Jim McCuaig Education Ctr
2135 Sills Street
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7E 5T2
Phone: (807) 625-5100
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    This Week at Lakehead Public Schools - June 27 2014

    New Director of Education Announced

    New Director Ian MacRaeAt its Tuesday, June 24 meeting, the Lakehead District School Board announced the appointment of Ian MacRae as Director of Education for Lakehead Public Schools. Mr. MacRae will assume his new role following the completion of the contract of current and retiring Director of Education, Catherine Siemieniuk, this summer.

    “The Board is extremely pleased with the appointment of Ian MacRae as Director of Education for Lakehead Public Schools, “ says Deborah Massaro, Chair of the Lakehead District School Board. “Mr. MacRae brings a wealth of experience with him to the position of Director of Education. Following our recruitment and hiring process, the Board is confident that Ian will ensure that our organization continues to shine, and remains focused on our number one priority – our students.”

    Mr. MacRae has a long and diverse history with Lakehead Public Schools. He began as a secondary school teacher at Fort William Collegiate Institute, then continued his career as a Department Chair, Secondary Vice Principal, and as the Principal of Port Arthur Collegiate Institute and Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute. Mr. MacRae was appointed Superintendent of Education in 2009, with responsibility for Secondary Schools, Adult and Continuing Education, Human Resources, Labour Relations, Health and Safety, and the Student Success School Support Initiative.

    With his vast experience in the system, Mr. MacRae has a clear understanding of the strengths of Lakehead Public Schools. “The greatest strength of the organization is our people – students, parents, staff, Trustees, and community partners”, says Mr. MacRae. “This strength brings with it an abundance of creativity, determination, and organizational intelligence, and will be the key to shaping the future of Lakehead Public Schools.”

    While there will be challenges ahead for the largest public board in Northwestern Ontario, as there will be for all school boards in the province, the focus for the incoming Lakehead Public Schools Director of Education will continue to be on the success of all students.

    “As a Board, we will persist in placing students at the centre of every decision made and every action taken”, says MacRae. “A focus on students has always guided me in my various leadership roles, and will continue to do so in my position of Director of Education. As an organization, we will maintain our commitment to shared responsibility for the success of students and their well-being.”

    Helping our Students Realize Their Dreams

    MyTien Nguyen and Samantha Belluz pose with beautiful painted barrel.Summer break is almost here and so is the Lakehead Learning Foundation annual charity golf tournament that is taking place on Monday, August 24th at the beautiful Whitewater Golf Club! Thanks to the support of past and present Lakehead Public Schools employees along with community members, the tournament raised over $20,000 last year to support the Foundation’s initiatives such as the Grade 8 Award of Excellence, secondary scholarships and the Student Assistance Fund.

    This year, the silent auction is excited to announce many amazing prizes for bidding including a beautiful hand-painted water barrel by Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute student Samantha Belluz. As well, our very talented Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute students hand-crafted some beautiful patio items including outdoor chairs, a fire pit and a swing bench!

    Participant sign-up is $175 per person and includes green and cart fees, lunch a delicious dinner, and a fun-filled day of golfing with colleagues to celebrate the end of summer. The popular 18-hole, four person, best ball format will be used which allows golfers of all abilities to participate and gives amateur and semi-professional teams equal chance of taking home the winning title! To ensure your spot please have your registration and payment in by Monday, July 7 – registration is limited to 144 golfers so sign up soon to not miss out on this great event that supports our students and children in the community!

    Any staff interested in helping with the event, know of community members or business contacts who would be interested in supporting the tournament or just want to learn more please feel free to check out: our website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or contact the Lakehead Learning Foundation Communications and Development Coordinator, My-Tien Nguyen at or (807) 625-5176.

    The Lakehead Learning Foundation is a student-centered, charitable foundation that is a proud supporter of Lakehead Public Schools students and their success. Through their volunteer Board of Directors, the Foundation continues to look at new ways to support Lakehead Public Schools students and realize the dreams of our children.

