MONTREAL, MAY 26, 2015 –Michelangelo International Elementary School in Rivière des Prairies held a 25th anniversary celebration on Sunday, May 24. The theme of the celebrations was “Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Present, and Looking to the Future.”
Michelangelo is a certified IB World school, authorized to teach the IB-Primary Years Programme. IB World Schools share a common philosophy; a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Michelangelo School believes is important for its students.
The school endeavours to successfully integrate students into present and future day life by providing the tools required to play a constructive role in society while developing positive values. The focus is not simply on the acquisition of knowledge, but on fostering in young people the desire to create a better and more peaceful world through respect and understanding of the many cultures of this world. The school provides students with the essentials of lifelong learning by creating environments that arouse intellectual curiosity.
The day-long celebrations began with a special ceremony that took place in the school gym, and was attended by students, staff, teachers, parents, former students and teachers, former vice principals Marylene Perron and Evelyne Alfonsi, former principals John Ryan and Angela Orsi, NDP MP for the Honore-Mercier riding Pauline Ayala, Chair of the Michelangelo Governing Board and RDP/Pointe-aux-Trembles borough councilor Manuel Geddes, as well as EMSB administrators such as Assistant Director General Paola Miniaci, AEVS Director Cosmo Della Rocca and Commissioner Joe Ortona. It was emceed by Michael Campbell-Guerriero, who was a student at Michelangelo from 1993 to 2000, and is currently working there as a media and technology teacher. “When I arrived at Michelangelo, it didn’t look like a new school to me because it was so well run,” he said. “I enjoyed my time there, had a lot of great memories and there were so many great teachers too, many of whom inspired me to become a teacher.”
Current Michelangelo principal Anna Della Rocca told the audience at the ceremony about how much she witnessed the school’s development over the past 25 years, especially at the beginning, when her sons attended the school when it was located in an old building on 16th Avenue as an annex of nearby Leonardo Da Vinci School, through when it got the authorization to build a new school in May of 1984, until it officially opened on May 30, 1990. “Michelangelo is a young school that has done so much in its young life, and continues to do so to this day,” she said.
Ms. Della Rocca also noted how the school went from being an English core school to a bilingual school, to becoming an International Baccalaureate School in 2013, and has become a progressive, innovative school community that always made literacy a priority. “Michelangelo has been an inviting community from the start that has always welcomed everyone. We will continue to go forward and strive for excellence. When students leave Michelangelo, we expect them to have become inquirers, principled, balanced, caring, communicators, open-minded, risk-takers and reflective,” she added.
Former Michelangelo vice principal Marylene Perron, – who is currently principal of Parkdale Elementary School in Ville St. Laurent – agrees that one of the school’s major strength is its inclusive community. “The staff, parents and children made me feel welcome from the moment I started as vice principal there,” she said. “And when we had discussions regarding the International Baccalaureate status, everyone got involved and it brought the entire community together. Also, my time at Michelangelo gave me the tools to become a successful principal at Parkdale.”
Christopher, a grade 1 student at Michelangelo, says he enjoys going to classes and singing with the choir, but notes one thing that he learned quickly so far as a student. “When I started at Michelangelo, I didn’t know how to speak French. And now, thanks to my teacher, I can now speak French very well. I can even order food at St. Hubert BBQ in French.”
The celebration ceremony also included performances by the Michelangelo International School band and choir; the choir also sang an original song that was written especially for the school’s 25th anniversary. To listen to the Michelangelo 25th anniversary song and much more log on to www.emsb.qc.ca/michelangelo.
The 25th anniversary celebration ceremonies was followed by a community fair, in which the students and parents, as well as the nearby community in general, enjoyed carnival and video games, music, face painting, temporary tattoos, and food trucks.