Renniessance coffee drive starts Nov 24 - donation drop-off day is Dec 4
A warm cup of coffee. It’s something we use for comfort, something people can talk over - and something most of us take for granted.
But not if you’re homeless and living on the street.
That’s why a group of John Rennie High School students in Brian Swirksy’s Renniessance class are holding their 2nd Annual Coffee Drive to benefit residents at the Nazareth House men’s residence and Anne’s House, the soon-to-open woman’s housing unit in downtown Montreal.
The coffee drive will run from Monday, Nov. 24 until Friday, Dec. 5.
“Shelters give out on average over 800 cups of coffee a week,” Swirksy said. “Not only does a hot cup of coffee warm the body, it warms the soul as well – and a cup of coffee given out at a shelter helps promote social interaction and human contact, something not always available to those living on the street.”
Swirsky said that during the drive, Renniessance students will be collecting coffee – decaf is preferred - in bags, in tins and in bottles as well as such things as Coffee Mate, sugar packets, stir sticks, hot chocolate and tea and even Tim’s cards or monetrary donations from their classmates and families.
And on Dec. 4, the public can drop off similar donations between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the school itself, located at 501 St. Jean Blvd. in Pointe Claire. Renniessance students will be stations at the front doors to accept donations. Drivers are asked to use the new entry off St. Jean Blvd. into the front parking lot.
“Every donation counts,” Swirsky said. “And we are grateful for anything people can give.”
As well, on Dec. 1, the Renniessance students will be downtown between 9:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Cabot Square, near the Atwater Metro station, handing out free coffee and information fliers – designed by Renniessance students - to draw attention to the plight of the homeless, especially as the weather turns colder.
Swirsky - coordinator of the high school’s grad-track alternative program for Cycle II students who need a smaller classroom environment and outside-the-box approach to learning - said the Renniessance Coffee drive will also help make the general public aware of the opening of Anne's House, a new women's residence being opened by Communaute Nazareth Inc., which runs Nazareth House, a non-profit residence for men who struggle with mental health issues, homelessness and addictions.
“Working with young volunteers is especially rewarding; they are eager to help and have the ability to see the person, not just the illness,” said Sheila Woodhouse, director of Nazareth House and Anne’s House.
“We also hope its sparks a lifelong interest in community service,” added Woodhouse who met with students at the Pointe Claire school last Friday (Nov.14).
Last year’s Renniessance Coffee drive collected enough coffee to distribute more than 59,000 cups.
“We would like to pass the 60,000-cup mark this year,” Swirsky said.
For more information about the coffee drive, contact Swirsky at the high school. 514-697-3210.
Swearing-in ceremony Nov 17 for the new LBPSB Council
The Lester B. Pearson School Board held a swearing-in ceremony Monday, (Nov. 17) for its chairman, parent commissioners and 12 newly-elected councillors, including newcomer Joshua Arless, who was in high school only seven years ago.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if I am the youngest-ever councillor – although someone told me that a 24-year old was elected somewhere else in the province,” said 25-year-old Arless while on a break from his studies in political science at Concordia University.
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day welcomed the newly-elected council, saying the councillors represented a good cross-section of society.
“I’m honoured to lead such a complimentary group of commissioners,” she said. “Our council has experience, new blood, youth representation, teaching and guidance experience, strong parent representation, business experience and experience in many sectors such as unions, LGBTQ, legal, IT, financial, marketing and politics.
“I’m certain that we will have lively discussions and balanced input into our decision-making process.”
Arless, a second-year university student, just got a full-time job as office supervisor for ACASS, a worldwide provider of highly customized support services for business aviation.
When asked how he plans to find enough time and energy to add LBPSB councillor to his already busy schedule, Arless had an instant reply:
“I have great time management skills,” he said noting that he was the former vice president, organization for the Young Liberals of Canada in Quebec. As well, in 2007 Arless was a student representative for the governing board at his alma-mater, Lakeside Academy in Lachine, as well as vice-chair for the Central Student Committee and for five years, was executive producer of TOPS: Performance Education, a non-profit LBPSB initiative that continues arts education outside the typical classroom environment.
Arless said that he chose to run as commissioner because of his previous experience with the LBPSB.
“This school board has long focused on the positive aspects of education outside the classroom,” said Arless. “And I would like to continue that legacy.”
In his role as commissioner, Arless said he hopes to support more initiatives that integrate students and teachers with different mediums of technology and would also hope to find sustainable methods of financing for the school board so that it can continue to serve as a pillar for the English-speaking community.
The LBPSB Council:
Chairman Suanne Stein day
Ward 1 – Mary Ann Davis
Ward 2- Frank Di Bello
Ward 3 – Joshua Arless
Ward 4- Noel Burke
Ward 5- Nan Beaton
Ward 6 – Craig Berger
Ward 7 – Laura Derry
Ward 8 – Martin Sherman
Ward 9 – Eric Bender
Ward 10 – Domenic Pavone
Ward 11 – Daniel Olvenstein
Ward 12 – Wayne Clifford
Sandra Buckingham, representing parents of children with special needs
Sharad Bhargava, representing parents of children in elementary schools
Francis Clark, representing parents at large
Mike Nalecz, representing parents of children in secondary schools
Student-led remembrance day ceremony held at St Edmund Elementary
St. Edmund Elementary held a beautiful student-led Remembrance Day Assembly. Prepared by the grade 5 students, the assembly included the singing of O Canada by grade 2 teacher Amanda Mariani, a moving performance of If the War Goes On by grade 3 student Christopher Booler as well as songs from the school’s Glee club. Students and staff ended the assembly with a minute of silence for those who lost their lives for our country and our freedom.
