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.
Well there’s no doubt about it - we’ve entered the Fall/Winter season. With frigid temperatures, earlier sunsets, and snow on the ground, this season marks a turning point in the school year. Students and staff share the warmth of holiday cheer, community outreach, and talent showcases; all building up to the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ - Winter break. But before we get too ahead ourselves, let’s take a look back at LBPSB’s November highlights.
Remembrance Day Ceremonies
LBPSB continued its tradition of marking Canada’s Remembrance Day as elementary, high schools, and centres paid tribute to our country’s fallen soldiers, veterans, and those currently serving. For many of our younger students, it is an introduction to the sacrifices the military has made and continues to make. While high school students gain a deeper level of insight into Canada’s role in international conflicts and its commitment to peace.
It’s incredibly moving to witness LBPSB students and staff express their gratitude through words, art, music; as they form relationships with veterans. It is a privilege to welcome these veterans into our schools. We are so grateful for their willingness to share their stories. Thank you. Lest we forget.
Wilder Penfield's 50th Anniversary
Earlier this month, we celebrated a major birthday milestone. It may be hard to believe but Wilder Penfield elementary school celebrated it’s 50th anniversary! An incredible gala was held at Wilder Penfield where former students and staff gathered to share memories, stories, and look through old pictures and artifacts. It was very moving to witness such a diverse crowd come together with a united appreciation for their elementary school. Happy birthday Wilder Penfield. You may be 50, but you don’t look a day over 40.
Place Cartier's Empty Bowls
What can be better than a warm flavorful bowl of soup on a cool fall day? Nothing! I was so happy to be a part of Place Cartier’s annual Empty Bowls event. Each year, Place Cartier students and staff design and craft customized soup bowls and mugs. The students also prepare delicious soups and treats that perfectly hit the spot on a chilly Saturday afternoon. The students organize and lead the entire event. It’s so rewarding to see families and communities come together to bask in music, joy and warmth - all for a good cause. Proceeds of the event went to On Rock Community Services. Congratulations Place Cartier.
K.C. Hughes' Graphic Novel
There’s a new literary star on the horizon - keep a look out for K.C. Hughes, the Nom de Plume of a 14-year old Lindsay Place student. K.C. recently wrote, illustrated and self-published her debut graphic novel: ‘Agents of C.L.A.W.E.’ (Cats League Against World Evil). From creating the characters to sketching the illustrations, K.C. has owned every step of this personalized writing process. She even caught the attention of the annual Salon du Livre event; where KC was onsite to sign copies of her novel and meet her fans. And this is only the beginning. A huge congratulations to K.C. Hughes. Keep writing and we will keep reading.
PACC's Celebration of Learning
Some of our schools and centres hold graduation ceremonies throughout the Fall. I was so happy to attend the PACC Vocational graduation ceremony - A Celebration of Learning. And celebration is definitely the right word as students’ individual journeys and accomplishments were met with cheers and roaring rounds of applause from their teachers, administrators, families and friends. Congratulations to the recent PACC graduates, but remember your journeys don’t end at graduation. We look forward to witnessing your next steps.
Education Professionals' Week
Last week marked Education Professionals’ Week across Quebec. This year’s theme - Toolbox for Tomorrow couldn’t be more à propos. LBPSB is fortunate to have the most dedicated Education Professionals who support students’ learning and personal growth. These professionals are also a key resource for teachers and administrators. Their dedication and initiative do not go unnoticed. A huge thank you to all our Education Professionals.
Bison News on Breakfast Television
It’s always great to see organizations graciously welcome their competition to share successes and strategies. And that’s exactly what Breakfast Television did as they opened their studio doors to BHS’ Bison News team. What began as a weekly video broadcast, the Bison News crew has expanded its scope by leading mentorship projects with elementary schools and being the ‘go-to’ group for many of BHS and LBPSB’s large scale events. Bison News has gotten so big that it caught the attention of Breakfast Television. The Breakfast Television hosts were so impressed with the BHS students’ talent, confidence, and ambition - even though they were very well aware that these students may be coming for their jobs. Congratulations to BHS and the Bison News team.
Central Students' Committee - eLearning
While we’re on the topic of digital innovation, earlier this month I had a very engaging and thought-provoking meeting with leading education & technology advocates: LBPSB’s Central Students Committee. As we embark on a journey of online learning it’s crucial that we consult with our students. A delegation of students from all high schools and all grades convened to share their experiences, thoughts, concerns, and best practices on eLearning. Not surprisingly, the students spoke with great candor and confidence. They did not hold back! A huge thank you to the Central Students Committee. I’m so grateful for all their efforts and their investment in the future of LBPSB.
Light A Dream
Finally, I’d like to shine a light on Light A Dream. Light A Dream is a store in the heart of Pointe-Claire Village that sells a range of candles and accessories all made by students in the Cooperative Education Program. The Cooperative Education Program provides students with special needs with career training, life skills development, and a tight-knit group of friends and colleagues. In addition to making the merchandise, the students also work at the store where they take on various responsibilities from organizing the displays and interacting with customers. Last week Light A Dream held its annual Casino Night fundraiser. The event was a huge success and its always so moving to see the impact Light A Dream has on so many families. It’s hard to describe the magic of Light A Dream into words. So as you get ready for the holiday season, I’d encourage all of you to drop by the Light A Dream store at 63B Donegani. Visit www.lightadream.com for more information.
The countdown is on. Only a few more weeks until we celebrate the last day of school before winter break, say goodbye to 2018 and usher in 2019. Stay tuned for more surprises, celebrations and plenty of fun!