Canada’s Outstanding Principals
The Learning Partnership honoured 51 exceptional educators from every province and territory with a Canada’s Outstanding Principals award at a gala dinner on February 26, 2013, at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto.
Principals were nominated by their peers, school staff and community members in an extensive nomination and selection process. Nominations were reviewed and final winners chosen by a National Selection Committee.
“Strong leadership is what makes Canada’s public education system one of the finest in the world,” says Akela Peoples, President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “The Learning Partnership believes that principals who understand the importance of strong leadership in education should be recognized and have their skills enhanced.”
2013 Canada’s Outstanding Principals
Between February 24 and 28, the 2013 award-winning principals also participated in an executive leadership training program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. There, they discussed management issues with other leaders from the educational and business sectors. The 2013 Canada’s Outstanding Principals join an assembly of 260 education leaders who have received this honour over the past nine years, becoming members of the National Academy of Canada’s Outstanding Principals. The National Academy offers principals ongoing networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities to continually enhance their leadership skills.
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Fredericton Champions of Public Education Tribute Luncheon
At The Learning Partnership’s Champions of Public Education Tribute Luncheon in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on November 15, the Honourable James W. Ross received a Champions of Public Education award for his commitment to young people and public education.
More than 300 people attended, including, from left to right: Bernard Lord, former Premier of New Brunswick and a 2011 recipient of a Champion of Public Education Award, Premier David Alward, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, James W. Ross, former Canadian Senator and founder of Ross Ventures Ltd., the Honourable Noël Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate and the Honourable Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, former Canadian Senator and Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.
Mr. Ross was nominated by Ms. Trenholme Counsell who said, “Jim Ross is absolutely sincere and dedicated in his commitment to youth, especially those who do not have the opportunities socially or in terms of life experiences to meet their potential. When I was lieutenant-governor this was my call to the people of New Brunswick, to do everything possible to help a child reach his or her potential, so [Jim] was a natural fit.”
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Annual Champions of Public Education Tribute Dinner
Canada would not possess one of the best public educational systems in the world without the tireless efforts of champions of public education – people from all walks of life who spend long hours volunteering, promoting, and fundraising.
On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, The Learning Partnership will host its 15th Annual Champions of Public Education Tribute Awards Gala to honour three Canadians who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to enhancing our public education system.
Rick Waugh, Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank, supports Scotiabank’s many philanthropic ventures, including the Scotiabank Bright Future program. Through this global initiative, charitable efforts are aimed at being relevant and responsive to the needs of the local community at a very grassroots level. In Canada, the program spans the arts, education, social services and health care. In the Caribbean and Latin and Central America, the program focuses primarily on children and children's causes. The Learning Partnership’s Ultimate Dream Job Contest is just one of the many community-based programs supported by Scotiabank Bright Future.
In addition, Scotiabank has partnered with The Learning Partnership for the past 19 years to bring the Take Our Kids to Work program to hundreds of thousands of Grade 9 students across the country.
John Stackhouse, Editor-in-Chief of The Globe and Mail, has been Editor-in-Chief since 2009. He was previously the Editor of The Globe's Report on Business, and before that national editor, foreign editor and a foreign correspondent. A Queen's University commerce graduate, he has won five National Newspaper Awards for feature writing, business reporting and international coverage.
Throughout his career, Mr. Stackhouse has been an outspoken advocate of public education and education reform to meet the needs of changing demographics and societal needs. The Globe and Mail has run several series focusing on education in Canada and Mr. Stackhouse moderated the opening plenary session of The Learning Partnership’s recent Education Summit.
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist Aditya Jha’s C.M., LL.D. entrepreneurial pursuits have included start-up technology ventures as well as businesses ranging from software product development, IT services businesses, chocolate manufacturing business, real estate investments and fine dining and fast food restaurants with a business presence in Canada, USA, Thailand, and India. Mr. Jha’s philanthropy and social activism is far reaching, but he is passionate about helping young people from all walks of life succeed. He founded the POA Educational Foundation in 2001 and created endowments at four institutions (Ryerson University, York University, Trent University and George Brown College), which grant 13 bursary awards in perpetuity to students.