Remembrance Day at John Rennie High School
Students, student cadets and staff joined with veterans at John Rennie High School for Remembrance day Celebrations on Nov. 11. A bagpiper led a procession through the halls of the school as the remainder of the student population lined the halls to honour those who fought for freedom.
It all adds up: LBPSB`s Math Olympics taking place Dec 3 and 4
There’s nothing like a little math exercise to get the brain running and to gain a great sense of pride in a job well done.
Just ask students from 25 elementary schools who are honing their skills in preparation for the Dec. 3 and 4 Lester B. Pearson School Board’s annual Math Olympics.
“Our team is looking forward to this awesome event – many of us aren’t the best athletes but we look forward to being mathletes at high levels,” said Michael Weber, a grade 6 student at Clearpoint Elementary in in Pointe Claire.
Shauhard Bhandari, another grade 6 mathlete at Clearpoint Elementary, said the competition is fun.
“What do we have in common? We all love math,” said Shauhard. “We don’t participate just to win, we do it for fun and learning and for improving our math skills for the future.”
Chantal Brunet who, along with Rebecca Binet, are elementary Math Consultants for the school board, said the event is more popular than ever.
“The Math Olympics provides students with an opportunity to work in teams while engaging in fun and challenging math activities outside the classroom,” said Brunet.
She said students from 13 elementary schools will be taking part in the Math Olympics at Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds on Dec.3 and 12 other grade schools will be at Lakeside Academy in Lachine on Dec. 4.
“This is a huge event with a lot of Olympic spirit - parents and siblings come to support their child and school,” said Brunet, noting that in all, about 345 grade 6 students will be taking part in the event.
Brunet said the Math Olympics require the use of higher-level thinking skills and teach students how to work cooperatively in teams. Each school has a team of six students, with two substitutes.
`The events at the Math Olympics – which include called High Dive, 100 Metres, Kayaking and White Water Rafting - involve applications of problems and basic computations questions,` she added. ``Each school will be scored as a team.”
Of course, as in any Olympics, the teams will have a chance to earn Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
Binet said modifications to the event have been made in the more than 20 years that the Math Olympics have been taking place at the LBPSB.
“Changes have been made to reflect the reality of the new math programs, the classroom environment and to encourage team spirit, she said adding that outside of the evaluated competitive games, students will also have a chance to take part in the Amazing iMath Mission, a fun event in which participating students can use technology, such as laptop, to solve mathematical challenges.
Clearpoint Elementary School teacher Susan Heckler said the Amazing iMath Mission is popular with students.
“The addition of the Amazing iMath Mission has added an element of technology… that our students adore,” she said. “The grade six students who participate in this event learn about teamwork, while honing essential reasoning and number skills.”
Both the Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 events take place from 5:30 to 8:50 p.m..
Riverdale is located at 5060 Sources Blvd. in Pierrefonds. Lakeside Academy is located at 5050 Sherbrooke in Lachine.
From daycare on up, students at Mount Pleasant observe Remembrance Day
From daycare on up, students at Mount Pleasant Elementary in Hudson learned about Remembrance Day through a variety of activities, including a visit from Corporal Alex Reid of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada.
Students from Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School and St. Patrick and Beechwood Elementary schools had a great time at the Nov. 7 hockey game featuring the McGill Martlets women’s team and the Concordia Stingers – all part of the Score with School program designed to encourage students to stay in school.
On Nov. 27, more than 700 Lester B. Pearson School Board high school and elementary students will attend a Score with School program hockey game at the McConnell Arena, featuring the McGill Redmen vs. the Concordia Stingers. That game will also feature the singing of the national anthem by the John Rennie Glee Singers and an official puck drop with Lester B. Pearson School Board Chairman Suanne Stein Day.
Players from the McGill hockey team will also visit students at Westwood Jr. in St. Lazare on Nov. 21 to talk to them about their experiences and about the importance of focusing on education. McGill players are scheduled to visit LBPSB schools in the coming months as part of the Score with School program.
Students and staff at Beechwood Elementary in Pierrefonds held a moving Remembrance Day assembly on Nov. 11 with the school choir, a visit from a Canadian forces soldier and a teacher’s memories of war stories.
Grade 6 students hosted the assembly which included a presentation from Master Corporal Patrick Philippeaux, performances from the school choir as well as a speech from music teacher Tara Shaughnessy regarding her grandfather and great uncle’s involvement in the Second World War.
Get ready for some laughs at the John Rennie Actors` Studio presentation of a Beauty and the Beast pantomime
If you've never seen a British-style pantomime before, get ready for some festive times from Dec. 11 to 13 at the John Rennie Actors' Studio holiday presentation of Beauty and the Beast,a Christmas Pantomime by Toby Bradford and Tina Webster.
"This version of a known fairy tale is sure to lift the house with laughs, songs, jokes, local references, surprises, horses, chickens and audience interactions," Nicolas Doyon, program and play director, said noting that the production, in true pantomime splendor, is a musical comedy incorporating song, dance, buffoonery and jokes - and audience participation - designed for family entertainment.
"This traditional story has been given a pantomime makeover with a cast of colourful characters that will delight young and old alike," he added. ""With plenty of panto mischief, get ready to boo, cheer and yell 'he's behind you!' at this year's holiday play."
Beauty and the Beast will be presented to the general public on Dec. 11, 12 and 13 at the Louise Chalmers Theatre, located at the Pointe-Claire High School. There will be two evening shows held on December 11 & 12 starting at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 13. Elementary schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board will be attending afternoon performances the week of December 8.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved online at http://www.jrhsactorsstudio.com and picked up the night of the play. Tickets for adults cost $12; students and seniors, $6.
