Monday, 22 June 2015

EMSB appoints new Director General

NEW DIRECTOR GENERAL: Ann Marie Matheson has been appointed the new Director General of the English Montreal School Board, succeeding Robert Stocker who stepped down last month and now serves as a senior advisor.
Ann Marie Matheson
Ms. Matheson’s connection to the EMSB dates back to the beginning of her 23 year career in education. As a member of the Student Services Department of the former Montreal Catholic School Board (MCSC), she was directly involved with programs meant to reduce absenteeism and increase student success rates in all high schools, including St. Raphael, St Pius X and Paul VI schools.  For three years, from 2011 to 2014, Ms. Matheson was an EMSB commissioner for Ahuntsic. Additionally, Ms. Matheson served as the International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator at Marymount Academy International in its founding years and was on loan-of-service to the Ministry of Education and had responsibility for the École Montréalaise Program in English schools – 19 of which were in the EMSB.

Most recently Ms. Matheson has worked for the Lester B. Pearson School Board as a principal at LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School. She was also an in-school administrator at  St. Lawrence Academy Junior, Beurling Academy and ECS (Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School for Girls). Ms. Matherson is the parent of two children who have attended EMSB schools. As well she served on the Region 3 Parents Committee and Central Parents Committee in 2005.

BALANCED BUDGETOn June 30, the EMSB adopted a balanced budget for the 2015-2016 school year, with revenues equal to expenses at close to $300 million.  The EMSB was able to absorb Ministry of Education (MEESR) budgetary cuts of close to $2 million because of a strong and growing Adult and Vocational Services sector,  as well as a one-time injection of funds from the expected sale of surplus properties for $1 million.

IN-SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS: The Council of Commissioners approved a number of in-school administrative appointments for
Demetra Droutsas
2015-2016  New principals will be Elana Zervas (currently at Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount), Dunrae Gardens in TMR; Demetra Droutsas (currently at Rosemount High School), Gardenview Elementary School in St. Laurent; Christina Chilelli (currently on maternity leave and prior to that principal at Hampstead School), Gerald McShane  Elementary School in Montreal North; David Lee (currently vice-principal at Rosemount High School), Hampstead Elementary School;  Marisa Mineiro (currently vice-principal at Honoré-Mercier
Marco Gagliardi
Elemenary School),  Michelangelo International School in RDP; Darlene Kehyayan (currently at Dunrae Gardens), Nesbitt; Silvana Crigna (currently at Shadd Health and Business Centre), Sinclair Laird Elementary School in Park Extension;  Joe Cacchione (currently vice-principal at Galileo Adult Education Centre), Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North; Marco Gagliardi (currently principal at Sinclair Laird), Rosemount High School; Roma Medwid (currently Deputy Director General), Shadd Health and Business Centre

Mauro Zampini
New vice-principals will be: Angela Vaudry (currently on sabbatical), Honoré-Mercier Elementary School in St. Léonard (Christina Voggas to serve as  replacement); Vito Campbell-Guerrerio, confirmed at Willingdon Elementary School in NDG; Nadine Pomilio, James Lyng High School in St. Henri; Hilda Hacikyaner, John Grant/L.I.N.K.S;  Angelo Gallo and Mauro Zampini, Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North; Patrizia Tummillo, Marymount Academy International in NDG; Andrew Mangal,  Rosemount High School;  Steve Manstavich, Royal West Academy in Montreal West; George Koutsoulis, Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount; Lindsay Hercherbruch, Westmount High School (still on mat leave) and  Jennifer  LeHuquet; Denise Maroun, Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton School in NDG; Dina Vourdousis, Galileo Adult Education Centre in Montreal North; JoAnne Désir, High School of Montreal in the Plateau; and Nick Stamiris, St. Laurent Adult  Eduction Centre (on leave and replacement to be named).
Anna Della Rocca
Retiring is Anna Della Rocca, principal of Michelangelo International School in RDP.

REGIONAL DIRECTORS:  Evelyne Alfonsi, who has been named a Regional Director (East) will take a one year sabbatical effective July 1. Assuming her role on an interim basis will be
Anna Villalta, currently Assistant Director in the Pedagogical Services Department. Ms Villalta, brings with her many years of valued experience as a teacher, a school administrator and, since she joined EMSB, as a board-level administrator.   Pela Nickoletopoulos is  the new Regional Director (West).

GARDENVIEW A BIG WINNER: In the Quebec Federation of Home and School Association’s Essay Contest Famous Family Recipes Essay we congratulate the second prize winner Diego Caporuscio on his essay on Family Reunion Lasagna. Diego’s essay will be published in the fall issue of the QFHSA NEWS and on the QFHSA website under Essay Contests/ Famous Family Recipes/ Winning essays 2015. 

In the Quebec Federation of Home and School Association’s Essay Contest Family Treasures Essay Competition the first prize went to Isabella Leo for her story about The Gold Watch and second prize went to Christopher Sedra for his story Shaving Kit.  The winning essays will be featured in the summer issue of the QFHSA News. 

