We Are KPR
Through the #WeAreKPR campaign, we are sharing the faces and stories of your local public schools. Our staff, as ambassadors of public education, work together to help students experience many kinds of success. From our teachers, to our secretaries, custodians, educational assistants, child and youth workers, early childhood educators, counsellors and other professionals, and central support staff, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful people in our schools and school board whose impacts cannot be overstated.
Through short video profiles of KPR staff, you will see reflected our values and beliefs about inclusion, equity and student success.
Larissa Williams is a primary teacher at Dr. G.J. MacGillivray Public School in Courtice. Larissa’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching, and for her students, is evident and translates into positive outcomes and success for everyone around her. She is well-liked by students and staff, and is always willing to share her time, strategies and resources.
Principal Jessica Outram says, “Larissa is a thoughtful, compassionate educator who takes great care in programming to ensure that every student in her class succeeds. Her kindness radiates through our school community to students, staff, and parents.”
Since 1986, Teachers for Kids (TFK) has been providing supports that make a critical difference in the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of our students. These funds help students achieve success despite financial hardship at home, and can make a huge difference in their lives. These supports help to keep students in school, encourage them to get involved in positive activities and give them the chance to participate in enriching life experiences.
We are very thankful to have Teachers for Kids in KPR schools. This wonderful charity is unique to our board, and provides immense benefits to students. I encourage staff to learn more about this group and participate in Teachers for Kids fundraising activities, such as the annual TFK Auction, and Jeans Days for school staff.
All year long, our Facilities Services staff play a vital role in maintaining safe, clean environments for students and staff. I would like to acknowledge two Facilities staff in particular today - Josh Hunter, who is a plumber, and James Gainer, a Facilities Services Technician. Both Josh and James work diligently to provide service excellence to schools on a daily basis. From ensuring clean, safe drinking water, to properly functioning heating and ventilation systems, we rely on staff like Josh and James and truly appreciate their important contributions to student success.
“Josh and James are highly motivated and conscientious workers, demonstrating a positive example for all those around them. They are always willing to take on the more difficult jobs and stay at it until the work is done. We are very fortunate to have Josh and James as part of our team,” says Al Kimball, Maintenance Manager.
Candace Murru is a Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) and Nicole Dubroy is a Child and Youth Worker (CYW) at Dr. Emily Stowe PS in Courtice.
In many of our schools, SERTs and CYWs work together to support positive programming and learning opportunities for students. These collaborative relationships involve other school staff, parents and community partners, leading to innovative supports and successful outcomes for our students.
Principal Lorena Haley-Twiss recognizes the important impact of Candace and Nikki: “Candace and Nikki provide essential services for our students and strongly support our families. They work closely with students to determine their needs and intentionally program for these while simultaneously integrating students’ interests to promote student engagement and success. They are integral to our School Improvement Team and help us with partnerships in the community. Their involvement at Dr. Emily Stowe helps to make this a safe and welcoming environment for all.”Click here for a short video about Candace & Nicole."
The role of Student Trustee is an incredibly important one in our school board. Student trustees are elected by their fellow students to represent the voices of the over 32,000 students in our school board. Student Trustees can voice concerns and ideas to Trustees and senior administration in order to ensure that the opinions of students are considered before the board makes decisions. They also help keep students informed about important decisions that affect them.
During the 2019-20 School Year, our Student Trustees were Aidan Hussey, from ENSS, and Lindsey Keene, from Clarington Central SS. Thank you both for your excellent work!
Click here for a short video about Aidan and Lindsey.
Katy Fallis is an elementary teacher at Otonabee Valley PS. When approached about participating in this video, she quickly pointed out that her success at school is a team effort supported by amazing colleagues.
Otonabee Valley PS Principal Darryl Whitney says, “Katy’s enthusiasm and positive attitude are infectious and her commitment to the wellbeing of both students and staff is overwhelming. She supports mental health awareness and student wellbeing. She also leads a “Fitness with Fallis” workout with staff once a week. Katy participates in our School Improvement Team, is a member of School Council, is actively involved with our math initiative, and works closely with her colleagues to plan an effective and engaging program for each of her students.”
Lloyd Schoenmaker, Principal Assistant for Special Education and former Otonabee Valley PS Principal, notes that Katy understands the importance of developing a rapport with her students. “She finds a special way to connect with students who have challenges or are struggling. Katy adds to the culture of the school and is loved by staff, students and parents for her contributions and how she changes lives.”
Click here for a short video about Katy.
Schools in KPR are fortunate to benefit from the support of over 5,000 volunteers who support student success and wellbeing every day.
Carolann More Ede is a retired teacher who volunteers in the Kindergarten classroom at North Hope Public School. She also shares her time with other organizations in the community, such as the Lions Club and local food banks.
Miss Carol, as she’s known to the children, comes into the classroom Friday mornings to help in many different ways. From reading with students, to helping with classroom organization, to cleaning paint brushes, she pitches in any way she can. Her reward is the smiling faces of students who love to see her each week! Thank you Carolann!