Remembrance Day at the Lester B Pearson School Board
Remembrance Day ceremonies took place at schools across the Lester B. Pearson School Board as well as at the board’s head office in Dorval.
“This Remembrance Day, I ask you to remember Canada’s heroes… including Cpl. Nathan Cirrillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, “ Carol Heffernan, assistant director general at the school board, said referring to the two Canadian soldiers killed on homeland . Vincent was killed on Oct. 20 after being deliberately struck by a car and Cirillo was shot on Oct. 22 while on guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Ottawa.
Heffernan said the bravery and sacrifice of Canada’s soldiers through both World Wars as well as subsequent wars and conflicts in Korea and Afghanistan and the current air war in Iraq, continue to defend our freedoms.
“Their bravery created our nation’s identity. Their lives bought our freedom. Their sacrifices continue to humble us and make us proud,” she said.
“We will remember them.”
Andrew Walsh, a senior piper for the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada and data processing technician in the LBPSB’s Continuing Education department, led the ceremony performing Scotland the Brave, Rowan Tree, Wings, Dawning of the Day and as the lament, Flower of the Forest. Julie Mandeville from the board’s finance department read the Champ d’Honneur and Valerie Forgetta, also from the finance department, read In Flanders Fields, the war poem written by First World War Canadian Physician John McRae. The LBPSB’s Marcia Dixon read part of an Ode to Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen, first published in 1914.
For the Fallen
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Au Champ d’honneur
(Adaptation du poème: In Flanders Fields, de John McCrae)
Au champ d'honneur, les coquelicots
Sont parsemés de lot en lot
Auprès des croix; et dans l'espace
Les alouettes devenues lasses
Mêlent leurs chants au sifflement
Nous sommes morts
Nous qui songions la veille encor'
À nos parents, à nos amis,
C'est nous qui reposons ici
Au champ d'honneur.
À vous jeunes désabusés
À vous de porter l'oriflamme
Et de garder au fond de l'âme
Le goût de vivre en liberté.
Acceptez le défi, sinon
Les coquelicots se faneront
Au champ d'honneur.
Macdonald High School and Edgewater Elementary school join studetns from John Abbott College and McGill University in a Remembrance Day Ceremony
More than 800 students and staff from Macdonald High School and Edgewater Elementary joined students from John Abbott College and the Macdonald campus of McGill University in a Remembrance Day ceremony held Thursday (Nov. 6) on the grounds of John Abbott College. Macdonald High School students ensured that veterans from the Ste. Anne’s Hospital attending the ceremony were comfortable by supplying them with blankets to keep warm. The Macdonald High School band played at the ceremony which also featured poems and speeches about the fragility of peace, the sacrifice made by members of the armed forces and, of course, a reading of In Flanders Fields, a war poem written by First World War Canadian physician John McCrae. Students from Edgewater Elementary posted small Canadian flags around a Remembrance monument erected in 2006. Schools across the Lester B. Pearson School Board will be commemorating Remembrance Day on or around Nov. 11.
Way to go LBPSB! Shave and Save raises more than $60,000 for the Quebec Breast Cancer Society
Don’t be surprised if you see some members of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, along with students and staff, wearing tuques even before the snow flies this winter.
After all, they may need something to keep their heads warm after shaving their hair as part of an across-the-board fundraiser that has collected more than $60,000 in a Shave and Save event for the Quebec Breast Cancer Society.
“It’s an honour to be doing this,” said LBPSB Director General Robert T. Mills, part of the first group to line up Thursday (Oct. 30) to get a head shave for a good cause.
“It wasn’t as rough as I thought and I’m very happy to be part of an event that raised more than $60,000,” Mills added after his shave, which was accompanied by a lot of laughter and even some good-natured teasing from about 40 co-workers.
“If this is the outcome, I couldn’t be happier.”
Mills said he greatly appreciated the fact that many members of the LBPSB Community contributed in some way – by donating and collecting money, volunteering or even shaving their heads – in order to meet the Shave and Save challenge.
Members of the school board had vowed to shave their heads if the LBPSB community could raise $50,000 to help in the fight against breast cancer.
The community answered the call.
For example, Mount Pleasant Elementary Principal Stephanie Herault and teachers Johanne Lacelle-Lavalle and Krystyna Koelblen dyed their hair in bright colours after challenging students to raise $1,000 in the Hudson school’s Colours for Cancer fundraising event. That goal was surpassed by $257 and much to their delight, students got to choose what hair colour their principal would have.
It turned out they wanted purple.
“It’s for a good cause,” Herault said of her new hair colour. “But more importantly, I would like to thank all the people who contributed to this fundraising effort, from creating the website to collecting money and raising awareness - thank you to the Mount Pleasant community, friends and family – you all helped us surpass our goal.”
At Sunshine Academy in Dollard des Ormeaux, Grade 6 students answered the challenge set by English teacher Kris Pichovich and French teacher Yvonne Kessler: raise $500 and they would cut their hair - he would get it shaved and she would cut off 8-inches of her long hair and donate it to make wigs for people who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. The school met the challenge and the teachers cut their hair, along with grade 6 students such as Emmalee Bissonnette who also cut off 8-inches of her hair and Daniel Davis who says "it felt weird when it was first shaved, but now I'm getting used to it."
The across-the-board tally so far? $60,012 and still counting, as some schools have not yet held their own fundraising events.
Members of the LBPSB community - including two women, Sharon Lingle from the legal department and her mother-in-law, Diane Gornicki, who works at St. John Fisher Elementary Jr. - shaved their heads as part of the Shave and Save event Thursday.
“I know several people who have died of breast cancer so I’m happy to do this, if it helps,” said Lingle, adding that she will use her shaved head to her advantage as she plans on going out this Halloween as Homer Simpson.