In the 2015 QAHN Heritage Essay Contest,  out of 100 participants from various schools, Gardenview was awarded the top three prizes. The first prize went to Noa Goldberg for her story Bessie Goldberg, the second prize went to Lacey Baillairgé for her story Charles Baillairgé, and the 3rd Prize went to Pauline Kollias for her story Greek Orthodox Church.

In the National Poetry Contest Nehna Patel won first prize for her poem Mmmm Chocolate and Justin Tran won third prize for his poem If I Had SuperpowersEmma Dankoff received an honourable mention.  Their work has been published.

PEARSON TEAMS WITH NESBITT: On Wednesday June 17,  Lester B Pearson High School's Student Council teamed up with Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount's Grade 6 classes for a day-long event of workshops and activities. The theme of the day was the transition to high school,
leadership games were prepared to make students more comfortable with the change. The day provided both student groups with a further chance to bond, as we began the year with a camp in October. This opportunity allowed Nesbitt students to ask Lester B Pearson students about high school, who then gave advice, personal experiences and encouraging words throughout the day in hopes to ease their transition and encourage them to be the best they can be in high school.

A Royal West Academy student signs the golden book.
STUDENTS HONOURED AT CITY HALL: A number of EMSB high school students were honoured recently at Montreal City Hall in the "persévérance scolaire" category. Councillor Frantz Benjamin, the chairman of city council, welcomed each student to sign the city's golden book.

GRADE 1 TRANSITION: At Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc, teacher Nathalie Faviere undertook a wonderful project whereby her Grade 1 students welcomed those graduating to the next level from Kindergarten. Here is a link to one student issuing a welcome.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Gardenview Elementary School students "Dine" on unique allergy awareness performance

By Zoe Bennett

Kyle Dine, an educator and musician who performs at schools across North America raising food allergy awareness, made his first visit to Quebec on June 15  at Gardenview Elementary School in St Laurent.

Over the past six years, Dine has performed at over 300 schools for over 125,000 students. He has grown up managing his own allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, seafood and mustard. His songs help empower, support, and educate all children on the matter.
Kyle Dine in action.
With a guitar slung over his shoulder, an EpiPen on his belt, and a cast of zany puppets accompanying him, he educated the students on what they can do to help keep others with allergies safe. After growing up with multiple food allergies himself, he has a lifetime of stories and experiences that he shared with the students while answering all of their questions.

Children from every grade level,  including Kindergarten, were clearly captivated by Dine. His passion for the matter was evident and it certainly radiated through his performances. The children of Gardenview were very excited to learn even more about a cause they already knew so much about; Dine was clearly taken by surprise by how knowledgeable they were on the subject.

Carla Da Silva and her two children..
Parent Mandy Menschick and school nurse Andrea Mihailescu worked on this event,  as well as an allergy awareness campaign during the month of May.  "We put in a lot of work for a couple of months to raise awareness on this very important topic, which affects more and more people each year,"  said Menschick. " We plan on raising more awareness during the next school year with the money we raised during our campaign this year.

Carla Da Silva who works with Anaphylaxis Canada was among those in attendance for  Dine's first Quebec visit. Accompanied by her two children, one of who has suffered from severe allergies since he was merely seven months old, she was very excited to see Dine perform and educate so many on all the things she has strived so hard to explain and communicate to others. It is clear she strives to ensure that parents of these children have somewhere and someone to turn to.

The clear message that everyone is trying to spread in raising allergy awareness is to ensure that no one feels alone, or different. Even though you may suffer from something that differentiates you from others you can grow stronger and embrace your allergies in ways that some never thought possible. Dine encapsulates this in every way, he clearly inspires and will continue to do so for years to come.

Dine looks forward to visiting more EMSB schools next year.


 By Jade Horner-Chinappi

On June 9, 2015 the Kindergarten and Cycle 1 students of Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West visited the extensive grounds of the Apiary and mini farm of Intermiel in Mirabel, Quebec.
Learning about rabbits.
For over 20 years, this award winning company has not only produced tantalizing honey based products, they have also made it their mission to educate and enlighten the public, especially elementary school aged children to the fascinating world of bees.

The first stop of the day was to a mini farm where delighted students were treated to not only being able to view miniature horses, rabbits, chickens, sheep and goats, but also to have the special opportunity to hold a few of them, and even let a chicken stand on their head!  

After burning some of their energy at the on site playground, and fueling hungry stomachs at lunch, the children were off to meet the Beekeeper of Intermiel. In an enthusiastic and informative show, she explained to the children all about the various types of bees that make up a hive, and how all the bees work together.  Then, brave volunteers donned special protective suits in order to meet the bees up close!  As her assistants waited for her, the Beekeeper, carefully held a hive frame, and slowly walked around showing everyone (safe behind protective screening) the busy bees hard at work.

Following that excitement, it was on to the Extraction room where eager hands reached for a taste of sweet honey and also chocolate with honey, which was all prepared on site. 
The beekeeper and her EBS assistants.

The last part of the day was a fun puppet show and exploration of the Discovery Room, where the walls were decorated with insect specimens and posters. The tables held lots of fun games and books about bees and nature. The biggest draw of all though, was the wall of bees! Honey bees danced behind protective glass panels while little faces stared in wonder at the show!