Director General's Report — February 2019

Posted by slazarus on February 26, 2019 at 08:45 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.


Good evening. I know that many of you and perhaps some of us around this table are counting down these last few days before March Break. We’re almost there, but first let’s take a look back at some LBPSB happenings in February. February is the traditional month where we show our appreciation for loved ones and coworkers. Throughout February our youngest and most senior students demonstrated outstanding citizenship, challenged themselves creatively, and saw their artistic talents highlighted in renowned cultural institutions. Here are the highlights.


PCHS/John Rennie Model UN

Last week Pierrefonds Comprehensive and John Rennie High schools co-hosted the 3rd annual Model UN. Each year, the Model UN provides senior high school students a truly immersive experience in conflict-resolution, agenda-setting, negotiating, all while maintaining a sense of collaboration and congeniality. It’s truly remarkable to see how deeply the students research the issues and the UN members they represent. As the scope of the Model UN expands each year, a huge thank you is deserved for the administrators, teachers, and staff at PCHS and John Rennie who ensured the events ran smoothly. This year’s Model UN kicked of with a personalized video greeting from Justin Trudeau as well as a keynote address from Tom Mulcair. Our future leaders really can bring people together.


Jr. Leadership Day

February also saw another leadership tradition take place: Jr. Leadership Day. Each year, representatives from our elementary schools gather for a day of celebration, inspiration, and hands-on workshops led by high school leadership teams. This year’s theme ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ focused on the many advantages to working together and encouraging others to step outside of their comfort zones. Jr. Leadership Day also allows Gr 6 students the opportunity to ‘network’ with high school students who they’ll see roaming the halls over the next few years. Jr. Leadership is continuing to grow and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year. A special thanks to the administrators at Westpark and St. Patrick for yet again co-hosting an exceptional event and to Macdonald High School for hosting.


Avey Jr Storytelling at Dorset

I had the privilege of taking part in a longstanding tradition at Dorset Elementary: The Cycle 1 Avey Storytelling competition. Named in honor of former teacher Ms. Avey who recognized the importance of storytelling, Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students perform a story they memorized en francais in front of their fellow students, teachers, and family & friends. I was blown away by these young students’ creativity, performance skills, and bravery to perform in front of such a large crowd. I couldn’t believe just how confident these young storytellers were. I think I was more nervous being a judge than they were performing! It was nearly impossible to select the top 3 finalists as every storyteller was a winner. Congratulations to all the Avey Storytelling competition participants.


Snow Day

I’m sure many students, teachers, and perhaps some parents were happy to learn about a snow day back in January and a 2nd one just a few weeks ago! In all seriousness, I wanted to thank all LBPSB stakeholders for their collaboration. We appreciate your patience and help with spreading these messages to keep our students safe. Thank you for the support.


Staff Appreciation

February marks Teacher and Staff appreciation across LBPSB. It’s always so rewarding to see how parents, families, and students come together to honor school staff in creative and engaging ways. From breakfast surprises, carefully selected gifts, and celebratory events - it becomes clear that LBPSB has the most dedicated staff always willing to go above and beyond. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all LBPSB staff. I’m always so impressed; but never surprised by the talent that makes the LBPSB the greatest school board. Thank you.


25 Years of Service

Speaking of amazing staff, last week was a real treat as the annual 25 Years of Service Recognition Gala took place. It’s amazing to witness the collection of stories, memories, learning, and growth experienced by LBPSB employees celebrating the 25th year of their careers. The Gala is always a fun and moving event as we take trips down memory lane, recognize accomplishments and struggles, while looking towards the future. Congratulations to everyone celebrating 25 years with LBPSB and thank you for sticking with us for all these years.   


Evergreen/Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

I’m sure many parents would consider their children’s art works museum-worthy; myself included. Well parents at Evergreen Elementary are now entitled to make that claim as their children’s projects are currently on display at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts! This year Evergreen was selected to be featured as part of the Museum’s Educart initiative. Students worked collaboratively using different styles and techniques to interpret the theme of “The Feats of Resilience”. We’re so proud of Evergreen being represented at the Museum of Fine Arts. I strongly recommend you see the exhibit for yourselves. Luckily you can. The exhibit will be on display until May 5, 2019. Visit the Educart website for details.


Clearpoint/Children's World Academy IB Exhibitions

I was fortunate enough to attend two grade 6 IB exhibitions on the same day. Children’s World Academy and Clearpoint students have spent the better part of the school year researching complex topics like Sustainability, Hunger, Gender Equality, and Global Education, and innovative solutions to solve these issues. The students worked in teams and found creative ways to present these challenging topics in an engaging way. I was so impressed by these students’ research and presentation skills and the empathy they display to make an increasingly globalized world a better place. Thanks to Clearpoint and Children’s World Academy teachers, mentors, and families for supporting these incredible students.


And finally with only a few days to go, I wanted to wish all our students, staff, and families a wonderful March Break. You’ve all worked so hard and have earned this time off. Enjoy some downtime, adventures, time spent with friends and loved ones, some time for yourselves, and of course plenty of learning. Enjoy!