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Board Awards – 2018

Board Awards – 2018

Rainbow District School Board paid tribute to dedicated employees and community partners on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 with the presentation of Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program, the Community Partnership Award, Awards for Excellence, the Go Green Globe Awards, the Barbara Konarek Memorial Award and the William N. Roman Teacher of the Year 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.”



Dawn Russell – Coach – Algonquin Road Public School

Dawn Russell coaches the intermediate girls’ basketball team at Algonquin Road Public School. A junior accountant at Public Health Sudbury & Districts, she devotes her personal and vacation days to weekday practices, games, and tournaments. With more than 30 years of coaching experience, she has trained the highest level of competitive youth basketball players in Greater Sudbury. She has served as assistant coach for Senior girls basketball at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School for over a decade and, during the summer months helps to run open practices at Lo-Ellen Park as well as running regional teams with Ontario Basketball. She volunteers her time at Lo-Ellen Park’s Information Night each year. She also is involved with competitive club basketball with the JAM club and has run teams from U12 to U15 girls. Dawn Russell is a kind, caring and effective coach who brings out the best in her players. Always upbeat, positive and encouraging, she has the traits of a natural born leader. She provides advice that players can understand and implement, tailored to their individual strengths and experience. For Dawn, mistakes are opportunities for growth. Players respect her leadership. Her guidance has nurtured in them high team morale, good sportsmanship and a lifelong love for the sport. Without her, local youth basketball wouldn’t be where it is today. Congratulations on your Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program, Dawn. Thank you for your commitment to Rainbow Schools.


Perry Sakki – Teacher – Sudbury Secondary School

The Program Leader of Special Education at Sudbury Secondary School, Perry Sakki is a highly respected member of the school’s coaching staff. He has developed and led the cross-country running and Nordic skiing teams at the school for many years. He has also coached track and field. Perry has helped to organize several local, regional and provincial Nordic Skiing championships. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience with Nordic skiing as a former national team member. He co-convened the OFSAA Nordic Ski Championships in 2015 and 2018 in Sudbury. The 2018 event attracted over 800 participants from over 100 schools across the province. Perry is a vital member of the Laurentian Nordic Ski Club, helping to develop and improve the trails for users 12 months of the year. The scenic trails surrounding Laurentian University, which were revitalized in 2013, provide the perfect venue for competitions in all seasons. Rainbow District School Board athletes have enjoyed great success in Nordic Skiing. Local schools and athletes have garnered 42 first place finishes since the event’s inception, making Nordic Skiing one of the most successful sports for Sudbury area schools. As a coach and co-convenor, Perry Sakki has played a vital role in the success of Nordic Skiing locally and provincially. He is a most deserving recipient of an Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program. Congratulations!


Camille Vallière – Teacher – Valley View Public School

When the track at Laurentian University was revitalized in 2009, an electronic timing system was included in the list of facility improvements. The system provides photo finishes accurate to within one thousandth of a second. Elementary track events are now run to the same standard as high school, regional and even provincial events, with results lit up on a neon board at the end of each race. When the system was installed, an appeal was made for operators. Camille Vallière completed the training and kept her skills sharp to this day. She is one of four individuals in the entire Greater Sudbury area qualified to run the system, which eliminates ties and improves accuracy. Camille Vallière coaches track and field teams. She also brings a class of student helpers to the Challenge Meet each year. In addition to student events, Camille has helped at Track North’s Black Flies meets. She also introduced the popular FitSpirit to Grades 5 to 8 girls at Valley View Public School. An avid volleyball and slo-pitch participant, when she is not coaching track and field and overseeing photo finishes, she convenes the board-wide elementary volleyball championships each year. A total of 92 teams participated this past year alone. She is a most deserving recipient of an Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program. Congratulations!



