SRCE Celebrates Education Week 2023

SRCE Celebrates Education Week 2023: April 16 to 22 - Nine (9) Staff Recognized for Their Contributions
Posted on 04/17/2023
Education Week 2023, April 16 to 22. Active Learning = Engagement colourful abstract background.

Education Week, April 16 to 22, 2023, provides an opportunity for school communities to share in celebrating the achievements of students and staff, and to acknowledge the contributions many people, in supporting roles, make to our public education system. This year’s Education Week theme is Active Learning = Engagement.  

One of the features of the Provincial Education Week Committee’s activities is the recognition of staff and partners who have made outstanding contributions to their work relative to the theme.  The Strait Regional Centre for Education congratulates the following recipients who have been formally recognized for their outstanding leadership and commitment to supporting students’ well-being, achievement and success: 

  • Dan Arpin, Teacher, St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy
  • Lynn Casey, Principal, Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy
  • Stacey Desmond, African Nova Scotian Student Support Worker, Antigonish Education Centre
  • Kathy Gosbee, Teacher Assistant, Chedabucto Education Centre/ Guysborough Academy
  • Renée Martell, Teacher, East Richmond Education Centre
  • Ashley Pelley, Lead Early Childhood Educator, Antigonish Education Centre
  • Starlene Pictou, Mi’kmaq Language Teacher, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy
  • Jim Ralph, Teacher, SAERC
  • Mike Stewart, Teacher, Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School

“Congratulations and thank you for your many contributions to supporting the needs of all learners by promoting active, hands-on, experiential learning and student engagement through a variety of classroom activities, including outdoor and land-based learning,” said Paul Landry, Regional Executive Director of Education for the Strait Regional Centre for Education.

Please access a copy of the celebration posters at: 

Education Week 2023 Award Recipients – Active Learning = Engagement

Education Week: April 16 to 22, 2023 – School Activities Celebrating Active Learning = Engagement 

NOTE: Please see below for respective biographies of the SRCE 2023 Education Week Award Recipients.

Dan Arpin, Teacher, St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy

Dan excels at engaging students at the junior and senior high school levels. In his Skilled Trades and Technology Education classes at St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy, Dan applies real world learning opportunities for students by introducing them to various trades including electrical, plumbing and construction. Under his guidance, students have taken their learning further and looked for ways in which they could enhance the school property. Some of the student-led projects included planning, building and refurbishing benches for the playground, bins for outdoor play equipment storage and crokinole boards for use during indoor recess.

Dan promotes active learning by allowing students to take ownership for their learning and supporting them to achieve academic success in non-traditional ways. By engaging students through activity and hands-on experiences, Dan provides them with opportunities to learn outside of a traditional classroom.

Lynn Casey, Principal, Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy

As Principal at Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy, Lynn views learning through an equity lens and understands the value of providing a variety of learning opportunities to engage all students. She promotes outdoor learning for all students. Through Lynn’s leadership, a Knowledge Path has been developed in the trail system around the school property. This Knowledge Path includes a variety of outdoor learning spaces with stations that incorporate outcomes-based activities to meet the diverse learning needs of students.

Lynn promotes the Active Smarter Kids program by encouraging teachers to extend their learning spaces to other areas of the school and to use a daily ‘soft start’ approach that involves students participating in a variety of hands-on engaging activities to begin their day. Recognizing that students learn better when they are able to stand and move, she has also introduced Building Thinking Classroom strategies with staff as a way to further engage students in all subject areas.

Stacey Desmond, African Nova Scotian Student Support Worker, Antigonish Education Centre

As an African Nova Scotian Student Support Worker at Antigonish Education Centre, Stacey develops activities to promote and celebrate African heritage throughout the year. She works diligently to provide students of African heritage with opportunities to feel pride in who they are. Stacey weaves educational opportunities that focus on diversity, inclusion and equity into the broader school community to enhance cultural awareness and understanding.

Stacey believes students learn by doing. She provides them with opportunities to participate in art activities, games and field trips. Stacey recently created a schoolwide Kente cloth with over 500 students participating. For interested Grade 3 and 4 students, she taught them how to do corn rows in their hair. Stacey embodies this year’s Education Week theme and the philosophy that student engagement occurs through active learning.

