|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