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Outstanding UCDSB Individuals Honoured with 2022 Trustee Innovation Award
Outstanding UCDSB Individuals Honoured with 2022 Trustee Innovation Award
Posted on 06/29/2022
Announcing 2022 Trustee Innovation Award winners

June 29, 2022 (Brockville, ON) – The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) celebrated creativity, innovation, and its impact on student learning within the district recently by announcing the 2022 Trustee Innovation Award (TIA) winners.   

The annual award program recognizes individuals within the UCDSB for innovative teaching and work practices, with the intent that these practices and/or methods be incorporated into learning, used to improve the way education is delivered, and other services that benefit the school and community.  

Nominations came in from across the district from parents and staff, featuring innovative practices that engage students in hands-on learning, what it means to be a responsible citizen outside of the classroom, and the importance of fueling the mind and body to be ready to learn.

We are once again amazed by the creativity and innovation that takes place each day within this school district and the positive impact that it has on students expands beyond the classroom,” says Corina Parisien, UCDSB Trustee and TIA Committee Chair. “The individuals selected to receive these awards have gone above and beyond to promote a healthy, impactful, and sustainable learning environment for current and future students. These individuals are helping shape the minds of the future and make a tangible difference.”

This year, five winners – three individuals and two groups were selected by the TIA committee, which is made up of trustees and board staff. The winners include the first-ever student recipient for their creative spin on learning math; a high school’s experiential farming project; and a social justice and literacy project for intermediate students that had a major impact on helping students read. The TIA Award recipients learned of this honour during a virtual Microsoft Teams event on June 14 and will receive their award in-person when school returns in the fall. They will also be featured in a video presentation to the Board of Trustees.

Without further ado, the 2022 Trustee Innovation Award winners are:  

 

Individuals

Sara Langman, Teacher  

Sweet’s Corners Elementary School, Lyndhurst:  

 

At Sweet’s Corners Elementary School, French Teacher Sara Langman is well known for being innovative. She always thinks about how she can improve student comprehension and learning by integrating technology and hands-on education into her lessons. Recently, Langman incorporated strategies used for phonemic awareness and hand gestures that students know from the Heggerty program to introduce new French vocabulary. Part of the learning included a collaborated approach with the Grade 2/3 class to create a McDonald’s drive-thru set so that students can have a real-world learning experience to practice their French vocabulary while taking turns being the customer and employee. Along with this tactile approach, Langman also created French computer games that reinforce the new vocabulary being taught.  

This comes on the heels of exceptionally creative and innovative approaches to integrating math coding language and robots into a French class unit where students would build a city to practice their math coding directions while using the French vocabulary they would need to move around the city.  

 

Holden Anderson, Student 

Chimo Elementary School, Smiths Falls:    

Holden Anderson, a student at Chimo Elementary School, incorporated music and technology to create an original and entertaining video that is being utilized in his school and across the district as a math teaching aid.  

The topic for the video is algebra and more specifically, the order of how to do brackets, exponents, division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction -- BEDMAS for short. The entertaining video is geared towards intermediate and younger students and is available for everyone to use online. In addition to being used as a teaching aid, the video was also presented during the district’s retirement celebration and board celebration evening. Anderson is also the first student to receive a Trustee Innovation Award. Anderson’s ability to connect to what may help students understand the mathematical concept and both his ability to think creatively and innovatively are part of the reasons why he is deserving of this award.  

 

Groups 

  Jennifer Dobbin, Teacher 

Chrystal van Riel, Teacher 

Janice Honey, Special Education Teacher  Nancy Lalonde, Early Years Learning Partner 

Megan Radley, Early Years Learning Partner  Christy Wilson, Real World Learning Partner  Sara Lathrop, Real World Learning Partner 

Russell High School and District Learning Partners:  

 

A real-world learning initiative at Russell High School led by district learning partners Nancy Lalonde, Megan Radley, Christy Wilson, Sara Lathrop, and teachers Jennifer Dobbin, Chrystal van Riel, and Janice Honey has tackled social justice issues connected to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) Right to Read inquiry as well as boosted literacy among students.

Their innovative and creative project for Grade 7 and 8 students saw students become the authors of decodable texts to address the OHRC's findings on the Right to Read. The decodable book project was designed to support literacy in primary students. Decodable texts are carefully sequenced to help children with letter and sound relationships, which are used to support learning in new readers.

This project has inspired similar and additional projects at Russell High School and across the board, which includes original animated read-alouds, original music, original artwork, and a community-connected publishing project that will reach public libraries in Russell and beyond. 

The success of the project has led to other innovative learning opportunities in schools where original student creations are both the learning and the product of learning to read, all based on the Science of Reading. Plus, it will see students produce a catalogue of by-students-for-students learning materials related to the OHRC's findings, the science of reading, and audio/video materials to support the Board Improvement and Equity Plan. 

  

Jennifer Ng, Teacher  Shannon Scott, Teacher  Heidi MacDonald, Principal  Robyn Holmes, School Council Chair 

Maynard Public School, Prescott: 

 

As part of the district’s Board Improvement and Equity Plan, Maynard Public School’s Principal Heidi MacDonald, teachers Jennifer Ng, Shannon Scott, and School Council Chair Robyn Holmes, embraced the Science of Reading by incorporating a balance of decoding and comprehension skills in the classroom and are having tremendous success with their student readers. Together with the school’s council, the team applied for and was approved for a Parents Reaching Out Grant to create a home-school partnership around literacy and the importance of all students learning to read.

Part of this initiative included an engaging and collaborative educational development session for parents and guardians to learn about the Science of Reading and showing them exactly how they can support their children at home, creating at-home support kits with the tools and references that parents would need to support their children with literacy. The funding has aided the creation of modules for parents and staff that can be used in the present and future, at-home literacy kits that are low cost, can be re-used, and easily re-created.  

This initiative has proven to be both sustainable and produce results for the learners. It also emphasized the importance of reading for pleasure with children. Other schools in the district have also reached out to the team wanting to create their own sessions and kits for families. 

 

Heather Grant, Teacher  

Francis Oliveira, Teacher 

Char-Lan District High School, Williamstown: 

 

Teachers Heather Grant and Francis Oliveira have been instrumental in a real-world innovative and creative experiential farm project at Char-Lan District High School to create a green outdoor learning space. Earlier this school year, the Desjardins Foundation recognized the sustainability of this project and provided funding to the school. 

 

This project has students developing the land surrounding the school to grow their own food. In addition, a tree farm of 140 trees is being established beside the existing school apple orchard. Included in this project are a composting effort and a bird nesting setup that involves the total student and staff body.  

 

Since Char-Lan DHS sits in an agricultural community, the tangible opportunities for the connection between student learning and green initiatives are endless. This pilot program has a multi-year focus, which is in line with the school’s agricultural roots and the Agriculture Specialist High Skills Major program. This real-world learning project has the potential to be adapted and shared with other schools and communities within the district.  

 

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For media inquiries, please contact:   

April Scott-Clarke   Manager of Communications   Upper Canada District School Board   [email protected] 

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