Celebrating Success: October 2023

Celebrating Success: October 2023
Posted on 10/19/2023
Celebrating Success: October 2023

OCDSB students, staff, alumni, and volunteers have been recognized through awards and prize-winning efforts in competitions. Here are just a few of the success stories we’re celebrating:

Prime Minister’s Award

Two OCDSB educators were recognized with Prime Minister’s Awards for teaching excellence in recognition of their unwavering dedication and commitment to students. A huge congratulations to Michèle White and Samantha Conley!

Michèle White - Churchill Alternative School, Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten (Certificate of Excellence, Teaching Excellence)

Michèle WhiteMichèle's unique empathy, compassion, and intuition is what ensures no child is left behind. Her teaching approach focuses on self-expression through artistic experimentation and a child-centred, play-based approach to learning STEM. Michèle provides a comfortable environment for children to build confidence, feel empowered to take on learning challenges, gain a sense of belonging, and to laugh and be happy every day. Read more about Michèle’s teaching approach and contributions to Churchill Alternative School.

Samantha Conley - Featherston Drive Public School, Grades 7-8, English, Math, Science, History, Geography (Certificate of Achievement, Teaching Excellence in STEM)

Samantha ConleySamantha is a huge proponent for the implementation of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) – the idea that having a Positive Mental Attitude in all you say and do gets you further in school and in life. Each day, Samantha teaches STEM and digital citizenship through PMA, providing students with the tools they need to accept challenges. Students learn that PMA presumes a positive intent of the other person. Read more about Samantha’s Samantha’s contributions to learning at Featherston Drive Public School.

Ontario Principals’ Council Awards

Ontario Principals’ Council AwardsOCV Secondary Principal Patsy Agard was recognized at the 24th annual Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) Awards. She was awarded the Honorary Life Membership for her involvement in OPC and her support of public education as Co-chair of OPC Bytown, Provincial Councillor, and Provincial President. Patsy has spent over 30 years in education, working in Peel, Toronto, and Ottawa. She opened Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School, which was the OCDSB’s first grade 7-12 school, and was Principal of Lisgar Collegiate Institute for seven and a half years before her secondment to the OPC.

Schulich Builders Scholarships for Skilled Trades

Two OCDSB alumni were named recipients of the newly created Schulich Builders Scholarships for Skilled Trades – Canada’s largest skilled trade scholarship, valued at up to $40,000. These Algonquin College students were among 100 recipients across the province selected from more than 1,000 nominees.

  • William P., graduate of West Carleton High School (Speciality: Motive Power Technician – Diesel Equipment and Truck)
  • Denim B., graduate of Norman Johnston Secondary Alternate Program (Specialty: Heritage Carpentry and Joinery)
Ontario Teachers Federation Special Recognition Award

Ontario Teachers Federation Special Recognition AwardDedicated volunteer Mr. Harold Pretty was recognized with a Special Recognition Award for his 17+ years of contributions to music programs at OCDSB schools. Mr. Pretty has volunteered thousands of hours at Featherston Drive Public School, Canterbury High School, and Hillcrest High School – organizing music, tutoring young instrumentalists, and supporting concerts and special events. He also launched the Featherston Junior Brass Band, creating an opportunity for grade 4-6 students to learn a musical instrument in a band setting. Thank you to Mr. Pretty for your contributions! (Photo: Harold Pretty with Catherine Wilcox, former teacher at Featherston Drive Public School).

International Mathematical Olympiad 

Congratulations to Dhruv B. (Lisgar Collegiate Institute class of 2023) who was a key member of Math Team Canada at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Japan this past summer. The Canadian team took fifth place in this year’s competition, and Dhruv brought home a Silver Medal for his achievements!


Cheese4ChangeThe Food and Nutrition class at Gloucester High School entered the "Cheese4Change" competition held by the Canadian cheese company Tre Stelle. The contest invited them to make a recipe using only local, sustainable, healthy, accessible, and/or no-waste ingredients. The class, together with teacher Victoria Oliver, chose to make nut-free pesto using basil from their hydroponic grow towers and Tre Stelle parmesan. They won $5,000 and plan to spend it on new equipment to make their class kitchen even better!

Children Write! Child Rights Competition

Nine grade 7 and 8 students from Featherston Drive Public School participated in a children’s rights writing competition on the topic: “How can Canada do a better job to make sure children learn about their rights?” The students came up with a creative podcast idea. They shared what they knew about children’s rights, their thoughts on why children deserve rights, and creative ideas on how to spread more awareness about this topic in schools. The group won first prize in the age 11-17 category, earning a $200 gift card from Indigo Books. Well done!

Canadian Masters Rowing Championship and Canadian Dragon Boat Championships

Canadian Masters Rowing Championship and Canadian Dragon Boat ChampionshipsBroadview Public School staff showed extra-oar-dinary skill on the water this summer.

Teacher Rachel Inch won the Canadian Masters Rowing Championship and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in the women's double (2x)! Both events took place in St. Catharines.

Office Assistant Cathie English and her teammates, the Senior C Ottawa Dragon Masters, won the C Burgee at the National Championships in Welland, Ontario. The C Women's and C Mixed crew (both part of the Ottawa Dragon Boat Club) will represent Canada at the Club Crews World Championship in Ravenna Italy next year!

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