Student and staff safety is our top priority every day. KPR staff and students deserve to work and learn in safe places. The students we serve benefit from safe learning environments and all staff perform their jobs better when they feel safe and secure. Donna Saworski, Human Resources Specialist – Occupational Health and Safety brings a positive attitude to her work in enhancing the safety of our learning and working environments. Her priorities include reducing workplace hazards, providing training and increasing awareness in a number of important areas. Through ongoing collaboration with all stakeholders, we continue to focus on a positive, proactive health and safety culture here at KPR. Donna is instrumental in supporting our staff and students with this mandate.
Kindergarten is an exciting time for children and their families. We are fortunate in our schools to have so many dedicated teacher and ECE teams who focus on providing safe, welcoming learning environments for students. Josie Chapman and Melissa Harding are one such amazing team, at C.R. Gummow PS. Josie and Melissa build on the children’s interests each day to create meaningful learning opportunities and positive relationships. Click here to see a short video.
Jack Mantle is the head custodian at Central PS in Bowmanville. Not only is Jack a great custodian, he also, like many of our staff, has a passion for student success. He makes it a priority to provide service excellence and put people first.
From starting a student Recycling Club, to talking to students about art, to appearing in the school concert, he has a great rapport with students, staff and the community.
Melanie Winn is a Teacher-Librarian and Special Education Resource Teacher at Orono Public School. In addition to excelling at both of these roles, Melanie goes above and beyond every day in support of students and the school community. She sees a need and offers a hand to help, whether it’s running the school snack program, making kits for parents to use at home for kids who are really struggling, or responding to a call for help on the walkie-talkie. Her passion and dedication shine through and she is well-liked by both students and staff. Click here for a short video about Melanie.
Derek Wright is an intermediate teacher at Dr. M.S. Hawkins Senior Public School in Port Hope. He has taught at Dr. Hawkins for over 15 years and his passion for education clearly shines through. Derek appreciates the opportunity to build relationships with students in the intermediate grades and create a strong foundation for their learning in the co-located secondary school. He coaches activities in both the intermediate and secondary school because he believes in providing opportunities for students within and outside the classroom.
Principal Ronald MacDonald and Vice-principal Brooke Ostapek say: “Derek loves his job, the students, and is a leader in our community. He believes in kids; he believes that learning should be fun, and that a positive school experience is crucial to being a lifelong learner.” Please watch a short video about Derek.
Special Education includes the provision of a broad range of support services, programs, resources and assistance to students, families and staff. Special Education Services staff include a variety of very specialized roles, including psychologists, school board counsellors, itinerant teachers and support staff. Using the principles of inclusion, universal design and differentiated instruction they play an essential role in helping our students be successful.
We would like to introduce you to a few of our Special Education Services Staff: Kim Thomas is Secretary to the Principal responsible for Special Education; Cindy Maclean is a Teacher for Students who are Blind and Visually Impaired and Erin Hentig is an Applied Behaviour Analysis Coordinator. We would like to recognize and thank our Special Education Services Staff for their important contributions to students and schools. Click here for video:
Betty Lynne Bird is a passionate and dedicated educator at East Northumberland Secondary School. She teaches science, engaging students in academic learning in the classroom, and she also makes a difference in the ENSS school community, with students and their families. Betty Lynne is a key supporter and organizer of school initiatives such as the annual Terry Fox drive and the Peace Crane Project. Principal Charlotte Filip recognizes Betty Lynne’s impact at the school and with students: “Student success and student well-being is always her primary focus. She is a true professional. Betty Lynne gets to know her kids and they recognize that she cares about them on all fronts. She is a true contributor at ENSS.”
Lyn Westlake is a Student Success Teacher at Crestwood Secondary School in Peterborough. She is an incredibly positive teacher who works with students at risk of not graduating from high school. She provides access to resources and support to help students with credit achievement or social or emotional obstacles that they may be facing. Principal Dave Lorentz says "Lyn is a compassionate and caring teacher. Her commitment to the school and students is evident in her ability to engage students to take on leadership roles within the school and community."
Maggie Ewert is a Grade 7/8 teacher at Courtice North Public School. She has been teaching intermediate students for over 20 years. Her contributions both inside and outside the classroom have a significant impact on students and the school community.
Principal Peter Bischoff says that Maggie “is a collaborative and innovative driving force in both our We Schools and Indigenous Education initiatives. Maggie is truly a life-long learner who is engaging a range of assessments in these first days of school to discover the strengths and learning needs of the students in her class.”
From supporting clubs and groups, to teaching academics and fostering important life skills, we are so proud to have teachers like Maggie in our KPR schools!
Andrea Vanden Tillaart is a secondary school teacher at Campbellford District High School. She is also the lead for the Specialist High Skills Major program at the school, where she helps students explore career paths and gain important skills for the world of work. Before becoming a teacher, Andrea was a bank manager. She brings these real world experiences to the classroom, where she helps students experience all different kinds of success.
