This year Education Week was held during the week of April 20th – 28th. The theme for Education Week was ‘Educating Students For Life’. Each year, awards are presented to educators from across the province to honor their outstanding contributions to their students, subjects and respective boards. Twenty-three educators and five partners received awards on April 23, 2012, for providing students with the tools they need to be successful. Two teachers from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board were honored as part of this ceremony. I would like to congratulate both winners and recognize the wonderful contributions of all staff in their dedication to our students. Our honorees are as follows:
Darlene Bereta, Dr. T.L. Sullivan Jr. High School
Darlene Bereta is relentless in engaging struggling students and keeping her students focused and motivated. Her creative workshops on diversity, mental health, and bullying raise awareness on the importance of equity and respect for
persons of different abilities, race and sexuality. She encourages global citizenship and connects her students beyond the classroom to places such as: Tanzania, where one student recently completed charity work inspired by Darlene. She cultivates student support to improve the lives of others through fundraising for charities including Loaves & Fishes, Harvest House, Transition House, the IWK and The Lewis Foundation, among others. Darlene prepares students for success in the digital economy by advising a seven member student team in Robotics. As an active member of the NSTU, she has served in several offices and champions professional development for teacher wellness.
Donna Sawlor, Brookland Elementary
[Cape Breton District Local]
Donna’s Grade 3 classroom at Brookland Elementary School is an example of the Debbie Miller quote, “Real classroom communities flourish when we bring together the voices, hearts and souls of the people who inhabit them”. Donna focuses on developing virtues and making sure the classroom is a respectful, supportive space where trusting relationships are formed. Donna demonstrates good citizenship in action. She encourages curiosity and supports unconventional ideas and problem solving. Her ‘pennies can make a difference campaign’ inspired the school community to create a ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative. The students and staff felt a sense of pride and accomplishment that in the end was the best gift they could have given to each other. Donna’s students walk away with strong feelings of self-worth and a knowledge that every student has the potential to be a positive influence every day.
The week of April 15th – 21stwas designated as ‘National Volunteer Week’. The primary purpose of this week is to thank and honor people who donate their time and service to others on causes in which they believe. It is also a week to increase the awareness of ‘Volunteers’ to communities and people in general. We, at the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, are extremely fortunate to rely on a very large number of volunteers who come to support our schools and students in a multitude of ways. Many of our schools host a special event to honor the volunteers who support them so well. Schools have breakfast, lunch & after school programs that rely on volunteers to function. There are many clubs, activities, school advisory councils and parent-teacher groups that consist of volunteers. We also have volunteers that serve as coaches and managers of our many school intramural and varsity teams. The list can go on and on. On behalf of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, I want to sincerely thank all of the people who generously donate their time to support our school communities in whatever capacity they do. This tremendous, unselfish support enhances the program and services we offer to our students and schools. We hear of many groups and agencies who struggle to access volunteers because of our dwindling population; however, we continue to attract large numbers of people to support our students. Once again, thanks so much!
We continue to work through our budgetary process. Our staff and board members are working to offset the challenge of a 4.2 million dollar reduction. We hope to have our budget completed within a couple of weeks.
I would like to congratulate Johnny Fraser of Cabot Jr./Sr. High School who took home a ‘gold medal’ at the National Wrestling Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick this month. This is an amazing feat to earn a national ‘gold medal’ and all of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is very proud of you Johnny.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to direct your attention, and that of the board members and staff, to read the comments from our school principals that are placed on individual school websites. These items represent the awards, achievements and successes of our students and staff within the boundaries of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Again, I ask the principals to ensure that these important communications are kept up-to-date.
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