Kathy Gosbee, Teacher Assistant, Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy

Kathy is a dedicated Teacher Assistant at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy. She is always willing to go above and beyond to help students meet success. Kathy’s valuable insight and unique perspective allows students with various levels of learning to grow and succeed. She has been instrumental in the development of a learning space where students can participate in many hands-on activities including exercise, art, music, reading, games, or have a place for a quiet relaxing break.

Kathy incorporates a passion for history, antiques, beachcombing, artifacts and the various cultures in the school community into arts and crafts activities for students. She is known for her eye-catching bulletin board displays: events, themes, seasons and special occasions are showcased as students, staff and visitors are welcomed to the school. Kathy has impeccable organizational skills in every project she undertakes. Kathy’s dedication to student well-being, achievement and success truly shines in her participation in the daily breakfast program.

Renée Martell, Teacher, East Richmond Education Centre

Renée is a first year French Immersion teacher at East Richmond Education Centre who has wholeheartedly embraced active learning in her classroom. She actively participates in professional learning opportunities to discover new and innovative ways to engage students. Renée was recently trained in the Active Smarter Kids program to regularly build movement and physical activity into classroom activities to support their well-being and success.

Renée recognizes afternoons can be lower energy times of day where students may disengage. As a result, she capitalizes on this time of day by taking students outside of the classroom to participate in fun and engaging activities. Renée designs opportunities that strengthen and reinforce student learning through physical activity. Her classroom is always an interactive and cooperative learning environment where students achieve success individually and collectively.

Ashley Pelley, Lead Early Childhood Educator, Antigonish Education Centre

As Lead Early Childhood Educator at Antigonish Education Centre, Ashley’s strong work ethic and motivation results in a successful Pre-primary Program for children. She welcomes children off the bus with a smile each morning and her enthusiasm continues throughout the day. Each afternoon, children go home excited to share with their families the many play-based adventures they participate in including snow play and imaginative play.

Ashley takes the time to make every child feel special and heard and enjoys playing outside in the mud as much as the children do. She customizes play to the likes, needs and interests of all students and is always teaching them something new in a fun, interactive way. Ashley turns everything into an adventure which captures the attention and love of children.

Starlene Pictou, Mi’kmaq Language Teacher, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy

As the Mi’kmaq Language Teacher at East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy, Starlene’s practice is always designed with student well-being at the forefront. She ensures Mi’kmaq language and culture are celebrated and preserved at the school through a variety of student activities which include Mi’kmaq crafts such as beading and making medicine bags, creating art in nature and participating in nature walks.

Starlene is patient, understanding and goes above and beyond to ensure the students she supports feel seen, safe and ready to learn. She creates trusting, authentic relationships with students and students feel they have someone to turn to if they need help, an advocate or an alternate space to work. Starlene is an invaluable member of the school staff working hard to support the needs of all students.

Jim Ralph, Teacher, SAERC

Jim teaches Music, Film and Video Production and Communication Technology at SAERC. He uses a hands-on approach to instruction through a variety of innovative projects. In his music program, Jim has ensured there are a variety of modern instruments available to further engage students’ musical interests.

Jim has also been instrumental in the resurgence of SAERC TV broadcasting using Green Screen technology. He provides opportunities for students to showcase their talents through school concerts, coffeehouses and online demonstrations. Jim uses these opportunities to demonstrate student achievement through his belief in learning by doing. His skill as an educator is immediately visible through his use of innovative instruction, effective communication and formative and summative feedback practices which elevates his students’ confidence and engagement. Jim has an impressive capability to challenge students while helping them develop confidence in their skills.

Mike Stewart, Teacher, Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School

Mike is an inspiring educator and role model to students and staff. Throughout his teaching career, he has prioritized active learning and engagement for students. As a Cooperative Education Teacher at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, Mike establishes learning partnerships for students with local businesses and service organizations. His instructional practices provide authentic active learning experiences and engagement in and out of school that connect students with the real world and supports their future success.

Through Mike’s guidance, students feel a real sense of belonging within the school and broader community. His culturally responsive learning environment values inclusion and well-being and celebrates each student’s talents, backgrounds and experiences. Each day, Mike strives to promote and build positive relationships with students to support their learning.

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