Director General's Report — April 2019

Posted by slazarus on April 30, 2019 at 09:46 am

Michael Chechile, Director General of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, is always on-the-go; visiting schools and seeing students and teachers in action and witnessing months of preparation and planning come to life. Each month Mr. Chechile will present a summary of where he's been, who's he's met, and how the LBPSB community continues to impress him.


I closed last month’s report with a heads-up that April would be one of the busiest months, and that was definitely an understatement. Throughout the month, performing arts, literacy, math skills, overcoming obstacles, and leadership were all celebrated. Students at all levels were recognized for their accomplishments; while elementary, high school, and continuing education students met and interacted through pedagogical and social events. Here are the highlights:


PCHS & Flood Relief

The students from PCHS have been working in  the community with the City of Pierrefonds helping to make and place sandbags to prevent  the flood waters from causing more damage to the surrounding buildings and homes. We are very proud of these teachers, staff and students who tackled this huge endeavor. Congratulations and thank you to all of the teachers, staff and students who participated!



TOPS - which stands for Totally Outstanding Pearson Students - has become LBPSB’s hot ticket for spring. Each year, TOPS presents a student showcase with a focus on the performing arts. For 2019, TOPS returned to its roots with a Celebration of Music. Students from across LBPSB beautifully sang, played instruments, and expressed their personal stories through music. It was truly a remarkable experience. For the first time, TOPS brought elementary and high school students together. It was so exciting for the young elementary students to get to know and collaborate with the most talented high school students; while the high school students were so proud to mentor their young fans. Overall, 177 students performed to a crowd of over 300. Special thanks to Lindsay Place High School for hosting TOPS and to all the music teachers for making sure the concert ran smoothly. And to all TOPS performers: congratulations on performing such an epic show, and thank you for sharing your talents with us. A video of the entire concert is available on YouTube. Keep your eyes and ears open for TOPS 2020 info. Coming soon…


Ultimate Battle of the Books

They came, they read, Macdonald High School conquered! The Ultimate Battle of the Books was an incredible success. The board room was filled with enthusiastic spectators and self-proclaimed book worms who witnessed students from MacDonald High School, Royal West Academy and Lower Canada College demonstrate their exceptional grasp of 12 books varied in genres and themes. You could almost hear a pin drop as the students remained hyperfocused; all while demonstrating exceptional sportsmanship. It was a very close battle but in the end, Macdonald High School continued it streak as Ultimate Battle of the Books champions; and this year Macdonald High school took home the 1st ever Battle of the Books trophy. Congratulations to all students who participated at every round of Battle of the Books, and a special thanks to all librarians who expertly coached the students.


Earth Day

We celebrate Earth Day each year on April 22. And by ‘we’ I mean the entire planet! Earth Day is more important than ever, as citizens from across the Globe come together to teach and learn about the importance of protecting the Earth. LBPSB is doing its part beyond Earth Day by encouraging students to lead environmental conversations and take action. In the lead-up to Earth Day, The Montreal Gazette paid a visit to Kingsdale Academy to meet students taking major initiative to protect the environment. I’m so proud to see elementary and high school students take charge of this important issue year-round. Our future and our planet really are in good hands.


Adult Learners’ Gala

It’s always moving and rewarding when students share their deeply personal stories; by acknowledging accomplishments and challenges, these students quickly become the teachers. This becomes abundantly clear at the annual Adult Learners’ Gala and this year was no exception. The Adult Learners’ Gala recognizes students from all of LBPSB’s adult and vocational centres. In addition to recognizing educational successes, the Adult Learners are recognized and applauded for their unique journeys that brought them to the gala. For some it was the pursuit of a dream, for others it was a change of career path or a bold move to a new country. In addition to being one of the most educational events, it is also one of the most emotional. Once again, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Congratulations to all our Adult Learners, we so appreciate your journeys and willingness to share them with us.


Doing is Believing Tour

Earlier this month, the continuing education and youth sectors launched the inaugural Doing Is Believing Tour. The Doing is Believing Tour brought all grade 7 students - over 1500 of them - to a vocational centre for an immersive tour of program offerings, and a typical day in a voc centre. Each centre prepared fun and creative activities; animated by cont. Ed. students. The grade 7 students were encouraged to ask questions and were very impressed (and at times) surprised by the wonders of an LBPSB vocational centre. The event ran smoothly thanks to the tireless planning of the Doing Is Believing committee and loyal volunteers from both sectors. The Doing is Believing Tour will surely become an annual event. Stay tuned…


Math Olympics

While the next Olympic Games may be over a year away, LBPSB’s Math Olympics proved to be an incredibly thrilling event; for both the student math athletes and spectators. Over 2 evenings, elementary school students embarked on a variety of math challenges; covering all the main competencies and skills. It was amazing to see high school gyms jam-packed with elementary school students proudly demonstrating their passion for math. School teams worked collaboratively and somehow maintained their composure in the face of challenging problems; even some of the adult spectators struggled with the questions. Year after year, the Math Olympics reminds us that when students own their learning, there really are no limits to what they can achieve. Congratulations to all Math Olympians!


Margaret Manson - Storytelling Competition

It was a privilege for me to take part in Margaret Manson’s Storytelling and Public Speaking competition. Grade 3-4 students were challenged to retell one of their favorite stories with unique creative approaches and personal touches. I was blown away by these students’ abilities to speak clearly and proudly while revealing their characters. Not only that, but they had to do it in front of a packed gym! Students from grades 5-6 were tasked with delivering an engaging and compelling public speech. They were challenged with selecting a meaningful topic and presenting it in a clear and original way. I was so impressed with all of the storytellers and public speakers. I think I learned a thing or two, and will look to these students for more public speaking tips. Thank you!


Hard to believe that there are only a few more weeks of the 2018-2019 school year. Where did the time go? Don’t worry there’s no sign of the action and excitement winding down. Stay tuned...