Elsa Dervishi has been an Educational Assistant for 18 years, and is currently working at Armour Heights Public School. When Elsa emigrated to Canada in the 1990s, she appreciated the impact of the school system on her life, and she feels fortunate to now be able to make a difference for students herself. “Elsa is all heart!” says Principal Jennifer McIlmoyle-Parsons. “Her passion for supporting student learning and well-being shines in every interaction she has with students and staff. She is creative and incredibly thoughtful in the ways she contributes to school life.”
Our students may not remember all their academic assignments, but they remember the people who helped them and made them happy. Elsa, like many of our staff, is someone our students remember their whole lives.
Patrick Muldoon is a Grade Two Teacher at Hillcrest Public School in Campbellford. Patrick really enjoys teaching in the community where he lives, and making connections with local community members and partners to enhance student learning. According to Principal Kevin Coulter “Patrick is a passionate teacher who brings his love of teaching to every lesson. He is consistently thinking of new and innovative ways to engage his students while also making connections to the greater community.”
Kim Cavanagh loves being a Kindergarten teacher at James Strath PS. She is passionate about her students and creates warm, welcoming learning environments for them. Principal Glen Payne says that Kim is a very involved teacher who creates engaging experiences by getting to know her students and incorporating their interests. Even at this young age, our students get to take a lead role in their learning thanks to teachers like Kim.
Tracey Shevchuk is the Head Secretary at Bowmanville High School. Like many of our school secretaries, she creates warm, welcoming environments for students, staff, parents and the community by providing excellent customer service and support. Tracey loves getting to know the students and one way that she does this is by volunteering to participate in school activities, such as the 30 Hour Famine. Principal Jamie Patenall says Tracey is an amazing administrative professional who helps to make the school a better place.
Christine Sleeman-Pogue is a Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) at Ganaraska Trail Public School in Port Hope. She helps students be successful by working with teachers, other staff, parents and community partners to find strategies that meet the unique needs of each student. Her commitment and dedication to students come across loud and clear. She says she still gets butterflies every fall, in anticipation of working with another amazing group of students and staff.
Principal Jennifer Sampson notes “Christine is an inspiration to all that cross her path. She never gives up, is a passionate cheerleader for students and staff alike and finds the good in everyone. We are all a better person for knowing her!”
Madame Sarah Giroux and Madame Odette Kabiseba are a teaching team in the first French Immersion Kindergarten class at King George Public School. These two educators are a wonderful example of a teacher and early childhood educator who collaborate to create meaningful child-centred and play-based learning experiences for our students.
According to Principal Marguerite Masterson, "Parents, guardians and colleagues commend this educator team for recognizing the importance of building connections throughout the entire school, and with the core French program. They share their enthusiasm for French and support their students in building on skills gained in Year 1 Kindergarten, while also promoting the joy of learning another language. They ensure that their students' first school experience with the French language is a positive one.”
Bruce Rutherford is a Learning and Life Skills (LLS) Teacher at Clarington Central Secondary School (CCSS). From the Lunch Buddies program, to Therapeutic Paws, Bruce makes phenomenal contributions to the school community with kindness and humility. Principal John Ford has this to say: “Bruce is amazing! His commitment to supporting equity and inclusion for LLS students is exemplary. His work makes CCSS a better place to be!”
Suzanne Chapman is a child and youth worker at Brighton Public School. In addition to supporting positive student behaviour, and fostering self-regulation skills, she runs a Peer Helpers program that allows students to develop self-confidence and feel connected to their school community. Suzanne is a great example of the amazing impact child and youth workers have in our schools.
Emily Dunford is a long-term occasional teacher; she is currently a valued member of the Armour Heights Public School team where she is well-respected and appreciated by both students and staff. Like many occasional teachers in our district, she provides an essential service by ensuring continuity for students while teachers are away, such as for maternity or sick leave. Principal Jennifer McIlmoyle-Parsons says “Emily is a remarkable team member and is so passionate about her learning and work as an educator in KPR.”
Karen Watson is a teacher at Port Hope High School whose unwavering passion for supporting students is truly inspirational. Karen invests time in many different student activities and extra-curriculars, including her recent efforts to help the school get a new beach volleyball court.
Johnny McMahon is a custodian at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School in Peterborough. Johnny plays an active role in the school community, keeping the property clean and safe, including maintenance of the school’s track. His impact is appreciated by students and staff alike.
Christina Morgan-Poort is a Grade 1 teacher at Beatrice Strong Public School in Port Hope. Christina really enjoys learning alongside children and helping her students to grow during the important transition from Kindergarten to Grade 1.
Jennifer Pym-Murphy is a junior teacher at Courtice North Public School. Through the #WeAreKPR campaign, we are sharing the faces and stories of your local public schools. Every couple of weeks you will meet another KPR staff member and hear their passion for making an impact on the lives of students.