion across the Board to improve student achievement. She is also a past Chair of the Science Consultants and Coordinators Association of Ontario and volunteers on the Program Advisory Committee for Science North. Teachers learn strategies to plan lessons and assessments that incorporate curriculum expectations in a fun and engaging way. She celebrates what works well, credits students and teachers for doing their best, and inspires all with new practices supported by research. Her effectiveness is reflected in the higher applied science pass rates. An invaluable resource, teachers readily approach Michele for advice and guidance. Her commitment to student success, inquiry approach to science and technology education, and whole-hearted support for colleagues make her an ideal candidate of an Award for Excellence.

A staff member accepting an award

Linda Houle – Lunchroom Supervisor – A.B. Ellis Public School

Linda Houle has been a lunchroom supervisor at A.B. Ellis Public School for more than 10 years, and her impact extends far beyond nutritional breaks. Giving and caring, she demonstrates a genuine concern for student well-being and enriches the school experience. A dedicated volunteer, she does the little things that make the school a great place to be, whether decorating for the holidays, helping out at school events, sharing a kind word with a student, or providing extra support with reading and mathematics. In return, she insists that the students demonstrate respect and perseverance, qualities that will contribute to their success at school and beyond. Linda makes a point of learning the names of students and takes time to talk to them about what is happening in their life. She also has an excellent rapport with teachers who appreciate her many contributions. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Lise Orsini – Educational Assistant – Northeastern Elementary School

Lise Orsini has dedicated her career to inspiring students with special needs to see their true potential. An Educational Assistant since 1998, she has touched many hearts in many schools. Lise encourages students to persevere through difficult times by making learning fun. Working with a student who was visually impaired changed her view of the world, encouraging her to support students with special needs in new ways. Consistent and fair, she gives students the voice they need to advocate for themselves. Her support, communication and collaboration with the classroom teacher, students, families and community agencies are second to none. She also willingly shares her expertise with colleagues, for the benefit of all students. In her role, Lise models two philosophies – each person within the team can make a difference and when we all work together, we can accomplish great things. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Line Roberge – Teacher – Sudbury Secondary School

As Program Leader for Arts Education, Line Roberge is a dynamic educator with a deep understanding of teaching and learning. A consummate professional, she connects with students and cares about their well-being. Grounded in a firm belief that all students can achieve success, Line creates a classroom climate built on trust. Students are encouraged to make an investment in their own success and to become active, competent and critical lifelong learners. As a producer, choreographer and director of Sudbury Secondary School’s main stage productions, Line has the ability to juggle managerial, instructional, performance and creative aspects with ease. She sets high standards and students rise to the occasion. Line stays current, acquiring new teaching and learning practices for the benefit of students. She shares her expertise with colleagues and the arts community, where she is highly respected. She is also a role model for resiliency. Congratulations!

A staff member accepting an award

Jim Wachnuk – Principal – Queen Elizabeth II Public School

Jim Wachnuk serves with a moral purpose and a strong commitment to raising standards in student achievement, personal well-being and the community as a whole. As Principal of Queen Elizabeth II Public School, he has built positive interpersonal relationships with students, staff, parents/guardians and partners. Parents are proud that their children attend Queen Elizabeth. Considered firm but fair, Principal Wachnuk has an exceptional rapport with students, demonstrating care, compassion and patience, particularly with students who require extra support. Jim Wachnuk leads by example. He actively engages in math professional learning, attends special education meetings, uses effective practices, and makes time to thank everyone for their contributions to the school community. His recognition has inspired everyone to go above and beyond not because it is expected, but because it is appreciated. Congratulations!

Barbara Konarek Memorial Award – 2016

Sue Del Riccio – Itinerant Teacher – Gord Ewin Centre for Education

Sue Del Riccio understands the need to educate the whole child. An exemplary educator with a deeply rooted moral purpose, her commitment to the well-being of students is evident on a daily basis. Sue has been a driving force in the development and implementation of Individualized Education Plans. She also plays a leadership role on the Rapid Mobilization Table and the Violence Threat Risk Assessment Steering Committee that bring agencies together to support students in crisis. Her primary objective is to find students the help they need within the community to get back on track and be successful in school. Sue recently completed the training to become certified to train others in the VTRA Level 1 process. When it comes to providing support to students in need, Sue works around the clock, putting safety and well-being first and foremost. She is most-deserving of the Barbara Konarek Memorial Award.

A staff member accepting an award

Cory Ross – Teacher – Lively District Secondary School

An Instrumental music teacher in the Intermediate Program at Lively District Secondary School, Cory Ross brings learning to life through music education, which reinforces academic skills and nurtures life skills. Over the years, he has taken 15 bands to MusicFest Canada, including the Grade 7 and Grade 8 concert bands at Lively District Secondary School, which earned a Gold standing this year. This is most impressive given that the Grade 7 Band is made up primarily of students who have just learned to play an instrument. He also runs a Rock Band development program. In addition to organizing concerts, many for fundraising events, Cory works tirelessly to inspire students to explore their musical talents through original works and performance opportunities. Many of his students continue to study, compose and share their musical talents following graduation. Congratulations! Joining Board Chair Doreen Dewar and Director of Education Norm Blaseg for the presentation of the William N. Roman Teacher of the Year Award are Mrs. Olga Roman and daughter Donna Rudakas.