Kinsmen Club of Sudbury

When students with special needs gather at the Laurentian University track to take part in the Rainbow District School Board’s annual Challenge Meet, they participate in races, high jump, long jump, softball throw, shot put, and other track and field events. While school and board staff and parents/guardians cheer them on to victory, there is another team on the field that plays an equally important role. They are members of the Kinsmen Club of Sudbury who provide and prepare a barbecue lunch, complete with refreshments. It’s a much-anticipated reward at the end of a hot day of competition and camaraderie. The Kinsmen Club of Sudbury’s mission is to serve the community’s greatest needs. Their largest and best-known fundraiser is the annual Kinsmen house draw, now in its 35th year. All proceeds from the draw are given back to the community for the benefit of children and seniors, through food initiatives, sporting events, support for non-profit agencies working with children and families, Special Olympics, The House of Kin, local medical needs and more. For its ongoing support of the Challenge Meet and Rainbow District School Board’s students with special needs, the Kinsmen Club of Sudbury places first in the hearts of our schools and our students. Rainbow District School Board is pleased to honour club members with a Community Partnership Award.

Photo: Rainbow District School Board Chair, Doreen Dewar, and Director of Education, Norm Blaseg, present a Community Partnership Award to the Kinsmen Club of Sudbury. Members include, from left, Dave Battaino, Glenn Drury, Rob LeBlanc, Roz Garrett, President Keith Lausch and Dan Dowdall.

Photo of Dr. Scott Fairgrieve

Dr. Scott Fairgrieve – Laurentian University

The Founding Chair of the Department of Forensic Science and the Director of the Forensic Osteology Lab at Laurentian University, Dr. Scott Fairgrieve has been an enthusiastic contributor to the Lockerby Composite School Forensic Science program since its inception in 2008. A formal partnership was established between the school and the university in October of 2009, thanks to Dr. Fairgrieve’s support and advocacy. The partnership provides numerous benefits to the next generation of scientists, including access to forensic lectures, research, field trips, tours, labs and mentorships. Students also network with experts in the industry, including professors and graduates. Dr. Fairgrieve believes the hands-on component is vital to student learning in this dynamic area of study. Students enjoy hearing first-hand accounts of current and past forensics cases. One class was even given the opportunity to extract their own DNA. Dr. Fairgrieve and his team are well known for being respectful, kind, well spoken, and confident in their work – the perfect role models for secondary school students. The success of the partnership has inspired a number of students to choose the field of forensics science for postsecondary studies and future career paths. Congratulations, Dr. Fairgrieve! Thank you for your ongoing contribution to Rainbow Schools.


R.H. Murray Public School

R.H. Murray Public School has been a certified Ontario EcoSchool for five years. The entire school community has adopted sustainable practices. They participate in Board-wide eco challenges such as Lights Out Days, Sweater Days, Plastic Free Days, World Water Week as well as Litterless and Boomerang Lunches. The Eco Team, led by teacher Lorna Oshell with student and staff volunteers, works together to set and attain green goals throughout the year. The group meets frequently to discuss eco needs and implement solutions. Members perform checks to ensure that lights are off when not in use, and complete waste audits to ensure garbage and recycling are properly sorted. Students built birdhouses for the schoolyard and added Good on One Side paper bins to classrooms. In recent years, the schoolyard was enhanced with butterfly and vegetable gardens as well as a boreal forest. Students take part in schoolyard cleanups and work with the Whitefish Lions Club on larger community cleanups. This year, the Eco Team received composting and recycling training from the City of Greater Sudbury and shared their knowledge with the entire school during an interactive assembly. R.H. Murray Public School now has the knowledge and the tools to launch a full composting program. Congratulations!

Photo: Rainbow District School Board Chair, Doreen Dewar, and Director of Education, Norm Blaseg, present the Go Green Globe Award to R.H. Murray Public School. From left are, teacher Sara Neva, student Sydney McLean, teacher Lorna Oshell, student Wyatt Oshell, teacher Katie Schell Arrowsmith, students Finlay Cuza and Andrew McIntyre and Principal Trevor Dewit.


Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School

The Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School Environmental Council, made up of student and staff volunteers, are true champions for sustainability. The Council spearheads eco-related projects that encourage student involvement. Students enjoy Board-wide eco-challenges including World Paper Free Week, Waste Reduction Week and World Water Week. Students are involved in community activities including Kivi Park cleanups, Walks for Wildlife and National Tree Day. The school also hosts an annual Recyclable Christmas Door Deca-thon. Students in the Specialist High Skills Major in Environment program developed an innovative self-sustaining aquaponics system to produce vegetables. Through a partnership with Conservation Sudbury, students recently embarked on an ecological project to assess and enhance a local artificial wetland that has been colonized by Blanding’s turtles. In the coming weeks, students will erect and care for their own greenhouse, located on Conservation Sudbury property. Last year, students took part in the Sudbury Garden Festival’s screening of ‘Seeds: the Untold Story’ and, this year, a group of students took a class trip to watch ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.’ Rainbow District School Board is pleased to recognize Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School for its efforts to foster sustainability. Congratulations!

Photo: Accepting the award from Director of Education Norm Blaseg and Board Chair Doreen Dewar are, from left, students Hugh Gibb, Kate Richards and Kelly Thompson with teacher Ryan Lafraniere and Principal Jeff McKibbon.



Gates Boudreau – Custodian – Redwood Acres Public School

Gates Boudreau’s career with the Board began in the summer of 1982. His dedicated service extends 35 years, 22 of which have been devoted to Redwood Acres Public School where he serves as custodian. Gates takes great pride in his work, restoring shine to dull floors, providing a clean and safe environment, and responding to the daily needs of students and staff. Great humoured, thoughtful, and genuinely caring, he has made it his mission to get to know students by name. He is always ready to lend a helping hand or a listening ear, and, on occasion, has appointed a student as his special helper to make them feel valued and brighten their day. Gates has gone above and beyond in his role as custodian, dressing up as Princess Peach and Rocky the school mascot to motivate students to achieve goals. He has even demonstrated incredible school spirit by taking a pie in the face and participating in dunk tanks and sponge tosses. On a more serious side, he has also been known to purchase books from the Book Fair to donate them to students. Gates Boudreau’s many acts of kindness and superior work ethic make him an ideal recipient of an Award for Excellence. Congratulations!


Sherry Conroy – System Principal, Elementary Program – Centre for Education

Sherry Conroy has provided exceptional leadership to Rainbow Schools for the past 25 years in her capacity as a classroom teacher, literacy consultant, school administrator and, most recently, system principal. At all levels, Sherry has inspired lasting change in classroom practice. Her wealth of knowledge, coupled with her confidence and dedication to student achievement, has enabled her to be a remarkable facilitator of professional learning in many areas. Engaging, energetic and enthusiastic, her expertise in literacy has propelled student success across Rainbow Schools. Sherry’s work ethic, sense of humour and positive outlook are second to none. She has a knack for building relationships and communicating with all students. During her time as Principal of Monetville Public School, students adored her so much that they would often point out houses for sale so she could move into the area permanently. Sherry Conroy has the ability to make students, staff, colleagues and administrators feel respected and supported. Her impact has been extensive, lasting and widespread. The name Sherry Conroy will forever remain synonymous with effective teaching and learning. For these, and many more reasons, she is most deserving of an Award for Excellence.


Bob Cullens – Facilities Supervisor – Centre for Education

Efficient and effective, Bob Cullens takes pride in his work. Since joining the Board in 1983, he has served as custodian in a number of elementary and secondary schools, fulfilling his responsibilities with commitment and with care. In 2005, he was promoted to the position of Facilities Supervisor, overseeing a family of schools as well as the Centre for Education. In this role, he also serves and shines as the Board’s Health and Safety Officer, a very important function in a diverse workforce spread across many locations. Bob Cullens is the go-to person on all matters pertaining to health and safety, from legislation, to education, to training, to prevention, to planning, to reporting, to mitigation. Well-versed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, his knowledge not only ensures that the Board provides a healthy and safe work environment, but that it also focuses on the overall well-being of its employees and the students in its care. Conscientious and concerned, Bob goes about his daily tasks with a focus on others above self. He is a most deserving candidate of an Award for Excellence. Congratulations Bob!


