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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

PWSD Good News Report – June 2017

June 20, 2017

The following Good News Report from Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) and its schools will be shared at the upcoming Board Meeting on Thursday, June 22, 2017.

News from PWSD:

National Aboriginal Day celebrations planned across PWSD

A number of PWSD schools will celebrate National Aboriginal Day on Wednesday, June 21. To view details of events taking place at Bezanson, Ridgevalley, Hythe Regional, Penson, and Teepee Creek Schools, visit http://bit.ly/PWSD-NAD-2017.

PWSD school bus driver places first in Zone 5 Bus Roadeo in High Prairie

Congratulations to PWSD school bus driver Melody Tollefsrud, Beaverlodge area, who placed first in the Zone 5 Bus Roadeo held in High Prairie on May 27, 2017. Ms. Tollefsrud is pictured with Ted Gobin, PWSD Transportation Director. Drivers completed a written exam and pre-trip inspection, and maneuvered through an obstacle course that included specific challenges such as offset alley, uncontrolled railroad crossing, straight line, diminishing clearance, back-up test, right turn, curb line, parallel parking, student loading and stop line. The top three drivers from each school division competed at the Provincial School Bus Roadeo at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Grande Prairie on Saturday, June 10, including PWSD's first place Zone 5 finisher Melody Tollefsrud and PWSD drivers Vicki Leman and Shirley Fisher.

PWSD principals and teachers participate in Grande Prairie Press Run

PWSD principals and teachers had a good showing at the 41st Annual Grande Prairie Press Run on Saturday, May 27. Pictured left to right are Bonanza School Principal Randy Carlstad who finished second in his age category; Harry Balfour School Principal Christan Gee who finished 14th overall in the 10 km run; with Hythe Regional School Principal Dwayne Speager who finished fourth in his category. Missing from photo is Helen E. Taylor School Principal Jen Clevette who placed second in her category; and Amanda Krishka, Grade 5 teacher at Hythe Regional School who finished first in her category. To view results of the race online, visit http://www.racepro.ca/pressrun.

PWSD's Mentorship Program celebrates another successful year

During the 2016-2017 school year, 31 new teachers were partnered with 25 mentor teachers as part of the Mentorship Program, a collaboration between Northern Spirit Local #6 and PWSD, that sets new teachers up for success and improves retention rates, while offering seasoned teachers opportunities to develop as leaders.

"Being a mentor reminded me of things I forgot I used to do, helped me reflect on what I currently do, and inspired me to try new things," says Adele Lowen, elementary teacher at Hythe Regional School (HRS) and Mentorship Program Coordinator. "I learn new things and strengthen my teaching skills with each protégé I work with."

The program provides three days of group professional development throughout the school year, in addition to two days of one-on-one time for protégés and their mentors to focus on specific items such as report card writing, parent-teacher interview preparation, and classroom observations. At the start of the year, participants complete a survey indicating their preference of 10 ATA workshop choices for group PD days, including classroom management, differentiated instruction, assessment, supports and services from the ATA library, and engaging students through collaborative learning strategies.

"Mentors and protégés build a special relationship with a bond that can last forever," says Ashton Kyle, Grade 3 teacher at HRS.  "Looking back after five years of teaching, the mentorship program helped shape me into the teacher that I am today. I grew quickly in my first year of teaching because I had a mentor. I gained confidence because there was always someone there to talk things out. It expanded my knowledge."

News from PWSD schools:

Beaverlodge Elementary School

Jump Rope for Heart goal reached – Mr. Cincurak and Mr. Lojczyc kiss 'Runty the Pig'

With a goal to raise $5,000, the students of BES collected an astounding $10,096 for the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation during the school's 2017 Jump Rope for Heart campaign – possibly the most the school has ever raised for a community service project. While Mr. Cincurak had high praise for the students' efforts, he was a little baffled by their dedication to the cause. "Perhaps it's just that BES students love skipping so much," said Mr. Cincurak. "Or perhaps getting to see Mr. Lojczyc and I kiss 'Runty the Pig' had something to do with their drive to more than double their goal." Whatever the case, it was all in the name of a good cause. A photo is worth a thousand words – check out the photos of Mr. Cincurak (left) and Mr. Lojczyc (right) kissing 'Runty the Pig', owned by Bailey and Lexi Sazwan.

Upcoming events:

  • Annual Play Day, June 27.

Beaverlodge Regional High School

BRHS yoga students embark on studio tour

BRHS teacher Lynn Nordhagen's yoga students toured three Grande Prairie yoga studies on Friday, June 5. The group got their hearts pumping with power yoga at Seva Studio, did gentle yoga and tasted vegan treats at theRADlife studio, and hung out in hammocks for aerial yoga and basic acro-yoga at The Space Yoga Studio. A great day for all, made possible thanks to theRADlife studio and Lyle Anderson.

