Pages - December 2014
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December 2014
December 2014
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.

The Government of Canada History Awards

The Government of Canada History Awards are aimed at connecting youth to their history by honouring outstanding students and teachers who show an interest in celebrating Canadian history. The awards are presented by the Government of Canada and Canada’s National History Society.

The nationwide essay contest is open to students who are residents of Canada and currently enrolled in a Canadian high school as a full-time Grade 10 or 11 student. Essays are required to be between 800 to 1,200 words in length and are expected to be historical in nature. A panel of judges evaluates the essays based on evidence of research, analysis and critical thinking.

This year there were 75 recipients chosen from across Canada. Five of the recipients are from the York Region District School Board:


Student​ ​School ​Essay
Alexandra Sterjovski​ ​Markville Secondary School ​The Catalyst of Human Rights
Adil Rehman​ ​Markville Secondary School ​Rights in Canada; Germination to Fruition
​Nikita Zurowski ​Markville Secondary School ​The War of 1812: Canada's True Birth
​Carmen Li ​Markville Secondary School ​The "True" Origin of Canada
​Sam Routley ​Huron Heights Secondary School ​Birth in Gunfire: Vimy and the Birth of Canada


Each Student was awarded a cash prize of $1,000.

Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL) Association of Ontario Award Winners

Two York Region District School Board staff who teach English as a Second Language (ESL) are the recipients of TESL Ontario awards.

Susan Richarz, who teaches at Uplands Community Centre, has been awarded TESL Ontario’s Sparks of Excellence Recognition Award for “providing outstanding educational experiences to students and/or demonstrating exceptional leadership/mentoring expertise towards colleagues and student teachers in a manner that goes above and beyond the day to day duties of the job.” 

Susan began her love of ESL teaching as a volunteer 20 years ago. She helps her students integrate into Canadian society by arranging theatre and museum excursions, as well as inviting visiting speakers to her class. Collaboration with colleagues and supporting new teachers are important to Susan’s teaching practice.

ESL supply teacher Svetlana Lupasco, is a runner-up winner in TESL Ontario’s ESL Creativity Contest for her blog Teach2LearnESL. Svetlana started her blog as a way to connect with other colleagues who were looking to improve their teaching practices. As a language instructor passionate about teaching adult ESL learners with literacy needs, Svetlana blogs about the importance of building confidence, blended learning, learning with technology, language skills and grammar.

Both Susan and Svetlana were honoured at TESL Ontario’s 42nd annual conference in Toronto. TESL Ontario is a non-profit organization that represents more than 4,600 language training professionals working in immigrant serving agencies, school boards, publicly funded sites across Ontario, colleges/universities, elementary/secondary and private language training schools. 

​North Star

Richmond Green Secondary School teacher Anthony Belo is December’s North Star.

Anthony continually supports staff in their quest for a healthy lifestyle.  As a former Phys. Ed teacher, he offers his spare time during lunch to help both staff and students learn weight training in the fitness room.  He motivates staff members to get active by providing work out training advice during PA day break out sessions and daily at lunch.  He provides a number of staff members with nutritional advice and is always willing to share some of his famous organic home cooking at lunch.  If Anthony hears that you don't have a lunch with you, somehow delicious food items appear on your desk.

Anthony is energetic, enthusiastic and extremely charismatic.  He is always smiling and makes those around him feel positive about their day. He always has an inspiring quote, story or anecdote that leaves you with a life lesson or an "aha" moment and truly brightens your day. 

He is an exceptional teacher, leader, mentor and friend to all. There is no doubt that he truly deserves this award.

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