    OPSBA Recognizes Lakehead Public Schools Excellence

    Senator Robert McKay and Suzanne TardiffThree dedicated members of the Lakehead Public Schools Community were recognized by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and the Lakehead District School Board at Tuesday’s Regular Board Meeting. The three community members were recognized for their outstanding efforts in public education with the OPSBA Achievement Award. The awards were given to Senator Robert McKay and Suzanne Tardif. The OPSBA Award of Excellence in Ontario was also presented to Senator Robert McKay. Sue Peever, an OPSBA Achievement Award recipient, was unable to attend the presentation and will receive her award in September.

    “The board is very pleased, in conjunction with OPSBA, to have the opportunity to recognize excellence in public education through the Achievement Award winners and the recipient of the Award of Excellence,” says Pat Johansen, Trustee and Chair of the Awards Selection Committee. “The dedication to Lakehead Public Schools by these individuals is exemplary and very much appreciated by the Board and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association.”

    Senator Robert McKay is a valued member of the Lakehead Public Schools Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee since 2008 and is involved in countless committees that represent the Thunder Bay Aboriginal community. He is well known for his dedication to Lakehead Public Schools students and for his infectious sense of humour.

    Senator McKay is a lifelong resident of Thunder Bay and became a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) in 1995. He was later elected as a Senator for the Thunder Bay Council of the MNO. Senator McKay is a member of the MNO Cultural Committee. As a Senator, he performs opening and closing prayers for meetings, telling stories, and volunteering as a representative of the MNO.

    In addition to his duties as the Métis Senator for the Lakehead Public Schools Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee, Senator McKay has also been involved with the following initiatives:

    • Northern Ontario School of Medicine
    • Lakehead University Aboriginal Affairs
    • City of Thunder Bay Aboriginal Liaison Committee
    • Aboriginal Advisory Committee with Ontario Power Authority
    • Centre for Health Care Ethics
    • Northern Ontario Steering Committee for Aboriginal Youth Apprenticeships

    Senator McKay lends his breadth of knowledge and skills to many Lakehead Public Schools events and activities. He has shared his skills and knowledge of fishnets and fishing for the annual Fall Harvest for many years. His stories for students of growing up as a fisherman and as lighthouse keeper truly captivate his audiences whether they are elementary or secondary students.

    “When Senator McKay shares his stories, he not only helps children and youth understand an earlier way of life, he also helps to preserve the rich cultural history of the Thunder Bay area,” says Suzanne Tardif in her letter of nomination of Senator Robert McKay for the OPSBA Achievement Award and OPSBA Award of Excellence.

    Sue Peever is a valued member of the Lakehead Public Schools family and is an enthusiastic supporter of public education. She has been a parent of children in the Lakehead Public Schools system, a School Council member, Council of School Council Chairs member, a Parent Involvement Committee Member and is currently a Director on the Lakehead Learning Foundation.

    Her recent Lakehead Public Schools project is “Project Lost and Found”. This project finds a home for the unclaimed clothing that is left in school lost and found boxes at the end of the school year. For the past three years, Sue has worked with Board staff to encourage schools to collect their unclaimed clothing and leave it for pick up by the Board courier. Sue then sorts and washes the clothing for distribution. Over the past three years, “Project Lost and Found” has collected an estimated $119,000 in used clothing that was then donated to Shelter House Thunder Bay, other social service agencies, and directly to families in need.

    The collection each year is immense and diverse. For example, this is the collection that occurred in July 2013:

    Hoodies/Sweatshirts - 233
    T-shirts/sweaters/shirts - 143
    Pants/jeans - 34
    Shorts - 17
    Jackets (winter, spring, fall) - 35
    Hats/toques - 396
    Scarves - 10
    Mitts/Gloves - 621
    Snow pants - 29
    Splash pants - 16
    Shoes – pairs - 104
    Winter boots – pairs - 26
    Rubber boots – pairs - 3
    Socks - 38
    Backpacks - 3
    Lunch kits - 19
    Water bottles - 9
    Books – various titles - 45

    In the letter nomination for the OPSBA Achievement Award, Lakehead Public Schools Communications Officer Bruce Nugent states, “Throughout this process, Sue does not ask for any help or resources to sort, clean and distribute the clothing. It occurs during her time and at her expense. She truly emulates the Lakehead Public Schools values of integrity, acceptance, empathy, respect and responsibility.”

