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Message from the Interim Director
Message from the Interim Director

May 26, 2017KathiWallace_DM2.jpg

Recognizing Student Achievement

Since starting with the Board just over a week ago, I have been meeting with as many people as possible. I believe it’s important to listen and I value these opportunities to hear from trustees, staff members, students, families and community partners.
From these conversations, I see a real commitment to moving forward, and to working with community groups to rebuild trust and create learning environments that are nurturing and inclusive for all of our students.
This week, I had the privilege of attending two events to celebrate student success.
The Uukkamathu Kaividale Awards of Excellence honour the achievements of students in our Board of Tamil heritage. The event, which included a lamp lighting ceremony and performances celebrating Tamil culture, was organized by Educators for Tamil Students’ Success of YRDSB in partnership with our Inclusive Schools and Community Services and the Markham Tamil Organization and the Association of Sri Lankan Graduates of Canada.
The Alliance of Educators for Black Students Achievement Awards recognize students of African/Caribbean heritage. The performances from students and the keynote address by Canadian film writer and director Sudz Sutherland were moving and inspirational.
Both events recognized students for a range of impressive achievements in different aspects of school life. They demonstrated high achievement, perseverance, a passion for learning and a high degree of skill.  Congratulations to all of the recipients –  and to all of the staff members and families who provide support and encouragement.
Both events were great examples of how many individuals coming together can promote and celebrate the achievements of young people in our communities.
I want to acknowledge the Educators for Tamil Students’ Success and the Alliance of Educators for Black Students who organized the two events. These groups of YRDSB educators promote the achievement and well-being of students of Tamil and of African/Caribbean heritage. Thank you for the valuable and important work you are doing.
We are all committed to improving learning opportunities for our students, and I truly believe we are better together. I also believe in an open door policy and invite you – students, parents, staff members, community partners –  to connect with me if you see ways for us to work together to support our students.
I also want to acknowledge the tragic events that took place in Manchester on Monday. Our thoughts continue to be with all those affected. While the horror of what unfolded is difficult to comprehend, it is reassuring to see the stories of people coming together in acts of kindness, compassion and unity. If needed, there are tips available on the Board website for speaking with your child after tragic events like this one.
Kathi Wallace
Interim Director of Education 



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