The event will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. To purchase tickets or to learn more, click here. For sponsorship and event information, please contact Ed Wickham, Development Officer, at 416-440-5105 or email email@example.com.
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St. John Champions of Public Education Tribute Luncheon
On September 13, Gerry Pond, Chairman of Mariner Partners Ltd. in Saint John, New Brunswick, will be honoured for his long-standing commitment to public education and mentorship of young people in Atlantic Canada.
Mr. Pond has more than 40 years of experience in the information and communications technology industry and was the driving force behind the formation of Mariner, now one of the largest independently owned IT companies in Atlantic Canada.
As chairman of Mariner, Mr. Pond has brought forth corporate social responsibility initiatives that assist organizations working to reduce poverty within the community. The company believes that this approach provides individuals with the tools they need to develop the skills and confidence required to enhance their quality of life and participate in the community. Many programs involve childhood development with an emphasis on literacy and social skills, including those offered by The Learning Partnership. In fact, Mr. Pond has participated on The Learning Partnership’s Corporate Advisory Board for five years and has long championed our mandate of supporting publicly funded education in Canada.
Gerry Pond has been recognized both nationally and regionally for his tireless contribution to the region’s economic development. These include the 2003 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Top 50 CEO Award in Atlantic Canada in 2003 and, in 2012, Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award. He was inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame in 2007.
For more information, contact Ed Wickham, Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Spotlight: Michael Coté
This issue of the Bulletin features the first in a new series of articles spotlighting The Learning Partnership’s many invaluable volunteers, partners and supporters. Without the expertise and commitment of these individuals, The Learning Partnership could not develop or deliver its programs and initiatives. We begin with The Learning Partnership’s Chair of the Board, Mike Coté.
Mike is Chair of The Learning Partnership’s Board of Directors and Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Purolator Inc. He has served on The Learning Partnership’s board since September 2006 and was elected chair in December 2011.
“I joined the board of The Learning Partnership because I, like so many others, have benefitted personally and professionally from Canada’s public education system,” he says. “I want my three children to enjoy those same benefits. I also believe that without a vibrant and relevant public education system we, as a country, lose our ability to move forward, to continually adapt, to innovate and otherwise improve.”
Born in Halifax and raised in Burlington, Ontario, Mike studied economics at Colgate University in New York where he co-captained the varsity football team in his senior year -- and was offered a spot at the Toronto Argonauts training camp in 1989. Choosing instead to pursue his education, he earned an LLB from the University of Windsor and an MBA from Queen’s University. He began his career as a commercial lawyer at Goodmans, LLP where, among other duties, he provided real property related legal services to clients in all aspects of property acquisition and disposition, financing and joint ventures.
Since joining Purolator in 1999 as Legal Counsel, Mike has held various positions of increasing responsibility including General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Vice President of Customer Experience Delivery and Legal Affairs, Vice President of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs and, most recently, Senior Vice-President Strategy and Corporate Services.
As Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, he is responsible for leading Purolator’s go-to-market efforts including Strategy, Sales, Sales Effectiveness, Communications and Marketing (Brand Management, Product Development and SMB and Retail).
Despite his demanding role at Purolator, Mike finds time for The Learning Partnership and its programs. When asked if there is one Learning Partnership program he wishes was around when he was in school, he answers, “Take Our Kids to Work! While it’s easier for students today to gain a better understanding of possible career choices, there’s nothing quite like spending a day walking in the shoes of someone who is doing your job of choice. It’s a great introduction to the realities of the working world.”
Mike will find out first-hand next year when his twin sons enter Grade 9 and join their dad for a day at work.
“Can’t wait,” he says.
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Welcome to Kindergarten
Award-winning children’s author and illustrator Jan Thornhill met young Toronto fans and read from her books, The Wildlife ABC and Over in the Meadow, at the Downsview Public Library on Saturday, November 3, 2012, and again at Parkdale Public Library on Saturday, November 10, 2012.
The event was organized in association with Owlkids who, together with Welcome to KindergartenTM, know that instilling a love for books and learning at a very early age is a key ingredient in later school success.