There was a sense of happy anticipation and nervousness as each member of the group got into a chair manned by students from the LBPSB’s Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy. “It’s an honour – and a lot of fun – to do this,” said student Lexie Champagne as she began shaving LBPSB Michael Chechile, director of educational services at the LBPSB.
Other members of the group – made up of LBPSB board and school administrators, teachers, support staff – and even some elementary and high school students who had their heads shaved at their respective schools –included Steven Balleine, assistant director general of the LBPSB, Regional Directors Steven Colpitts, Thomas Rhymes and David Meloche, Human Resources Director John Brennan, Assistant Director of Human Resources David Chisholm, Director of Community Services Mario Barrette, Assistant Director of Student Services Chris Fuzessy and Michael Papoulias, LBPSB network and telecommunications coordinator.
LBPSB Regional Director Steven Colpitts said the event was a reflection of how a community can effect change.
“Thank you so much to all of you administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and students who supported this initiative,” said Colpitts. “This is a reflection of the power of community.”
A Christmas Carol, LBPSB-style - coming to you on Nov 29
Want to get into the Christmas spirit, along with a lot of laughs?
Make sure you take in the multi-media extravaganza, A Christmas Carol, starring a cast of characters from the Lester B. Pearson School Board, on Nov. 29 at Lakeside Academy in Lachine.
“Professional musicians and singers woven in with student bands and dramatic acting; this show has everything to put you into a holiday mood,” said Barbara Freeston, president of the Pearson Educational Foundation.
“It will be even more entertaining than last year’s production as the cast has grown, although everybody’s favourite Scrooge – LBPSB Regional Director Thomas Rhymes – will reprise his stellar performance,” she added.
And even Scrooge would loosen his money belt when he learns that the money raised at the event will fund PEF’s snowsuit and boots program – founded in memory of former commissioner Rona Cupak - which supplies winter wear to students in need across the board from Verdun to the Ontario border.
“Winter clothing requests were at an all-time high in 2013 and we have no reason to expect less this year,” Freeston said, noting that PEF went from supplying 15 pairs of boots and 16 snowsuits in 2012 to 60 pairs of boots and 58 snowsuits in 2013.
“And that’s not counting sweaters, pants, mittens and hats,” she added.
The presentation, which includes many holiday songs, will take place at 7:30p.m. at Lakeside Academy, 5050 Sherbrooke St. in Lachine. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $15 for children under 16.
Free lecture series for parents begins Nov 19 at Westwood High School, Jr campus
The first of a free five-part lecture series for parents dealing with such topics as parental skills takes place Nov. 19 in St. Lazare (Westwood High School – Junior Campus) with a presentation by Fletcher Peacock, author of “Water the Flowers, Not the Weeds”.
“Mr. Peacock will focus his presentation on Parental Skills,” according to a press release fromthe Network Partnership Initiative (NPI) of Vaudreuil-Soulanges which is organizing the lecture series, financed by the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN).
“Mr. Peacock, who was a social worker for many years, specializing in family therapy, is sometimes referred to as the ‘professor of happiness’,” according to the press release. “His statements and his stories, which are tinged with humour, will captivate his audience”
The lecture as well as all those to come will take place in English.
LBPSB director of Community Services Mario Barrette said he is proud to be associated with this initiative led by the local NPI whose mission is to facilitate accessibility to health and social services for the English-speaking community of Vaudreuil-Soulanges:
“Along with other public and community partners such as the CSSS de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Centre Jeunesse de la Montérégie, we believe that the Lecture Series will reach a wide range of our own school board community,” he said. “Our very own Centre of Excellence in Mental Health will deliver one of the lectures in the new year.
“… we hope this local Health Promotion Project (HPP) will raise awareness that resources are available in English, in Vaudreuil-Soulanges to meet the needs of an ever-growing population,” Barrette said.
Details of the other four conferences, which take place over the next two years, have yet to be fine-tuned.
The Wednesday November 19 conference takes place at 7 p.m. at Westwood High School, Junior Campus, 2800 du Bordelais, St. Lazare.
For information and registration, contact:
For information and registration, contact:
·Genevieve Leduc, coordinator for the Network Partnership Initiative (NPI) of Vaudreuil-Soulanges at 450-424-5727, local 226 or email her a firstname.lastname@example.org. or
·Lydia Girard, coordinator for this Health Promotion Project at 450-424-5727, local 222 or by email at email@example.com
Canada`s Governor General visits Beaconsfield High School
Governor General David Johnston signed one student’s cast, told a class of Beaconsfield High School students about his first job, bought a few handcrafted items from Jeunes Entrepreneur students - and most importantly, urged students to continue to work together to build a better community.
“What do you want the world to look like - you have to decide what is right, what is just and what is fair,” Johnston told students gathered Wednesday (Oct. 15) in the school auditorium.
The Governor General visited the school as part of a one-day tour during which he met with the mayor of Beaconsfield and inaugurated the town’s Heroes Park and Cenotaph.
Students at the school will act as symbolic caretakers of the Park and Cenotaph which honours the service and sacrifice of military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and first responders in the course of their official duties.
“We live in a complex world filled with challenges,” the Governor General told assembled students. “Ask yourself what is the best way to serve the community.”
The Beaconsfield High School Band performed at the assembly and students presented the Governor General with a slide show of their many community service accomplishments.
As he left the auditorium, the Governor General stopped to sign the leg cast of Sara Buscemi, who recently broke her ankle while on a trampoline.
“Wow, that was really a surprise,” Sara said as she read the good luck wishes from the Governor General.
