Premier's Awards Recipients 2009-10
Teacher of the Year
C. Jane Dewar
Jane Dewar makes the curriculum come alive to create authentic, rich and engaging experiences for her students. Jane developed a new art course to engage at-risk boys in lessons that are relevant to them and she empowers students in her peer leadership class to develop activities for the school and local community. Jane also organizes international trips, hosts international students and has coached four sports teams. The current president of Ontario Society of Education Through Art, Jane is always eager to share her experience and enthusiasm with colleagues across the province.
Bryce M. Honsinger
Bryce Honsinger is passionate about Canadian history and teaching students to empower themselves to be positive leaders for global change. A gifted educator and role model, he motivates students by bringing teaching to life using real-world examples. He creates a classroom culture of acceptance and respect by teaching about racism and discrimination and arranges video conferences with students in Kosovo. Bryce works tirelessly to spearhead many projects around the school community like the Remembrance Day assembly, Grade 6 graduation and the school's annual Ontario Heritage Fair.
An inspiration to his students and colleagues, Marco Magazzeni is changing lives. Whether building a wheelchair ramp for a local woman's or renovating and selling a house to raise money for McMaster Children's Hospital, his students are learning to give back. Marco established 32 community partnerships and led the development of the Specialist High Skills Major in construction for the Niagara Catholic District School Board. He was instrumental in creating courses in electricity, digital photography and sports management.
Diane Nehmetallah is always cooking up new experiences. This hospitality/culinary arts teacher provides her students with real-world skills and opportunities. Diane's connections with the community enable her to provide more in-depth learning experiences through tours, chef mentoring, co-op placements and the operation of a student-run catering service. Her enthusiasm has spread to her students and their parents — instilling pride and involvement in the school. Diane's students develop skills, responsibility and a work ethic, which sets them on a path to success.
With 21 years of experience, Gillian Parsons knows how to inspire her class, especially those with special needs. She loves to use innovative kinesthetic learning techniques in order to reach more students and has developed online resources for teachers working with students with developmental disabilities. As a dedicated educator, Gillian knows the importance that parent engagement plays in student achievement and maintains constant communication with parents, offering them tools to be active participants in their children's learning.
New Teacher of the Year
Michelle Jerzyk is the teacher every teacher aspires to be: dedicated, energetic, compassionate and fun. From greeting each student with a personal “good morning” to encouraging students to participate in activities, Michelle is an inspirational force at Sam Sherratt Public School. Her classes routinely have the highest participation rate in the Right to Play initiative. She is known to spend as much extra time with a struggling student as it takes for the student to learn the lesson, even if that means staying late or coming in early.
Rosemary Paniccia wanted to make English literature more meaningful for the culturally and linguistically diverse women in her classes. She introduced several multicultural novels and brought authors and actors to class to engage students in creative ways. Not only does Rosemary demonstrate excellence in the classroom, she also takes part in anti-bullying initiatives that promote inclusiveness and equity in the school community. Her energy and passion are an endless source of inspiration for both students and staff.
Claudine Tyrell facilitates student success both in and out of the classroom. She takes a personal interest in making each student's high school experience meaningful, often encouraging participation in team sports and student groups. Claudine is an advocate for all types of learners, particularly those who are struggling or disengaged. To help students earn more credits, Claudine pioneered e-learning courses and she has also worked on credit recovery with a number of students during lunch time.
Excellence in Leadership
Eddie George Ing
Eddie Ing knows what it takes to inspire and motivate others. His compassionate leadership makes for a school community where everyone feels welcome and encouraged to reach their full potential. Whether he is rallying students to support struggling families, giving them the confidence to tackle playground bullying, or stepping in to coach the Lego Robotics Team to glory, Eddie fosters a culture of inclusion that supports student achievement inside and outside of the classroom.
Dr. Nancy Sanders
Dr. Nancy Sanders brings a rare passion to her work with students that are deaf and hard of hearing, blind and low vision, deaf-blind or have severe learning disabilities. No matter what the challenge, she finds unique solutions that promote student success. Among her many achievements are the growth and improvement of resources for students unable to use standard print materials, enhanced mathematics training for teachers responsible for instructing visually impaired students, and new programs to make assistive technology available to more students.
Excellent Support Staff
Josée Huard is an educational assistant who works with special needs students. In addition to helping her students with academics and social skills, she helps them succeed in life by finding work experiences and co-operative education placements. Josée believes in collaborating with her fellow educators to find the winning success strategy for each of her students. Through her support, determination and innovative ideas, she has improved school spirit and brings out the strengths and best qualities of her students, co-workers and the community.
Mark Klassen is a friend to all the students and staff at Niagara District Secondary School. His office is a welcoming space for students to share stories, ideas and experiences. This head custodian spends extra time to ensure theatre productions, concerts and tournaments run smoothly. Committed to supporting students, Mark coaches many school sports and organizes several significant fundraising events. A selfless individual who never looks for recognition for his achievements, Mark is a role model for many.
Florence VanderMeer's Resource Room is “the heart of the school.” In her room, students are provided with the educational, social and emotional help they need to overcome obstacles and achieve success. Florence implemented the use of assistive technology software to support students with disabilities. It is not unusual to find Florence consulting with teachers, working one-on-one with students or co-preparing learning activities during lunch or after school. She is also involved with many committees and groups in her school and community.
An accomplished athlete, Lynn Carss has been sharing and instilling a life-long passion for sport and active-living with her students throughout her teaching career. Seemingly tireless, she coached three sport teams most of her 29 years of teaching, assumed roles in provincial sport organizations and initiated successful community campaigns. Her enthusiasm and excitement for the subjects she teaches has inspired many of her students to either continue studying these subjects or pursue a career in teaching. That's a testament to how motivating she is.
Team of the Year
Joyce Public School Team
Sonia Callea, Brian Chandrapal, Rhea Perreira-Foyle, My-Linh Hang, Christopher Lee, Leon Lenchner, Farah Rahemtula, Shiva Sotoudeh, Michelle Holland-Spencer, Michele John Zentena
When 65% of children at a school speak English as a second language and 90% of their parents were born outside Canada, it takes creativity to make the curriculum authentic and engaging. Ensuring that activities are relevant to students' lives, a team from Joyce Public School developed a series of innovative “multi-literacy” projects that emphasize digital technology and feature students and parents using personal experiences and first languages to re-imagine popular stories. By promoting inclusiveness, parent engagement and student achievement, the team's multi-literacy projects have made a true difference inside and outside the classroom.