    Not only is Suzanne Tardif a dedicated member of the Lakehead Public Schools Aboriginal Education Committee, she is also a shining example of perseverance and excellence. Suzanne returned to school at the age of 28 to obtain her high school diploma and later realized success at Lakehead University. At university, Suzanne worked with a marginalized group of students who were able to experience higher education through the pilot project Humanities 101. She continues to volunteer with this now established program.

    While working towards her undergraduate degree, Suzanne developed a great interest in her culture and the educational needs of the Aboriginal of Canada. As a result she has committed herself to making the educational experience of Aboriginal learners a positive and successful journey. Following a volunteering stint with a Grade Six class, she was offered the position of Project Coordinator for the successful pilot project “Positive Aboriginal Role Models” involving Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre.

    Suzanne has been involved in many exciting initiatives including:

    • Interviewing early school leavers
    • Assisting the Lakehead Public Schools Resource Teacher
    • Delivering life skills to women at the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre
    • Working with individuals at the Dilico Adult Treatment Centre
    • Volunteering with the Humanities 101 program
    • Volunteers on a number of Lakehead Public Schools committees including the Aboriginal Education Committee, Success Advisory Committee and the Parent Involvement Committee.

    “Suzanne continues to contribute to the community of Thunder Bay while supporting student success and engagement,” says Dolores Wawia, Co-chair of the Lakehead Public Schools Aboriginal Education Committee in her letter of nomination.

    The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association Achievement Award and the Award of Excellence were created to recognize the outstanding contributions of non-teaching staff, parents, volunteers and community partners involved in education in the OPSBA member boards. The awards provide opportunities to raise awareness and promote the importance of celebrating excellence and the necessity of recognizing the work of all members of the education community. Each Board may select up to four nominees for the Achievement Award and only one nominee for the Award of Excellence.

    The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) represents public district school boards and public school authorities across Ontario, which together serve more than 1.2 million public elementary and secondary students and more than a half-million adult learners. The Association advocates on behalf of the best interests and needs of the public school system in Ontario.

    Board Approves Budget

    At this Tuesday’s Regular Board Meeting, the 2014-2015 Lakehead District School Board Budget was approved by the Lakehead District School Board. The Operating and Capital Budget of $130,183,175 supports the Lakehead Public Schools commitment to the success of all students.

    “The 2014-2015 Budget and the process of developing this budget is truly reflective of the economic realities that Boards in our province are currently addressing,” says Deborah Massaro, Chair of the Lakehead District School Board. “The support of student focused investments like the Multi-Year Information Technology Plan and the enhancement of cocurricular activities, clearly indicate the commitment to our number one priority, our students.”

    As with past budgets, the 2014-2015 Operating and Capital Budget was developed in an inclusive manner with stakeholder input as a major ingredient. Input was received from a number of stakeholders in the form of presentations and written submissions. A link on the Lakehead Public Schools website also provided an opportunity for individuals and groups to provide budget input. On April 1, eight community stakeholder groups provided presentations to the Budget Committee.

    “In order to construct a budget that is truly reflective of our stakeholder’s needs and values, we rely on them to provide valuable input,” says Marg Arnone, Chair of the Budget Committee. “That input from stakeholders provides the building blocks that form the foundation of the actual budget.”

    Stakeholder Groups participating in the budget consultations included:

    • Special Education Advisory Committee 
    • Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee 
    • Lakehead Elementary Teachers of Ontario 
    • Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation - Early Childhood Educators (OSSTF - ECE’s) 
    • Lakehead Ontario Principals Council 
    • Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation – Student Support Professionals (OSSTF-SSP’s) 
    • Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 6A Teachers’ Bargaining Unit (OSSTF); and 
    • Parent Involvement Committee

    Highlights of the 2014-2015 Budget include: 

    • The commitment to reduce the impact of budget constraints on classrooms; 
    • Enhancing co-curricular activities system-wide; 
    • A significant infusion of Information Technology, further advancing Lakehead Public Schools students as 21st Century Learners; 
    • Continued support for training on integrating technology in classrooms; 
    • Further implementation of a Mental Health and Addictions strategy; 
    • Continued support for Tutors in a Cultural Environment; 
    • Continued support for the French as a Second Language resource teacher; 
    • Continued support for the positions of Aboriginal Community Liaison & Partnership Officer and Aboriginal Resource Teacher; 
    • Continued support of Native Language programs in three elementary schools and all secondary schools; 
    • Continued support for Aboriginal Student Success and Professional Development, maintaining a commitment to ensure sustainability for the successes achieved by the Urban Aboriginal Education project; 
    • Support for continued e-Learning opportunities for secondary students; 
    • The commitment to provide schools access to Social Workers, and provide pathways to community partners; 
    • Continued investments in sound skills speech language pathology, and continued support for Grades 7 & 8 differentiated instruction; and 
    • Continued support for ongoing training for learning communities in schools.

    "Despite funding pressures and having to take a critical look to find efficiencies throughout the system, there are still an exceptional number of amazing things that take place at Lakehead Public Schools every single day,” says Chair Massaro. “Lakehead District School Board remains the standard for excellence in the level and quality of programs, services, and supports that are offered to students."

    The next step in the budget process is the formal submission to the government. The budget must be submitted to the Ministry of Education by June 30, 2014.

    Jump Rope for Heart

    The students and staff of Agnew H. Johnston Public School are excited to announce that they have raised $16,610.51 and counting in support of the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The school continued their fundraising efforts by holding a Dodge Ball tournament on June 24 for students in grades 6 through 8. The JK to Grade 5 students participated in a Jump Event for Jump Rope for Heart on June 25.

    “We were very excited about our events and are so happy to announce we have surpassed our 2012 goal of $14,000 – way to go Bulldogs!” says Sarah Gerry, teacher at Agnew H. Johnston.

    Agnew H Johnston’s very own, M. Roy, demonstrated his support of the school’s fundraising efforts by shaving his mustache when the school surpassed their 2012 goal!

    All funds go towards supporting kids’ health, while Jump Rope for Heart encourages children and students to keep active and stay healthy by pledging to collect funds to assist in heart and stroke research. The campaign has been ongoing for over 30 years and gives children a chance to skip alongside 750,000 other students across the country, in over 4,000 schools.

    Superior Bike Racks at Claude

    Claude Garton School received new bike racks from Superior CVIThe students at Claude E. Garton Public School were the recipients of incredible craftsmanship by the students of the School College Work Initiative (Confederation College) and Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute Specialist High Skills Major Manufacturing program. Ten students worked on various parts of the fabrication, welding and finishing of the bike racks. Claude students love the new bike racks!

    The students now have more room to lock up their bikes and they stay up better in the stands compared to the old ones. The bike racks are truly functional works of art!

    Music and Art Lives at Churchill

    Grade 9 First Nation students from Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute are very proud to announce the release of their first CD of songs and spoken word productions titled NINDAA (I Live.) Grade 9 Students taking Expressing Aboriginal Art class chose to contribute either musically or visually to the CD production, learning to arrange and record their contributions using an iPad. These proud Trojans are proud to announce that their music is also available on iCloud at this site: Cd's are available by contacting John Poniatowski or Lily Ciddio via email at Churchill.

    Look out, C.D. Howe, there's been a Yarn Bombing!

    Kitted garments from the KnitNinjasSince April, several avid knitters have got together on a weekly basis to knit, joining a club in its second year - The KnitNinjas. This year's culminating piece resulted in our efforts being strewn together and hung to adorn the front hallway of our school. Knitters range in age from 7 to 11 and each contribute a part to the finished product, along with much enthusiasm and great effort! Big thanks go to Dorothy Valinuas (Grade 2), Danya and Katie (talented volunteers), and Principal Wayne McElhone for all of the help and support.

    Thunder Bay Public Library

    Free reading practice for children in Grades 1, 2 and 3 is available at Your Library this summer! Visit our Web site for details, including application forms for both children and volunteers. This is a fun, meaningful volunteer opportunity for high school students, seniors and adults.

    Upcoming Meetings

    • Regular Board Meeting
      Tuesday, September 23 7:30 p.m.
      Board Room, Education Centre
      2135 Sills Street
    • Standing Committee Meeting
      Tuesday, September 9 6:30 p.m.
      Board Room, Education Centre
      2135 Sills Street
    • Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee
      Thursday, September 18 9:30 a.m.
      Board Room, Education Centre
      2135 Sills Street
    • Parent Involvement Committee
      Monday, September 15 6:30 p.m.
      Board Room, Education Centre
      2135 Sills Street