Nov. 3, 2008
MONCTON (CNB) - The 15th Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony was held at the Delta Beauséjour Hotel in Moncton on Saturday evening. Education Minister Kelly Lamrock presented the awards to five teachers from francophone school districts in New Brunswick.
This year's Teaching Excellence Award winners are:
The professionalism and dedication of these teachers were stressed during the evening. Several dignitaries from the francophone and Acadian community were present to recognize the award winners.
"It is very important to acknowledge the professionalism and dedication of our teachers, who are essential to the well-being and development of our children," Lamrock said. "With their help, we will attain New Brunswick's education objectives set out in the education plan, When Kids Come First. The academic success of our students is connected to the commitment of our teachers, who go above and beyond the set curriculum and find innovative ways of delivering the subject matter to the students and share their experience with the province's educators."
The Teaching Excellence Award, established in 1992, is designed to recognize teachers who display outstanding creativity, dynamism, and dedication. In 15 years, 131 teachers in the francophone school system have received this honour.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Following are biographical notes on the award winners. MEDIA CONTACT: Sylvain Lavoie, Department of Education, 506-453-5867.
He is a true enthusiast - of music and teaching. Young people fall under the spell of his passion because it is real, to the point of being contagious. Through music and words, he directs his students toward excellence. Arseneau - a portrait of a maestro.
Like the conductor of an orchestra, this teacher at École L'Odyssée gives his heart and soul so that his young musicians can experience the magic that comes from a piece of music played precisely and with emotion.
"He knows how to direct each student toward the instrument that will suit him or her the best, enabling them to discover their personal rhythm and internal music," said Yves Doucet, a colleague of the award winner. "But mainly it's the mutual confidence established between him and his students that makes him an exceptional teacher."
The award winner from District 1 is constantly seeking excellence, and his expectations, both of his students and of himself, are always high. Aiming for perfection, his students achieve heights that some have never dared to dream about. As a result, his harmony and jazz ensembles have taken part in major competitions in Boston and New York where they have won prestigious prizes. These honours reflect both on the school and on the entire community. Many students choose to attend this school to have the chance to work with this passionate teacher.
This award winner devotes endless hours to his students. He is available morning, noon, and night. His message is powerful: live your music now.
Upbeat and pleasant, Arseneau is a profound thinker. He knows how to ask the right questions to lead his students and his colleagues toward in-depth discussions.
"He aims for the same quality and excellence in his daily life as he does in teaching," said Doucet. "The teacher and the man are one and the same. And that's his great strength."
Math is not your strong suit? Don't worry. Not if Louise Campagna is your teacher, that is. This teacher at Carrefour de la Jeunesse in Edmundston is a master of the art of making math understandable, and she has a great deal of other knowledge as well.
Over the past few years, math outcomes for students at Carrefour de la Jeunesse have been above average for the district and the province. Campagna is modest about this accomplishment, and points out the close co-operation between the teaching staff to explain this impressive performance. Her colleagues attribute much of the credit to her, and for good reason.
The District 3 award winner is an accomplished teacher; she expertly uses various teaching methods to help her students understand and do well in the subject. She is a math specialist, and many people seek her advice. She knows how to innovate and has set up innumerable special projects. She brings people together and inspires them. She recommended an interdisciplinary approach and co-operation among teachers long before professional learning communities were being discussed. But above all, she is a committed teacher, and that seems to be the main reason for her success.
"The quality of the relationship between Louise Campagna and her students creates an atmosphere of success that gives them high hopes, even students having a lot of difficulty," said Louise Morin, the school's principal.
Campagna distinguishes herself not only through the quality of her teaching but also through her constant search for new avenues to help students succeed. This year, she has launched an innovative project: the school, the student, and employment. This initiative will enable students to establish a link between school, their areas of interest, and the work environment, thus reinforcing the relevance of education and a taste for success.
"Louise is a remarkable mentor for the other teachers and staff members at our school," said Morin. "She sets an example and encourages her colleagues to address the challenges they face. She has a vision of excellence in teaching that inspires everyone around her. In this teacher's case, I believe that we should speak of vocation rather than occupation."
It's so busy in front of Lyne Legacy-Bouchard's office, one would think it was the nerve centre of École Apollo-XI. It is true that this District 5 award winner has several responsibilities. She's a literacy mentor, a resource teacher, and a mentor for gifted students. That many students gravitate around this teacher might be explained by the close ties she is able to forge with her students.
