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MERTON SCHOOL TEACHER TO RECEIVE PRIME MINISTER’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

MONTREAL, JUNE 14, 2001— Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler will be on hand at Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc on Monday, June 18 (10 a.m.) to formally present French immersion Kindergarten teacher Maria Mastracchio-Lafontaine with the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence – Certificate of Achievement. This will occur at school assembly.

Ms. Mastracchio-Lafontaine’s award will be accompanied by a $1,000 cheque for the school to use on her advice. She is credited with employing a variety of innovative teaching strategies with her young learners. For instance, students learn to play chess. This develops their mathematics problem-solving skills. A wall hanging of flash cards shows words, pictures and students’ names helps them compose French sentences. Bingo-style games see students matching sentences to images, which improves comprehension and develops visual and motor skills.

Ms. Mastracchio-Lafontaine initiated a peer mediation program at this English Montreal School Board (EMSB) primary institution. She trains a minimum of four student teachers each year and shares her ideas, resources and experience with everyone who asks.



Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca