Some Positive Tidbits from around the District (Part 2)

Rarely does a sequel match the original, but this blog entry will do just that as I continue to brag about some of the great things that happened in our district over the last couple of months of the school year.

In late May, Adrienne Gear paid School District No. 27 another visit.  If you recall, Ms. Gear was here for our Summer Institute last August.  This time, she was invited into classrooms at 100 Mile Elementary and Cataline Elementary. With between fifteen and twenty teachers from a number of our elementary schools observing, Adrienne demonstrated some of the lessons taken directly from her books, “Reading Power” and “Writing Power”.

Teachers line the classroom at 100 Mile Elementary to observe Adrienne Gear's lesson.

Teachers line the classroom at 100 Mile Elementary to observe Adrienne Gear’s lesson.

Using the demonstration model from Reading Recovery, facilitator Reading Strategies Coordinator Lori Kelly organized the lessons in such a way that Adrienne would talk about her lesson first, teachers would then watch Adrienne teach the lesson in a classroom full of students, and finally the teachers would discuss the lesson together with Adrienne.  In my opinion, this is professional development at its finest.  Next step?  Our teachers teaching similar lessons for each other and then debriefing together?

Adrienne Gear looks over a student's work at Cataline Elementary as teachers look on.

Adrienne Gear looks over a student’s work at Cataline Elementary as teachers look on.

The end of May and all of June are always the times for year-end ceremonies and celebrations.  I’m not sure I realized how many of these types of events there were in our district until I did my best to attend as many as possible as Superintendent.  The four grad ceremonies (PSO, GROW, WLSS, and Columneetza) were highlights.  Each ceremony did a great job of celebrating the accomplishments of our wonderful students while maintaining their own unique character.

PSO Secondary Vice Principal Geoff Butcher, Principal Vic Brett and I pose with Governor General's Award Winner Jillian Matlock (photo courtesy Monika Paterson, 100 Mile Free Press).

PSO Secondary Vice Principal Geoff Butcher, Principal Vic Brett and I pose with Governor General’s Award Winner Jillian Matlock (photo courtesy Monika Paterson, 100 Mile Free Press).

My other year-end highlights included Retirement Dinners for Principals, Teacher, and Support Staff, Roots of Empathy year-end celebration, elementary track meets in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House, visits to Tatla Lake and Anahim Lake, a presentation at a Ministry-organized “Racism Think Tank”, Aboriginal Day events, and Williams Lake Indian Band’s Grad Celebration. 

Wildwood Elementary staff, students, and parents atop their float in the Aboriginal Day parade

Wildwood Elementary staff, students, and parents atop their float in the Aboriginal Day parade

The other side of Wildwood's float in the Aboriginal Day parade

The other side of Wildwood’s float in the Aboriginal Day parade

While July has slowed down slightly, I was fortunate to be able to make a presentation at this past weekend’s Canadian School Boards Association’s Congress 2013 in Vancouver.  School Trustee Tanya Guenther, Thoughtstream Founder and Vice President Dave MacLeod and I presented a workshop entitled “Community Voice 2.0” and told our story of how we engaged with the community through our difficult reconfiguration process this past year.  While we certainly didn’t pretend to have all the answers, it was extremely informative and enlightening for us to share our story with seventy-five school trustees from across Canada while also being able to hear similar stories from our audience members.

It is my sincere hope that most readers are well into a relaxing and rejuvenating summer.  While I look forward to a bit of a break myself, you should know that plans are already underway for another great school year in 2013-14.  For now, I promise not to use the phrase “Back to School” for at least another month.  Enjoy your summer!

I invite feedback and comments to any of my blog entries.  As the administrator of the blog, I approve all comments before they hit the public domain.  While I do not mind comments that disagree with my point of view, I will not post comments that I deem to be inappropriate, those which are personal attacks, or those which refer to specific personnel.  I also will not post comments from anonymous or nicknamed sources.  While one of my goals for this blog is to open a dialogue, it needs to be a safe environment for everyone involved.  Thanks for considering this before making a comment. – Mark

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