Pages - April-2015
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Return to Applause! 2014 - 2015

Applause! is the monthly recognition of significant achievements and contributions by staff, students and community partners at a York Region District School Board Public Board Meeting.
Recognition of achievements is based on alignment with the organizational goals outlined by the Trustees’ Multi-Year Plan in combination with the criteria set out in Staff Awards and Student Awards policies.

'Every School an Eco School' – Student Voices

The production of the 'Every School an EcoSchool – Student Voices' video is in recognition and appreciation of our Ontario EcoSchools, ecoteams working towards certification and, schools that are environmentally healthy. Students and staff across our organization make significant environmental contributions that positively impact sustainability in our communities in the following areas:

  • Energy conservation
  • Waste management
  • School ground greening 
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Curriculum

When asked about ways their school/community has changed and the skills and knowledge they learned, students enthusiastically describe the many eco-initiatives implemented in our schools. They express ways in which environmental responsibility and leadership are developed through their participation.

Special mention to Ellen Fairclough Public School and Fossil Hill Public School, who are winners of the Waste Free Lunch Challenge developed by the Recycling Council of Ontario. These schools committed to undertaking two waste audits; one before and one during a waste-free lunch day in Waste Reduction Week last October. These schools decreased the amount of garbage they produced and educated students, staff and parents about waste reduction.

Langstaff Discovery Centre Caretakers

Langstaff Discovery Centre CaretakersRed Maple Public School is located in the Langstaff Discovery Centre as part of a tri-party agreement with the York Region District School Board, York Catholic District School Board and the Town of Richmond Hill. The Langstaff Discovery Centre is home to Red Maple Public School, St. Paul Catholic School and the Langstaff Community Centre.

Head caretaker Laura Green and her team of seven are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire building. The building that they support includes approximately 1000 elementary school students, approximately 100 staff members and members from the public who utilize the community centre. The Langstaff Discovery Centre supports many permits and programs from the York Region District School Board, the York Catholic School Board, the Town of Richmond Hill and many area sports tournaments. The work of the caretakers goes beyond the regular school year as there are also many summer programs and permits.

Despite a very challenging building to look after, Laura and her caretaking team remain positive and supportive and often go well beyond the call of duty. One of the caretakers – William Pinter even plays the saxophone at Red Maple’s monthly Good News Assemblies.  Their care and concern for the school and the Langstaff community is inspiring!

Recipients: Laura Green, Luis Morales, William Pinter, Adrian Reid, Adam Dawe, Maria Zuniga, Dan MacDonald, and Charles Dufty/Rachael Bryan.

Rosedale Heights Public School Mental Health Conference

Rosedale Heights - Mental Health ConferenceIn keeping with the Board’s focus on promoting well-being, six Rosedale Heights Public School students, the Leaders of Tomorrow Today (LTT), chose to create an environment in their school that would help erase stigma and open up discussions about mental health. These leaders began the conversation regarding mental health issues for their school and the surrounding community in the form of a mental health conference. The conference included many workshops with topics such as eating disorders, drugs and addiction, anxiety in the teen years, and barriers to support for teen girls. Six area schools were invited to join the conversation and bring back ideas and continue the learning in their own buildings. At Rosedale, the Leaders of Tomorrow Today have begun to change the culture around mental health issues, proving that students can make a real difference in their own schools and in their community.

The Leaders of Tomorrow Today at Rosedale Heights Public School are Edan Menahem, Ben Shane, Matthew Krestell, Ritchie DiMaria, Noah Westreich and Ryan Krupat.


North Star

North Star - Lauren RiskMacLeod's Landing Public School teacher Lauren Risk is April’s North Star. Below is the nomination sent by her colleague Ryan Branoff:

I would like to nominate Lauren 'Nikki' Risk for the North Star Teacher Award as I believe she embodies and exudes the criteria on a daily basis at our school. Nikki has been a Literacy Lead for our school for the past two years, and in that time she has made a lasting, positive impact on our school's climate. Through this role, Nikki has really become the face of a pleasant and congenial work place; by always being willing to help and listen to the needs of her colleagues. Without a doubt, Nikki is the one people go to when they need help, and she never says no. She is always willing to go above and beyond her role to provide any help that is needed. Her colleagues are tremendously comfortable with her and this makes her highly effective at what she does.

In her role as Literacy Lead, Nikki is the voice of support and encouragement when it comes to implementation of new ideas and concepts that may prove difficult for some people. Her humble nature, mixed with her expertise has made her a formidable person when facilitating professional development meetings, including our school's Collaborative Inquiry. During these meetings, she tends to sit back, listen, and build group consensus to move the thinking forward. By doing this, Nikki is able to share her knowledge without having to forceful. She takes the collective thinking of the group and articulates it in a way that allows everyone to benefit and have ownership over the end result. This has had a direct impact on staff morale, and positive workplace relationships because Nikki ensures that anyone who is participating is adequately comfortable.

Ultimately, Nikki Risk is one of the most positive, professional, pleasant, and humble people I have met. This is my second year at MacLeod's Landing (my first as a Literacy Lead) and she has really inspired me with her excellent facilitation and interpersonal communication skills. We are truly lucky to have such a beckon of positivity, support and encouragement at MacLeod's Landing!


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