Three-day National Aboriginal Day celebration at BRHS
The school hosted a three-day NAD event on June 12-14 offering education on aboriginal customs and traditions, including dancing, healing practices, and the medicine wheel. In the upcoming school year, BRHS will develop weekly sessions, to be offered during the teacher advisor time slot, with a goal to enhance cultural exchange.

Eaglesham School

Workplace readiness – Local companies provide training to Eaglesham students

Industrial Arts students at Eaglesham School have been alternating learning hands-on industrial arts skills and industrial safety training. Thirteen students recently completed WHMIS GHS 2015 and H2S Alive courses, followed by First Aid training. When Long Run Exploration Foreman Derek Joudrey learned the students were interested in taking H2S training, his company quickly moved to sponsor the course, making it free-of-charge for the students. Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) provided a pizza lunch. Expressing his appreciation on behalf of the school, Eaglesham teacher Mike McKay said, "Thanks to the generosity of Long Run and CNRL, our students will be well prepared for either summer employment or, in the case of our grads, permanent employment in local industry."

Hythe Regional School

PWSD administrators participate in annual Banff Jasper Relay

On June 3, the "Panters" team finished the 256 km Banff Jasper Relay in 26:53:01. Principal Dwayne Speager said, "Although this was not the team's fastest recorded time since joining the relay in 2012, it was their best placing as it qualified us for a second place silver medal finish in the Corporate Mixed Category." Funds raised through the relay go to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, and the Panters raised more $1,000 for the cause. Included in the picture taken at the finish line are HRS Assistant Principal Holly Gould (third from left), Bonanza School Principal Randy Carlstad (fourth from right), HRS Principal Dwayne Speager (second from right), and Harry Balfour School Principal Christan Gee (right). The 15-member team was unable to get together for a group photo at the finish line. Learn more about the relay at http://www.bjr.ca.

Peace Wapiti Academy

New logo embraces FNMI presence at Peace Wapiti Academy

PWA Youth Advocate Mhairi Elliot approached local artist, Mr. Calvin Cornish, to ask whether he would be willing to draw a logo to promote PWA Indigenous Cultures Week, May 23-26. Mr. Cornish generously offered his services for free, and PWA's Photography teacher Lisa Knudtson added vibrant colour and the 'Titans' logo to his draft design (pictured). With the enthusiastic support of the PWSD First Nations, Métis and Inuit Program Coordinator, Darrell Willier, PWA will use the logo to promote future events and for spirit wear, such as T-shirts for volunteers. Mr. Cornish also provided a number of beautiful limited-edition prints as gifts for Indigenous Week 2017 volunteers, along with a signed copy of his book, Gone Wild, a collection of his pencil art, that will be used as a resource in the PWA art room to inspire budding young artists. Calvin Cornish's prints are also on display in a number of PWA classrooms.

PWA student brings home silver medal from Skills Canada National Competition 2017

Congratulations to Peace Wapiti Academy's Jason Cote who brought home a silver medal in the Outdoor Power and Recreation Equipment category of the Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg, MB. His name is included on page 2 of the PDF of official results at www.bit.ly/2qYwn3J. Congratulations are extended to Robotics team members and PWA students Brandon Toews and Morgan Embree who also competed at the national event following their gold medal finish at provincials. 

PWA Outdoor Pursuits

Pictured are PWA Outdoor Pursuits students at Eaton Falls near Sulphur Gates Provincial Park in Grande Cache during a camping trip to the area with their teacher, Mr. Jamie Spence.

Sexsmith Secondary School

SSS takes third place at first annual High School First Responder Team Challenge
SSS High School First Responder Team members Julie Siemens, Nivetha Sivakumar and Sara Thompson secured a third place finish at the first annual HSFRT Challenge in May 2017. The SSS team also includes Adanna Randall, Sara Lyons and Erin Siemens. The school recognized their accomplishment at a school assembly and barbecue in June.

Teepee Creek School

Learning Fair and book launch: Sorkenville topic of Grades 4-6 book project
As a project for Canada's 150th celebration, Teepee Creek School's Grades 4-6 Language Arts students have written and illustrated an alphabet book about Sorkenville, a local historic village developed by residents Orval and Betty Sorken since 2004. The village is comprised of buildings from the Teepee Creek area, moved to the Sorkenville site for restoration. Each page of the book includes a short poem that begins with each letter of the alphabet, along with an illustration and facts about specific parts of Sorkenville. The book cover features a painting by a Grade 5 student. The book will be released at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21 as part of the school's Learning Fair and National Aboriginal Day celebrations. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the school. The Canadian-focused Learning Fair will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a stew and biscuit lunch at 12:15 p.m., and FNMI activities at 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Recent Press Releases:

Other news:

  • PWSD and its schools have been featured in 30 media stories to date during the month of June 2017, for a total of 406 stories during the 2016-2017 school year. Many thanks to local media for the continuing coverage and support.

  • To keep up-to-date with the latest news from PWSD, and local media coverage, check out PWSD's online Media Room at http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/mediaroom.