Earlier, the Governor General visited the school library and took questions from students in the Secondary 4 and 5 Embarkations Alternative Program, designed to meet the needs of students who require an alternate pathway to achieve success.
One student asked Johnston what his first job was.
“My first job was a paper route but my first real job was a delivery boy for a drugstore in Sault Ste. Marie,” the Governor General said, noting that he would have to ride his delivery bike in all types of weather.
He explained that at the time, English bone china was a very popular item at the drugstore as many Americans would drive into town to purchase it a lower price than could be found in the U.S.
“Taking the bone china out of its straw-filled cask was my favourite because I didn’t have to peddle my bike in the snow,” he said.
When asked what was the most difficult part of being Canada’s Governor General, Johnston replied that as Commander in Chief, attending repatriation ceremonies of those who have died in service.
Johnston urged students to “cherish their teachers” because apart from family, they play such very important roles in their lives.
Grade 11 student Mathieu Grant said he was very impressed with the Governor General’s visit.
“He was very knowledgeable and very friendly,” he said.
When meeting with student in the Infinity 1:1 Laptop Program at the school, Johnston stopped at almost every table to ask what the students were doing. At the young entrepreneur table, he learned about various items the students have produced and sold in order to earn money for charitable works.
After learning that proceeds from the sales of hand-knit tea towels help students in the Dominican Republic, the Governor General purchased one – and when two students gave him a hand-made duct tape wallet and iPad holder, the Governor General insisted on paying for them because the money goes to help the community.
“That was amazing said Grade 8 student Samantha Isings. “That was supposed to be a gift to him.”
Beaconsfield High School Principal Rosemary Patterson said the Governor General’s visit will leave a lasting impression on her students.
“Having His Excellency, the Governor General, visit BHS was truly inspiring for our students,” she said. “He praised them for being smart and caring young people and urged them to do all they could to make the world a better place.
“I know they took his words to heart.”
Later, the Governor General officially opened the Heroes Park and Cenotaph as the Beaconsfield High School Band played before a large crowd of people, including veterans, politicians, firefighters, school board officials and flag-waving students, including those from the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s St. Edmund Elementary and Christmas Park Elementary schools.
Lights, camera, action! Students at Westwood Sr take part in anti-bullying film
There will be a lot of lights, cameras and action later this month at Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson as students take part in the making of an anti-bullying movie that will be distributed to schools across Canada.
About 200 students Westwood students will be working as actors and extras, helping with the camera work and more.
“We want everyone to be involved,” said producer and author Adam Tanguay, who already created a 48-minute movie in French called Period Infernal which is being distributed by Radio-Canada to French schools across Canada.
This latest production, called Silent Majority is an English version of the anti-bullying message that Tanguay wrote, based on his own experiences at grade and high schools.
“I had trouble speaking properly, stuttering especially when I was nervous, and was badly teased about it,” said the 26-year-old Vaudreuil-Dorion resident. “It was so bad, I even quit high school….
“It was mostly verbal, not physical bullying,” added Tanguay. “But it was definitely not cool.”
Tanguay said he was treated by specialists who helped him correct his speech impediment and returned to high school.
“That’s when all the memories and emotions came flooding back,” he said. “And that’s when I decided to write about it, with the goal of making an anti-bullying film.”
After some hits and misses – Tanguay said his some of friends thought the movie would never be made – he teamed up with director and co-producer. Dominic Bouffard, who had directed an earlier medium-length movie as well as directed many commercial and corporate videos.
Bouffard said initial filming at the school will start Oct. 25 and last between 16 and 22 days and then resume in March.
“It will be done mostly weekends and after school,” he said, noting that the film will be premiered next September at the Cegep de Valleyfield.
Mark Smith, the drama teacher at Westwood Sr., said students will have the opportunity to participate first-hand in the making of a film.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience film-making from both sides of the camera,” he said. “We have a lot of strong acting talent at Westwood and all the students who auditioned have the opportunity to be part of the film.
“We feel proud and privileged to have the film associated with our school.”
Students with selected parts in the movie include Adam Laurin, Aidan Floyd, Chase Rothdram, Christopher Petterson, Michael Davies, Isabella Gavanski and Olivia Dumas.
Davies said the opportunity to take part in the film is one he will always remember.
“I’m excited to be part of something that’s bigger than the regular Westwood activities and events – something that branches out beyond the doors of our school,” he said. “It has given me the chance to contribute to the school and leave my mark.”
Westwood Sr. Principal Sheila Honeyborne, said students not only have the opportunity to be part of a film but to take part in an anti-bullying project.
“We are incredibly proud of our students and their participation in this film,” she said. “Bullying is a serious issue and being involved in this production allows our students the opportunity to be part of an important message that speaks directly to the gravity of the matter.
“We feel fortunate to have the support, encouragement and collaboration of our community partners, the Lester B. Pearson School Board and Westwood staff and students.”
John Rennie High School students harvest honey from the school`s beehive
As sweet as honey – that’s exactly what students at John Rennie High School learned first-hand when they extracted honey from the school’s very own beehive. Students from John Rennie’s Junior and senior Green Teams as well as teacher April Rehel’s cooking class took part in the honey gathering on Sept. 29 at the Pointe Claire school. A small centrifuge machine was used to spin the frames in order to extract the honey. Professional staff from Miel Montreal were on hand to guide the students. The school’s Green Teams, led by Rehel and geography teacher Jean-Francois Pepin, have overseen the hive as well as the school’s garden, pond and and bog, all located in the school’s inner courtyard. In 2010, John Rennie was named a Brundtland Green School, part of an international movement that promotes ecology.
In all, about 25 litres of honey was collected from the John Rennie beehive, said Pepin adding that the honey will be sold at the beginning of December.