A dedicated and enthusiastic teacher, Lagacé-Bouchard gives generously of herself to help every child succeed and be happy. And don't tell her that a student cannot learn or be successful. This mother of three will not tolerate any student being left behind. She makes sure that all stakeholders work together to meet the requirements of special needs students. That is why she developed a notebook in which she documents all action taken by interveners with every student.
Lagacé-Bouchard makes use of all means at her disposal to offer her students stimulating learning activities. A case in point is her computerized primer for teaching the alphabet. Convinced that academic success is the result of close co-operation between the school and parents, she has introduced an innovative family literacy project. Parents of at-risk students receive training so they can help their child at home. Since its inception, the project has fostered students' progress.
Gifted and talented students at École Apollo-XI are also the recipients of Legacy-Bouchard's assistance. Last year, she helped a Grade 6 student carry off quite a feat - publishing a 142-page novel with Les Éditions de la Francophonie.
In addition to her normal duties, the District 5 award winner is always ready to support special projects. In the past few years she has hosted around 30 students at a reading club every week, another initiative that has been a resounding success. And as if that weren't enough, she is always seeking to improve her knowledge and share her practices with her colleagues.
"Lyne demonstrates an obvious pride in the advancement of literacy, giftedness, and special education," said the school's principal, Josée Ferron. "Her energy and commitment to the students help to maximize the students' learning while meeting their individual needs. She is the embodiment of teaching excellence."
The lights are out, and a sentence is being projected onto the wall. While one student manipulates groups of words using an electronic pen, the others discuss the structure of the sentence. You think to yourself, teaching French has changed. To foster academic success, you need to know how to use all the tools available to you. That is the teacher's philosophy. Welcome to Janie Losier's class.
"Janie excels in transforming curriculum content into stimulating learning activities for the students," said France Duguay, a fellow employee. "While most teachers are still becoming familiar with the course content, Janie has already started designing learning scenarios. She has a real gift."
A teacher for more than 15 years, Losier has never stopped advancing her knowledge. Nor does she hesitate to be innovative in improving her students' learning and encouraging their participation. Last year she received support under the Innovative Learning Fund for a project to use a Tablet PC and a projector in her classroom.
Simple and inexpensive, this project facilitated more interactive and relevant instruction. The teacher projects examples taken from her students' compositions onto the wall. The initiative encouraged the students' active participation.
"Self-correction is a major challenge in French language arts classes," said Duguay. "Losier knew how to use technology successfully to improve the students' skills in this subject."
Losier is a member of various advisory committees, both regional and provincial. In addition, her expertise is widely recognized and actively sought. Among other things, she is a member of the validation committee for Grade 12 French language arts and the Grade 10 teaching sequences committee.
The District 9 award winner is also recognized for her efforts to increase the sharing of knowledge and instructional resources. Because of her work, teachers of French are sharing their learning scenarios and resources more, which is contributing to the quality of teaching.
An enthusiast of the French language, Losier plays a leading role in the organization of high quality activities that take place in her school during Provincial French Pride Week.
French must shine all year long, so she toils to instill the love of the language through her teaching and passion.
She's around whenever people are moving, to everyone's delight. Firmly committed to helping young people develop to their full potential and to the vitality of her environment, physical education teacher Brigitte Daigle is a woman of action.
Physical education is a subject in which a lack of talent or aptitude may be woefully felt by a student. Such is not the case with Daigle. She knows how to encourage every child, including those with special needs, and how to bring out their potential and to be proud of it.
"Brigitte Daigle excels in adapting her teaching to enable every student to succeed," said Maurice Daigle, principal of École Mgr-Marcel-François-Richard in Saint-Louis-de-Kent. "She works closely with special education services and uses equipment adapted to the student's situation. Ms. Daigle knows how to make every student feel special."
The District 11 award winner is also a dedicated teacher. After school, she devotes countless hours to extracurricular sports activities. She is a regular with the Jeux de l'Acadie and has been involved with several national competitions. She also makes it her duty to attend most of the sporting competitions that take place at the school, even if she is not the coach of the teams playing.
"Her qualities as an educator, her joy of life, and her commitment make her a leader at our school," Daigle said. "We are truly grateful to her for all she has brought to the school."
Such devotion leads to success and recognition. Daigle's students have won several banners. She was named coach of the year by Volleyball New Brunswick in 2002. Note that she was also the assistant coach of the women's team that won the gold medal at the Jeux de la francophonie canadienne in 2002. And as if that weren't enough, Daigle finds the time to support several social causes. She is president of the Centre communautaire de Pointe-Sapin and president of the Festival du bon pêcheur.
Whatever challenges may arise, Daigle meets them with a smile.