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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Thursday, October 5, 2017 6:28 AM -0400
Subject:World Teachers’ Day on October 5, 2017
As we recognize the annual tradition of World Teachers’ Day on October 5, 2017, we join others around the globe in celebrating the fundamental role of teachers everywhere in shaping and supporting a love of learning, both in the classroom and on a lifelong basis.  
Image of World Teachers' Day 2017 poster: "Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers"Once again, we invite students, families, and all members of our school communities in Bluewater District School Board to take a moment to thank and show their appreciation for a teacher, past or present, who has made a positive impact in their lives.

“From kindergarten to Grade 12, we are extremely fortunate to have such a wide-ranging group of experienced and passionate teachers in all of our Bluewater schools.  We thank and acknowledge them on World Teachers’ Day, and every day, for all that they do to support the success and well-being of our students,” says Board Chair Ron Motz.

“The high level of dedication and varied skill sets that our teachers bring to their classrooms and schools on a daily basis, are at the very core of the quality education and caring learning environments we endeavor to provide to all students in Bluewater.  I encourage everyone to pause with me on World Teacher’s Day as we thank these exceptional individuals for their important work in preparing our students today for the world of tomorrow,” says Director of Education Alana Murray.       

This year, we are pleased to highlight a select few of the many, many great examples of teaching excellence in Bluewater.  

Image of Avis DalgarnoAvis Dalgarno
Work Location: Bluewater District School Board Education Centre, Chesley
Position: ESL/ELD System Lead Teacher
Responsibilities/contributions across the district:
- supports ESL/ELD students
- supports international and exchange students
- facilitates professional learning focused on ESL/ELD instructional and assessment strategies
- mentoring and coaching ESL/ELD teachers
- facilitating cross-school collaborative inquiries focussed on ESL/ELD
- creating and facilitating webinars across the Barrie Region
- administering the STEP (ESL/ELD) assessment
- co-developing district processes to support ESL/ELD students
- designs and facilitates presentations at staff meetings, board meetings, Professional Activity Days

“Avis is a passionate, kind, and dedicated teacher who has pioneered the English as a Second Language program within our district.” – Learning Services Administrator Lisa Emke

Image of Mike SmithMike Smith
Work Location:  Huron Heights Public School, Kincardine
Position: Grade 6 Teacher
Responsibilities/contributions:  Mike has taken on a great role and leadership in managing technology troubleshooting at Huron Heights.  His strong background and interest in technology has promoted a variety of new apps and technology avenues for students and staff.  He utilizes technology to differentiate and create an inclusive environment where all students can be successful, and has been instrumental in incorporating technology and video creation in a variety of subject areas.  In Science, for example, he has had the students create "did you know" videos about invasive species using a green screen background.  His focus for this year is on using technology to communicate with others, while maintaining etiquette and proper curriculum formats.  

“Mr. Smith is a great teacher who helps everyone, staff and students alike, especially with technology.  He is a great technology leader in our school." – staff member

“Mike does a great job of bringing technology alive for students, he applies for special project grants, and seeks out ways to integrate technology into the curriculum for students, enriching their overall experience with the subject matter." – Principal Colleen Maguire

Image of Audrey MacDonaldAudrey MacDonald
Work Location:  Beaver Valley Community School, Thornbury  
Position:  JK/SK Teacher
Responsibilities/contributions:  Audrey has been instrumental in the creation of outdoor classroom spaces at Beaver Valley Community School.  She hosted a two-day workshop on Forest School Programming and Outdoor Education on her property last summer, attended by 30 teachers from Bluewater District School Board.  She has also been involved in the development of the school’s new library space, by assisting with the creation of live edge wood tables made from cut down spruce trees she saved when the school’s parking lot was built.  Audrey runs after school art classes for primary and junior students.  She has also hosted Early Childhood Educator (ECE) and Faculty of Education student teachers in the classroom.

“I have to say that I am so impressed with everything.  I was a curriculum consultant for a long time prior to moving up to Blue Mountains, and you are the teacher that I dream about!  Thank you for your dedication and amazing support for inquiry based learning, inspiring children's love of learning, and supporting their social, emotional, and academic well-being.  I can appreciate your time and commitment to helping every child succeed. THANK YOU.” – Sarah Potter, parent

Image of Watson MorrisWatson Morris
Work Location:  Kincardine District Secondary School  
Position:  Secondary Teacher
Responsibilities/contributions:  Mr. Morris has been a teacher at KDSS since 2003.  Prior to coming to Bluewater, he worked for the Toronto District School Board.  Currently, he teaches Grade 11 Sociology/Anthropology/Psychology, Grade 12 Philosophy, and Grade 11 Native Studies.  He has also taught English, History and Civics.   