Mount Pleasant Elementary holds its first ever Colours for Cancer fundraising campaign
Colour Me Pink – or red or blue or magenta or purple.
Students at Mount Pleasant Elementary in Hudson are in for a very colourful time later this month when Principal Stephanie Herault, two teachers and a parent dye their hair red, blue, magenta or purple - all according to the school’s first-ever Colours for Cancer fundraising campaign.
It’s all part of a Lester B. Pearson School Board campaign to raise funds to combat breast cancer.
Members of LBPSB community have taken an active role in the fight against breast cancer by raising awareness and participating in school/centre-based fundraising efforts. LBPSB schools, centres and head office are pooling their efforts in hopes of raising $50,000 by Oct. 28 for the Quebec Breast Cancer Society. If the goal is met, a number of volunteers made up of board and school administrators, teachers, support staff, and even some high school students, will Shave to Save on Oct. 30.
“At Mount Pleasant we came up with Colours for Cancer, that is, dying our hair different colours to raise funds,” said Herault who launched a special challenge to her students and community.
“If we can raise more than $1,000, the students get to vote on what colour I will have to dye my hair,” she said. “So far, it’s generated a lot of excitement among the students and the community.”
Herault said teachers Johanne Lacelle-Lavalle and Krystyna Koelblen – as well as parent Holly Yates - also decided to join in the fundraising fun.
“How exciting to know that one person can make a difference in the future of so many people,” said Lacelle-Lavalle. “Through this action I hope to influence a school full of children who will grow up remembering that it takes very little to change the outcome of humanity.
“ Love, determination and daring actions lead to cures, happiness and amazing outcomes,” she added. “We all can control the future – we simply have to take control and be daring.”
Koelblen, the music teacher at the school, has lost six family members this year alone, four of them to cancer. Her aunt battled cancer for four years and her mother-in-law lost the battle 38 days after being diagnosed.
“At the moment, a childhood friend is fighting breast cancer – she has undergone seven chemotherapy treatments and has three more to go,” said Koelblen.
“Through participating in this much-needed fundraiser, I have learned that many of my students would like to become doctors, nurses and scientists,” she said. “Maybe a cure for these diseases will come about from one of our students.
“Please support us,” she added. “We are all part of it, one way or another.”
Holly Yates said her daughter Faye, a kindergarten student at the school, asked her to take part in the challenge.
“Faye was very excited about the fact that some of the Mount Pleasant staff will be dying theirhair for breast cancer,” said Yates. “She has been very inspired by Terry Fox and asked me if I would also dye my hair to help raise funds.
“I am game and would love to teach my children by example that if everyone helps just a little, great things can be achieved.”
Friendship, Love and Sexual Health (FLASH) program a success at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School
It began five years ago as a pilot project at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School. Now the FLASH program – that stands for Friendship, Love, and Sexual Health – has grown into a week-long event at the Pierrefonds school.
”The focus is on educating students with relevant and accurate information,” said Patricia Aldred, Community and Spiritual Care Animator (C.A.S.C.A.) at the Lester B. Pearson School Board. “This event not only enables students to improve their relationships with their peers but lays the foundation for healthy relationships for the rest of their lives.”
She said that FLASH encompasses several facets of relationships and sexuality, including values, communication, body image, self-esteem, self-respect, sexual stereotypes, risk-taking, technology, media and online safety as well as building respectful relationships.
This year, FLASH took place at PCHS from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
Jo Ann Centauro, an LBPSB Professional Counselor, said each student took part in a classroom workshop or auditorium presentation.
Guests included the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Questioning) Support Centre, MADD, Friends for Mental Health, Maison Jean Lapointe, ANEB (Anorexia and Bulimia Quebec) , Prima Danse, Parmi Nous and more.
Centauro said this year’s keynote speaker to parents was Dr. David Luckow, a doctor at the CSSS Youth Clinic who spoke about healthy online behaviours and gaming addiction.
For more information, contact Patricia Aldred at PCHS, 514-626-9610 or by firstname.lastname@example.org
LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School benefits from Future Shop grant
LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School is delighted to be one of nine schools from across Canada to receive an almost $20,000 Future Shop ‘Future Generation Tech Lab Grant’.
“The grant monies will be used at to purchase technology to create a 21st century library. The ability for students to readily have access to current technology will assist in keeping students inspired and empowered as they progress through their studies at LCCHS,” according to Lester B. Pearson School Board Regional Director David Meloche.
Carl Ornek, General Manager of the Future Shop store in LaSalle, and several members of his team presented the LCCHS Principal, Ann Marie Matheson with a cheque in the amount of $19,950. Also taking part in the Sept. 26 ceremony were Meloche, LCCHS Librarian Betty Dunning as well as two student representatives, Rachel Humphries in Sec. 4 and Luca Rosati in Sec 2.
“LCCHS makes great strides to ensure that every student has the tools they need to meet the challenges of today,” said Matheson adding that the Future Generation Tech Lab grant will allow LCCHS to further engage its students by transforming the school library.
“The addition of user-friendly Macintosh computers for video and project editing will help to spur creativity in students, while a ‘Kobo Corner’ will foster reading and comprehension skills through a technological approach,” she said noting that the addition of a smart board and projector will also make the library a true community learning center. “We say many thanks to future Shop.”
A perfect day for LBPSB students and the RCMP Musical Ride
It’s one thing to hear about the RCMP Musical Ride.
It’s quite another to see it.
Just ask any of the thousands of Lester B. Pearson students who were treated to the Mounties and their steeds at their best as they performed intricate maneuvers and cavalry drills, all choreographed to music.
