Pages - September 2014
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September 2014
September 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.

2014 Teachers of the Year

The Teacher of the Year Award honours teachers who exemplify the Board’s Mission, Vision and Values as well as other practices that support success in the classroom and schools.  The Teacher of the Year Award stands as a symbol of the high regard in which York Region teachers are held and serves as a beacon of excellence for others to follow.
2014 Teacher of the Year 

Mark Girdler, Richmond Hill High School

Mark Girdler’s dedication and commitment to the students and staff at Richmond Hill H.S. is most admirable.  He takes the time required to get to know his students and their individual needs. He goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the very best for his students.  Students who would otherwise be marginalized are given the time and care required to experience success.  He is compassionate and understanding and doesn’t give up on students. Instead, he looks beyond their past actions to harness the potential that lies within.  Not only does he coach sports, he coaches life skills and character development.  From early in the morning until late at night, Mark is either supporting teachers or working with students.   His calm and patient demeanour makes students and staff want to aspire to be the best that they can be.
As a school leader, Mark is collaborative and held in the highest regard by his colleagues, the school administration and the community. He can be counted upon to model and support the staff through the implementation of initiatives. He is generous with his time and willingly shares his resources. As a man of character, he ensures that student welfare remains at the core of all that we do. Public education has the potential to be the equalizer of opportunities.  It is teachers like Mark who provide the conditions and supports that inspires students to believe in their dreams and work towards success.

Christina Urban, Kleinburg Public School

Christina Urban is an educator who believes in service to students, colleagues, parents and community. As a ten year YRDSB employee, she has worked in a variety of elementary classrooms as a homeroom teacher, a prep provider and now, as a Special Education Resource Teacher and Student Support Centre Teacher. Christina approaches any assignment with the goal of doing her very best work for the children and families she serves. Christina believes that all students can learn. She uses strong instructional practice to set the bar high for all learners. Christina is quick to identify each student’s individual needs. As she works with some of our most at-risk learners, she does this with stout commitment to Ministry and Board expectations, insatiable tenacity and a consistent, positive open mind-set.
Christina’s commitment to equity and inclusivity is evident in everything she does and says. She champions the rights of all students through the work she does to encourage all students to be free to be who they are. She works tirelessly to seek out strategies and services to support all learners. One example of Christina’s commitment to building family and community capacity is evidenced in her work to co-plan and co-facilitate a series of mental health and well-being workshops. These workshops included staff at the school level, students, parents and community.
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