Jan Thornhill began her writing career in 1981 and has since authored eight children’s books. Two of these, The Wildlife ABC and Over in the Meadow, are included in The Learning Partnership’s Welcome to Kindergarten bag of early learning resources distributed to parents and children who attend Welcome to Kindergarten orientations at their local elementary schools.
Welcome to Kindergarten recognizes school and community leaders for their commitment to early learning
Four agencies and one individual received Welcome to Kindergarten Awards for Partnership Excellence in December.
The Learning Partnership launched the awards to recognize individuals, agencies and/or school teams who have demonstrated excellence in community/school collaboration, providing support to children and their parents and being advocates for the Welcome to Kindergarten program and early learning.
Winners were selected by a National Selection Committee and receive $1,000 and a commemorative plaque.
“A child’s early years lay the foundation for their future academic success,” says Akela Peoples, President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “Early education instills a love of learning and essential social skills. It’s important to recognize people and agencies that play a significant role in getting our young children excited about and ready for school.”
This year’s Partnership Excellence Awards recipients are:
- Cornwall and Area Welcome to Kindergarten/FACES Steering Committee, Cornwall, Ontario. Over the past two years, the Committee has, with its partners, steadily extended the Welcome to Kindergarten program through two school boards, as well as increasing the number of sessions available to parents.
- Deidre Sagert, St. James-Assiniboia School District, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Deidre, an early learning support teacher, not only served as an effective advocate for the Welcome to Kindergarten program in her school division, but further enriched the program by developing additional resources, including the Literacy Links program.
- Durham District School Board Welcome to Kindergarten/Early Years Team, Whitby, Ontario. The DDSB team, together with community partners, advocated for the adoption of the Welcome to Kindergarten program in all schools in the area and increased the number of Welcome to Kindergarten sessions available for parents.
- Elm Street Elementary School, Summerside, PEI. All teachers in the school volunteered to participate when the Welcome to Kindergarten program was introduced. They held additional after-school sessions and went to great lengths to make young children and their families feel welcomed and part of the school.
- West Leeds Transition to Kindergarten Project - Schools and Agencies in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Ontario. This project involved two school boards, three schools and seven community partners that together supported young children with special needs transition into Kindergarten. Their mandate is to promote truly meaningful inclusion for all children entering the school system through strong parent engagement practices.
The Learning Partnership also recognized the following agencies with Honourable Mentions:
The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth – Calgary, Alberta. The In-School Settlement Program worked with the Welcome to Kindergarten program to provide specialized support to new Canadians.
The Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC. The Library has been actively engaged with the Welcome to Kindergarten program for over six years and has worked closely with the Vancouver School Board to develop a strong partnership capitalizing on each organization’s area of expertise.
“I cannot express how happy I was to learn that we received this award,” says Tracy Beaulieu, Principal of Elm Street Elementary School in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. “Elm Street staff truly work as a team and it does not matter if they teach Grade 6, Phys. Ed., or if they are an educational assistant, a counsellor, or a bus driver, everyone is so willing to do something to ensure that the Kindergarten children and their parents feel welcome and comfortable in our building. To have a police officer greeting them, an occupational therapist helping them work with scissors, a speech language pathologist practicing rhymes, a public health nurse and milk delivery man handing out healthy snacks, and public librarians registering new readers helps make the first experience at school a positive one. This award truly affirms – and demonstrates – that it really does take a village to raise a child.”
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Roundtable on Technology: Integrating Technology into the Classroom
The digital revolution is transforming the classroom. Blackboards have given way to Smart boards, overhead transparencies to PowerPoint® presentations and pen and paper to laptops and tablets.
TLP’s Roundtable on Technology program has played a vital role in how educators can employ information communication technology (ICT) in their schools by bringing together education, government, labour, industry, association, non-profit groups and corporate sector representatives.
The next Roundtable to be held will be on May 10, 2013, at the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. It will explore “21st Century Literacies: Leading and Supporting Exemplary Practices.” Discussions will focus on innovative leadership and the sharing of evidence-based practices that enhance student engagement and achievement in Ontario schools.
There were two Roundtable on Technology breakfast events recently. On October 14, 2012, a forum titled “What’s Trending in ICT?” was held at the Peel District School board in Mississauga, Ontario. The Board provided its perspectives on ICT policy development and the implementation of emerging trends.
Another well-attended session on November 10, 2012, discussed “Managing Social Media Issues for Educational Leaders.” Boards who had developed, or were developing, social media policies shared the work they had done to implement policies and address issues around safety and appropriate educational value. This session offered the opportunity for in-depth discussions about the critical issues educational leaders are experiencing.
For more information on the Roundtable on Technology program, contact Heli Vail, Program Manager, at email@example.com.
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Take Our Kids to Work 2012
Thanks to thousands of organizations, parents, schools and Grade 9 students across Canada, Take Our Kids to Work™ day was a spectacular success. Wednesday, November 7, 2012, saw more than 250,000 young people spend the day at the workplace of a parent or family friend exploring career options and experiencing the world of work.
We are thrilled that our annual signature event was a safe and successful day for all students!
Fire fighting training facility in Mississauga, Ontario.
Telus Spark, Calgary, Alberta
Jody Carr, Minister of Education for the province of New Brunswick greets visiting Grade 9 students on November 7, 2012
Ten companies win a Canada’s Outstanding Employer Award
The Learning Partnership Canada’s Outstanding Employer Awards were established in 2011 as an extension of the Take Our Kids to Work program. In late November 2012, 10 companies received a 2012 award for their commitment to helping students – Canada’s future work force – explore career options and stay in school.
“We are very pleased to recognize these organizations,” says Akela Peoples. “Their support of Canada’s young people is commendable, and they are setting an example for other employers to follow.”
To be eligible for an award, employers registered their Take Our Kids to Work day participation with The Learning Partnership. Entries were judged on five criteria: Participant feedback about their Take Our Kids to Work day activities; how they promoted the importance of staying in school and pursuing post-secondary studies to students and the community; the amount of creativity and innovation in developing engaging and exciting activities for students on Take Our Kids to Work day; and how they supported and explained career choices and the benefits of early career exploration.
2012 Award recipients:
CBC Maritimes, Halifax, Nova Scotia
In Charlottetown, staff identified interesting facts about themselves prior to Take Our Kids to Work day (one had ridden an elephant in Africa, another had sky dived). On November 7, students went through the building “interviewing” staff to see if they could identify who had done what. This was not only a great ice breaker, but an introduction to investigative journalism. In Halifax, students engaged in hands on experiences, met TV personalities and were given a good understanding of the many jobs involved in broadcasting.
Cisco Canada, Toronto, Ontario
Cisco had students thinking about engineering in a different way by exposing them to some of their most innovative projects and listening to Cisco engineers speaking about engineering as a career. Presenters from Corporate Social Responsibility, Sales, Systems and Technical Solutions were also involved. Students participating in Take Our Kids to Work at Cisco offices in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver were connected through Cisco TelePresence high-definition video teleconferencing so they could experience Cisco technology first hand.
Cloverdale Paint, Surrey, British Columbia
From humble beginnings on a farm near Cloverdale, BC, the company has grown into one of North America’s largest regional paint and coatings manufacturer. Grade 9 students spent the day touring the plant and laboratory, learning how to tint paint, understanding the importance of customer services and hearing from the heads of Marketing, Accounting, Finance, HR, Science, Engineering and Sales. The company also provided information about their Student Tuition Employment Partnership program that enables students to work part time while they’re in university.
Deloitte, Toronto, Ontario
Students used resolver technology to answer questions and the results were then discussed. Deloitte had four of their co-op students from Tax, Consulting, Enterprise Risk Services and Campus Recruiting share their experiences as a current co-op student at the firm and how they decided on a career. In addition, students looked at past Deloitte advertisement campaigns and then created their own signature “Green Dot” ad. The last part of the day included resume writing and interview skills workshops. Even though these students were only in Grade 9, they were looking forward to finding part-time and summer jobs in the near future and found these workshops very helpful.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Toronto, Ontario
Participating students enjoyed a three-and-a-half hour program designed to explain the many roles and careers within the organization. Highlights included talking hockey with Maple Leaf’s legend Wendel Clark, triva with the Director of People, making cookies with the Executive Chef and fun with the Toronto Raptors mascot. The rest of the day was spent with parents where some of the specialized opportunities included attending staff meetings and shooting videos with Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke.
Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ontario
Students heard from people throughout the organization, including the company lawyer, VP of Consumer Electronics, VP of Marketing, CFO, and Manager of Service. They were split into groups and worked on exercises, then presented to parents, VP Marketing and the President and CEO. Samsung stressed how technology is shaping the future and students were given tips on preparing for college and university. Students were also allowed to experiment with the products in the Samsung showroom and, at the end of their day, presented with certificates and Samsung Galaxy Players.
Shred-it, Oakville, Ontario
Shred-it understood the role social media plays in the lives of young people and took full advantage of Facebook, You Tube and Twitter to engage their Grade 9 visitors. The company produced two You Tube videos – one leading up to the day and one during Take Our Kids to Work day, which documented the students’ experiences – and had a constant Facebook and Twitter presence. As a result, their participating students were excited to begin their day at the company and focussed on the many functions needed to run a successful organization.
TELUS Spark, Calgary, Alberta
TELUS Spark is a not-for-profit Science Centre located in Calgary. They designed a day for students to experience roles in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) careers both at their site and with organizations they rely on for support. Grade 9 students took a career pathway quiz to align their interests with potential jobs, created thank you animations, built and rode a hovercraft, made liquid nitrogen ice cream and enjoyed a planetarium show and behind the scenes look in the HD Digital Home Theatre.
Xplornet Communications Inc., Woodstock, New Brunswick
The company is Canada’s leading rural broadband provider. Their Grade 9 visitors learned about all aspects of the business and the specific jobs within the organization. Being a technology based company, the students were excited about the business and what it is capable of, and were given a thorough explanation of the many opportunities available in technology – and the education needed to pursue those opportunities. Take Our Kids to Work is just one of the initiatives the company uses to foster the growth of young people in their community.
York Regional Police, Newmarket, Ontario
Take Our Kids to Work is supported at every level of the organization. After a greeting from the Deputy Chief of Police, students attended various presentations and demonstrations about defensive tactics, use of equipment and firearms, the R.I.D.E. program (which included a tour of the R.I.D.E. truck), recruiting (stressing the important of at least a high school diploma to become a police officer), the canine unit, Emergency Response Unit (robots, Tasers and tour of armoured car), forensics, and polograph.
Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
Scotiabank Group, Toronto, Ontario
Sorin Group of Companies, Burnaby, British Columbia
Staples Canada, Mississauga, Ontario
Toronto Hydro Corporation, Toronto, Ontario
Translink Family of Companies, Burnaby, British Columbia
”Our panel of judges had a difficult time selecting just 10 winners as all the companies that registered demonstrated a commitment to young people and our public education system,” says Akela Peoples. “We thank – and congratulate -- them all.”
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Veronica Lacey receives Order of Canada
Veronica Lacey, who served as President and CEO of The Learning Partnership from February 2000 to December 31, 2012, was recently appointed to the Order of Canada for her contributions to education in Canada. The Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors, was established in 1967 to “recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.” Over the last 45 years, around 5,000 people from all sectors of Canadian society have been invested into the Order.
Veronica joins 90 other Canadians, including Scotiabank CEO Rick Waugh, named by David Johnston, Canada’s Governor General.
Coming events - Mark Your Calendar
April 18, 2013 - Invention Convention: Calgary.
April 25, 2013 - Invention Conventions: Greater Toronto Area, Edmonton, North Bay.
TBC – Entrepreneurial Adventure Showcases. Calgary, Fredericton, Halifax, Hamilton, Ottawa Toronto.
May 8, 2013 – Toronto Tribute Gala. Toronto.
May 10, 2013 – Roundtable on Technology: 21st Century Literacies: Leading and Supporting Exemplary Practices. Toronto.
September 13, 2013 – St. John Tribute Luncheon. St. John.