“I loved it all,” Vanessa Kimber, a grade five student at Terry Fox Elementary as she patted Darby, an eight-year-old Gelding ridden by RCMP Cpl. Jeremy Dawson who has been in instructor with the Musical Ride since 2009.
Vanessa was among a number of students at Terry Fox Elementary who have been corresponding with members of the RCMP Musical Ride. And in Vanessa’s case, it was a perfect fit.
“I want to be a member of the RCMP and the Musical Ride when I’m older,” she said noting that she is already an accomplished rider.
Adamo Orsini, a grade 8 student at St. Thomas High School, said he was impressed with “how the music and the horses blend together.” His friend, Aryan Jamali, said the RCMP Musical Ride was “fun to watch.”
Students cheered as the Mounties, in their scarlet tunics and Stetson-type hats, showed off control and co-ordination while doing such formations as the Wagon Wheel, Clover Leaf and the Dome, once featured on the back of the Canadian $50 bill.
But the audience of young people was almost in complete silence when the riders and their horses launched into gallop while performing the Charge, a highlight of the Musical Ride.
The Mounties also performed the March Past in a salute to the guest of honour, Peter Webster, a well-known businessman with a lifetime commitment to community service, including serving on the Mounted Police Foundation Board.
In all, about 4,000 elementary and high school students from the Lester B. Pearson School Board took in the RCMP Musical Ride, held outdoors on Sept. 25 and 26 near the George Springate Arena in Pierrefonds-Roxboro. Shows on Sept. 27 and 28 were open to the public.
Springate, a well-known community figure for whom the sports centre was named, said the RCMP Musical ride never ceases to amaze. “It seems that each one is better than the last,” he said.
Pearson Adult and Career Centre celebrates 20 years of excellence
The Pearson Adult and Career Centre (PACC) in Ville LaSalle held a corn roast and fair to celebrate 20 years of excellence in culinary training. Past and present students, staff and industry partners from the professional cooking program, took part in the Sept. 15 celebration. PACC offers courses in food and beverage services, market-fresh cuisine, pastry-making, professional cooking, retail butchery, bread-making and wine tasting. PACC also operates "Le Saucier", a gourmet-class dining room open to the public throughout the year. The restaurant operation is part of the training process in PACC’s Professional Cooking, Contemporary Cuisine and Restaurant Service programs. For more information, contact Marilyn Aon, PACC Assistant Centre Director, at 514 363-6213 ext: 7732. The PACC website is http://paccvoc.lbpsb.qc.ca/
Westwood Sr High School welcomed cyclists from the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
Cyclists from the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride stopped for a short rest at Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson on Sept. 16. The cyclists were accompanied by Robert Mason, left, who contacted Westwood to be host to the riders and Hudson Mayor Ed Prevost, on the right.
Responding to Clearpoint Elementary School’s invitation, staff members of St. Edmund took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in front of cheering students on Thursday, September 4th 2014. In turn they challenged Wilder Penfield (where Principal Nicole Rosconi taught for many years) and Beacon Hill schools to participate for this great cause. - from Nicole Rosconi, Principal, St. Edmund. Elementary.
PCHS student Akshay Grover completes Montreal-Toronto run and raises funds for Childhood Cancer Canada
Akshay Grover really takes his school assignments to heart.
The 16-year-old Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School student raised just over $12,000 to help combat childhood cancer by running more than 500 kilometers from Montreal to Toronto this summer.
“It was incredible,” Akshay said of the Aug. 1 to 13 run in which he covered just over 42 kilometers daily, the equivalent of a marathon each day. “And what was more incredible is that people donated even more than the $10,000 I had hoped to raise for the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation.”
Akshay said he is now busy trying to edit the video of his run, with more than 50 hours of footage in all, in order to present to his fellow PCHS students in September and later in the year, to students at various schools under the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
PCHS Principal Cristina Prata said she was not surprised when Akshay came up with his project.
“Akshay has always been a young man ahead of his time,” she said, noting that she is looking forward to seeing the video and sitting in on Akshay’s IB oral defence at the end of this school year. “He not only talks the talk but walks the walk as well – or, in this case, ran it!”
Akshay said the idea for the run came to him when he was asked to come up with a personal project as part of the International Baccalaureate program at his school.
“I have been running competitively since I was 12 years old,” said Akshay, who also works part-time at a local grocery store.
“And I thought I could combine my love of running with raising money to combat childhood cancer,” he said adding that his influences were Terry Fox and his cross-country Marathon of Hope as well as Zachary Sobiech, an American folk-rock singer who died of bone cancer last May at the age of 18.
Akshay said the run went well despite some minor injuries – swollen ankles, shaking knees and aching hips - and mechanical problems, such the time when the car driven by his mother, Sabrina Kandola, overheated.
Kandola was his back-up during the run, following him by car.
“But we continued on to the end,” he added.
Donations are ongoing but as of Aug. 19, Akshay’s Run has raised $12,661.
Melocy Khodaverdian, director of development at Childhood Cancer Canada, said Akshay’s contribution is very welcome.
“Childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded and we are extremely grateful for the efforts of remarkable individuals like Akshay who help us create much needed awareness and support,” she said. “We hope his dedication to our brave kids and families inspires Canadians nationwide to get involved as well.”
School Board officials were also impressed with Akshay’s commitment.
Thomas Rhymes, Regional Director at the LBPSB, called Akshay “a remarkable young man who made an equally remarkable commitment to a cause he believed in.
“It is humbling to say the least.”
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day said Akshay’s commitment is an inspiration to all.
“We have very high expectations for all our students and are proud that so many exceed them, but Akshay has set the bar very high indeed,” she said. “On behalf of the Council of Commissioners, we congratulate Akshay and thank him for making the world that much of a better place.
Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School student plans fundraising run to Toronto this summer
Some people find the Montreal to Toronto drive a long one.
Try running it.
That’s just what Akshay Grover, a 16-year-old student at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School, will be doing this summer.
He hopes to raise awareness and $10,000 to help combat childhood cancer.
Akshay said the idea came to him when he was asked to come up with a project as part of the International Baccalaureate program at his school.
“International Baccalaureate … students are asked to complete a personal project,” he explained. “I decided to raise awareness and funds for the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation.”
To do so, Akshay will run 550 kilometers from Montreal to Toronto this summer – he hopes to leave on Aug.2 and arrive at the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation head office in Toronto by Aug. 16 – all while producing a movie documenting his journey.
Akshay, who has been running competitively since he was 12 years-old, said his decision to do the Montreal-Toronto trek was influenced by Terry Fox and his cross-country Marathon of Hope as well as Zachary Sobiech, an American folk-rock singer who died of bone cancer last May at the age of 18.
Akshay said he is in the process of acquiring all the necessary permits to do the run and added that his mother, Sabrina Kandola, will be following him by car. The mother and son team plan to sleep in motels along the way.
For her part, Kandola has only support for the son she is raising on her own.
“It is my prevailing goal to ensure that Akshay received the best head start in life - being a single mom right from the very beginning, financial shortcomings, lack of support, constant criticism and endless obstacles were not going to hinder me,” she said. “In fact, despite any odds and any so-called statistics, I was going to make sure that my children would receive just as much as a two-parent family.
“It is therefore such a blessing … that Akshay is choosing to help change the lives of other less fortunate children and give them hope for the future.”
Akshay said he knows it’s a long run but adds that his is a worthwhile cause.
Childhood Cancer Canada officials agree.
“We are thrilled that Akshay is raising funds and awareness for Childhood Cancer Canada with each kilometer he runs,” said Jessica MacInnis, manager of Marketing and Communications at Childhood Cancer Canada.
“With the support of incredible people like Akshay, we are able to help the 10,000 children currently living with cancer in Canada today,” she said noting that Childhood Cancer Canada offers critical support programs for children and families who have experienced a childhood cancer diagnosis. Childhood Cancer Canada also invests in childhood cancer research across Canada.
Akshay said that teachers and fellow students at his school have been supportive, purchasing his promotional t-shirts and offering him much support.
Vanessa Amar, a secondary V science, biology and psychology teacher at PCHS, said she and Akshay have been talking about this project for almost a year.
“Each student in the International Baccalaureate program has a staff representative to help the student and project along,” she said of her role in Akshay’s project.
She said Akshay has always gone above and beyond in all of his school projects.
“And this is no different,” she said adding that she is hoping to organize a rally from Akshay’s starting point and perhaps even run with him for a few kilometers as he starts on his journey..
Thomas Rhymes, Regional director at the School Board, said he was impressed by Akshay’s determination.
“It continues to amaze me that a generation so maligned is also the one making the courageous commitments,” he said.
LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day said Akshay’s commitment should serve an example to others.
“I hope Akshay’s actions will influence others – both students and adults alike – into doing something, even if it is something small, that can help make this world a better place.”
Oh and by the way, Akshay said he plans to do the trip back by car.
Akshay has designed a custom logo and had it printed on t-shirts to promote his fundraiser. He has also set up a Facebook page to keep his followers updated along the journey: https://www.facebook.com/RunAkshayGrover.
Extract from the Chairman's report of September 26, 2011
LBPSB by the Numbers
Lately, the value of school boards has been under attack by those who make sweeping, generalized statements aimed at misleading you, our community. I’d like to pass on information that I believe truly represents the value the school board offers and how the incredibly professional, talented people in this building make a huge difference in the ability to offer quality, innovative and effective education of our students. The results, of course, cannot be denied – we have one of the highest success rates in the province and continue to improve upon it.
While these numbers represent our board in 2008-2009, the latest figures available from MELS, the numbers today would only show even higher percentages of our resources focused on the students.
Teaching Support Activities: 24.96%
(In school administration, library, computers, psychologists/speech therapist, student life, animation, health and social services, school success, teacher PD)
Furniture, building and equipment: 9.8%
Council of Commissioners: 0.21%
Administrative Activities: 5.77%
(Finance, IT, Legal & Archives, Transportation Management, Payroll Services, Union Negotiators, and senior management).
With less than 6% of our budget, the board meets all our reporting requirements to MELS (Financial, Registration, Grades, Strategic Plans, Annual Reports and Management Success Agreements),
manages our Educational Services and Student Services, coordinates transportation to 51 buildings
for about 15,000 students, manages the payroll, recruitment and human resources function for 4,500 employees, provides legal and archive services, maximizes our relationships with vendors resulting in minimum pricing for so many of the products used in our classrooms daily, coordinates quality food and nutrition services (and education!) including the delivery of hot meals to schools without cafeterias and management of a Hungry Kids program allowing us to provide meals for many students in need, and maintains our internet and computer network services 24/7. It also includes all of the photocopy machines and telephones in schools and centers, all of the software to run accounting and payroll systems in schools and centers and report cards, two architects and two engineers to oversee the 57 buildings in the school board network, two lawyers to oversee all legal issues, and three accountants to ensure proper accounting practices and tax laws are respected for a $250 million budget.
Any organization, public or private, would be hard pressed to deliver this more economically.
Well before MELS introduced legislation requiring us to reduce our expenses, LBPSB started the rationalization process. We started reducing headcounts and related expenses as our population decreased before Law 100 came into effect, and we continue to do so. We started our Energy Projects before MELS required reductions in energy costs. We did so because we take our role of managing public funds and providing the best education possible to our students very seriously. Always have.