Maria Meandro – Educational Assistant – Princess Anne Public School

A dedicated professional, Maria Meandro has been a valued employee with the Board for 25 years. As an Educational Assistant, she works diligently to meet the needs of students in her care. Her passion for education is remarkable, as she continuously strives to help students overcome barriers. Exuding patience and compassion, she is a role model for everyone she encounters. She supports students in crisis and works to build quality, lasting relationships with students. Maria is known to create a culture of caring that closely resembles a family. Her selfless nature is evident through her continued acts of kindness. She is deeply engaged in the school community and has even provided care packages to ensure families have enough food during the holidays. She is always willing to give of her time to attend school functions or organize potlucks, and is actively involved with community agencies to secure donations for feasts and schoolyard enhancement projects. Whether it’s covering for a supervisor, or offering emotional support to a colleague or student, Maria is a consummate professional, and is quick to help in any way that she can. She even serves breakfast every morning with a smile. Congratulations!


Jennifer Peloso – STEP Program Leader – Lockerby Composite School

A knowledgeable and dedicated educator, Jennifer Peloso teaches all grades and pathways in science at Lockerby Composite School where she is Program Leader for the Science Technology Education Program. Committed to best practices, she is constantly seeking an understanding of the latest trends, and takes initiative to find exciting ways to enhance student learning and enthusiasm for science, including chemistry, biology and physics. Innately curious, she inspires her students to think outside the box for innovative solutions. Whether it’s creating videos, building prototypes, programming computers or designing their own experiments, Jennifer allows students to learn with choice based on individual strengths. An educator who exemplifies the character traits that we espouse in Rainbow Schools, Jennifer has a unique ability to create a learning environment that fosters caring for all students. She always makes herself available to students before, during and after school. Lively and energetic, she is actively involved in the school community. She has led a number of committees, including the Kids Caring for Kids Cancer Drive, Christmas Adopt-a-Family, Breakfast Club, Yearbook Committee and Students’ Council. Jennifer is warm, approachable and friendly. She is also empathetic and compassionate, and has a natural ability to motivate. As one student describes her… “she brings a smile to my face and puts a spring in my step.” Congratulations!



Stephanie Boyuk – Teacher – Northeastern Elementary School

Stephanie Boyuk joined Rainbow District School Board 12 years ago. It didn’t take long for her spark for differentiated instruction to ignite. She is currently a Special Education Resource Teacher at Northeastern Elementary School, bringing incredible passion, strength and energy to her role. In this capacity, she works in collaboration with speech and language services to offer a small group intervention in language. She has been instrumental in the development of plans and programs designed to nurture and sustain the achievement of students with exceptionalities. She advocates for student needs, provides support, and promotes inclusion. She incorporates instructional components, mindfulness, learning skills and work habits relevant to each learner. Under her guidance and purposeful practice, students have had tremendous success. Stephanie Boyuk works collaboratively with teachers, educational assistants, administrators and community partners. She chairs Northeastern Elementary School’s Character Education Committee, co-leads the school’s Early Language and Literacy Group, and offers the Leveled Literacy Intervention Program. She always makes herself available to discuss concerns and celebrate success with students, parents/guardians and colleagues. Stephanie is an exceptional educator who respects and recognizes that each child has the ability to succeed when they have strategies and opportunities to shine. Stephanie Boyuk is most deserving of the Barbara Konarek Memorial Award. Congratulations!



Coleen Eberlein – Teacher – Churchill Public School

In her 19 years with Rainbow District School Board, Coleen Eberlein has been an exemplary educator who consistently demonstrates initiative, hard work and tremendous dedication to her role. Throughout her career, she has been a teacher in literacy, intensive support, special education and student success. For the past two years, she has worked on a system level to complete Special Incidence Portion funding to secure more support for students with special needs. Her positive impact on the Board and the entire community is immeasurable. In recognition of her effectiveness, she was honoured with a Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury Outstanding Educator Award in 2011. Coleen is a conscientious, dynamic, co-operative and self-motivated professional. In addition to her role as Special Education Resource Teacher, she leads the Churchill Public School Math Club, Board Games/Card Club, Caribou Math Contest and the Math, Science and Technology Olympics. She is also an active member of the Entrepreneurship Fair Committee. When teaching, Coleen places an emphasis on individual needs, and has made tremendous gains with exceptional students. She provides a productive and supportive learning environment where students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. She sets high expectations and students willingly rise to the challenge and excel. Coleen Eberlein of Churchill Public School is most deserving of the William N. Roman Teacher of the Year Award. Congratulations!