Mr. Morris is a very involved and giving teacher, with a strong interest in promoting diversity and understanding.  He is the staff leader of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), which has been a very active group within the school and community through sponsoring school assemblies, increasing awareness, and decorating the school’s all-gender washroom.  Last year, Mr. Morris and the GSA successfully wrote persuasive letters to convince the Kincardine municipal government and Bluewater District School Board to celebrate Pride Week for the first time, by granting permission to allow municipal buildings and local schools to fly and display the Pride Rainbow Flag.  More recently, Mr. Morris’ Native Studies class led a successful campaign to increase awareness about Residential Schools, which culminated in a high rate of participation during Orange Shirt Day recognition on September 28.  His strong commitment to safe and accepting schools has also resulted in involvement with the KDSS Safe School Committee, as well as the KDSS Home and School Association.  He is a tireless supporter of the town’s Multicultural Celebration Committee, and also supports local and sustainable farming initiatives.  This includes running the school’s milk machine and fostering many local partnerships in the dairy industry to support students financially, in addition to meeting their health needs.  Mr. Morris also finds time to coach both the KDSS boys’ and community soccer teams.

“Mr. Morris is very much the social conscience of KDSS.  His passions and efforts within our school and community have made KDSS a beacon of acceptance and understanding.  He, more than any other, will speak for the voiceless or give cause for the vulnerable.  He is a great role model for staff and students, and his efforts have made KDSS, our community, and Bluewater a better place.” – Principal Mark Ozorio

Image of Chelan CarriereChelan Carriere
Work Location:  Amabel-Sauble Community School, Sauble Beach  
Position:  Grade 7/8 Teacher
Responsibilities/contributions:  While her background is in primary, Chelan has really embraced this new opportunity to learn with the Grade 7/8 students!  With a focus on collaboration and learning from each other, her classroom is set up so that students can easily work together and discuss their learning.  Chelan also recognizes that intermediate learners are quite diverse, and has arranged for a number of seating options from which students can choose based on their comfort preferences (e.g. rugs and cushions on the floor, a low table to work at, stools, a bean bag chair, a rocking chair).  Chelan’s classroom fosters inquiry with “loose parts” stations and lots of hands on opportunities for students to manipulate materials and explore.  It is a well thought out environment that encourages kids to interact.

In addition to being a 7/8 homeroom teacher, Chelan coaches soccer and basketball, leads the yearbook team, supports science fair and public speaking events, and is organizing a Newfoundland exchange this year for Grade 7/8 students.  

“Chelan models risk taking and discovery for the students, and brings the openness and creativity of a primary classroom to the intermediate level.  There is a lot of excitement in the room, and a positive hum as students interact in new ways with their environment and think critically about their world.” – Principal Donna Farrow

Image of Jean KirbyJean Kirby
Work Location:  Peninsula District Shores School, Wiarton  
Position:  Math Teacher
Responsibilities/contributions:  In addition to her longstanding position as respected teacher of secondary school mathematics, Ms. Kirby has served as Department Head, and as Mathematics Position of Responsibility (POR).  She has mentored other math teachers in the school, which has in turn, resulted in those teachers’ students reaching the same levels of excellence as her own.  Ms. Kirby takes a leadership role in classroom learning.  She shares best practices at staff meetings, analyzes Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) data with other staff to review the math program to improve student outcomes, and is a leader in improving literacy strategies in math classrooms.  Aside from her track record of great success in coaching students and teams, she volunteers her time at extracurricular events, such as school dances.

“Ms. Kirby’s students, year after year, consistently achieve level 3 or 4 on the EQAO Grade 9 Math assessment.  Often her classes, as a group, score 100% achievement at the provincial standard.  Her professional growth goals are to improve her own use of technology as a means to differentiate student learning, and learning how Growth Mindset can help students see themselves as math learners and believe in their ability to learn and use math.  She is a lead learner of her teaching peers, not only in the subject of math, but across the curriculum.” – Principal Todd Wainwright