Press Releases


MONTREAL, APRIL 25, 2016- On the occasion of National Teachers’ Day, which occurs on Tuesday, May 3, the English Montreal School Board will recognize two teachers with special awards from P.F. Chang`s China Bistro while La Cage Brasserie Sportive will do so for a physical education and health teacher. The ceremony will take place at St. Monica Elementary School (6440 Terrebonne) in NDG. It will take place on Thursday, April 28 at 10:15 am.

Emile Haykal, operating partner for the P.F. Chang’s location on Rue des Jockeys near Decarie Boulevard and Jean Talon, will present St. Monica teacher Nancy Girard and Shadd Health and Business Centre instructor Genevieve Kona-Mancini from the Pharmacy Technical Assistance Program with $100 gift cards to the popular restaurant known across the globe for its fabulous Asian cuisine. Stéphane Fortin, the physical education teacher at Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West, will receive a $100 gift card to La Cage Brasserie Sportive. Professional boxer Ulysse Junior, an ambassador for La Cage, will present that award.

Nancy Coutu

Nancy Coutu has been a teacher for 16 years. Since 2009 she has taught French to Cycle I students at St. Monica. Ms. Coutu, who is known for her smiling personality, calm manner and the happiness she brings to her students, says she was surprised and moved when she found out she was being honoured on National Teachers’ Day.

“I always wanted to teach, and the one thing that amazes me is seeing how the students bloom throughout the school year,” she said. “They start out as very quiet in September, and as we go throughout the year, the words start coming out of them, which I find amazing. It’s very authentic and they’re not trying to prove anything to anyone. They are very spontaneous, and the way they see things never ceases to amaze me.”

Genevieve Kona-Mancini

Genevieve Kona-Mancini started her teaching career nearly four years ago at the Shadd Health & Business Centre’s Pharmacy Technical Assistance Program. One of her major strengths is to help students develop not only within the Pharmacy Technical Assistance Program, but also reach out to the students who are involved in the vocational school’s other programs. “She is able to lead students beyond the trade, and helps make them become successful employees in the community,” said Shadd Vice-Principal Maria Caldarella.

“I always make it a point to go out to the different departments at Shadd, and sit down and speak with the students there,” said Ms. Kona-Mancini. “I believe that you always have to find something you love and share it with other people. She also enjoys getting involved with the school community as a whole, volunteering her time to such Shadd activities as the open house, the career exploratives program, and even helping to organize the teachers’ Valentine’s Day lunch.

“It’s always rewarding to help the students and see them grow and gain a sense of control in their lives,” she added. “I hope I can inspire them to find their passions in life like I found mine.”

Stephane Fortin

Stephane Fortin has spent 26 of his 28 years as a teacher at Elizabeth Ballantyne School in Montreal West, where he teaches physical education and French to its students from Grades 1 to 6.

“Being a teacher is not an easy job, but it’s very nice to be recognized on a national level,” said Mr. Fortin. “I still love my job and I love being with the kids to teach them sports and different kinds of skills. It makes me very happy to put on my running shoes every morning.”

Besides teaching his students different games and skills at his Physical Education classes, Mr. Fortin emphasizes the importance of being physically active on a regular basis has many long term benefits for them. “It gives them the ability to communicate and cooperate with each other, as well as display leadership and sportsmanship skills,” he said. “I also run some health programs to complement the Phys. Ed. classes, so they can learn to be more active and take better care of themselves.”

Mr. Fortin was a goaltender for the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the McGill Redmen, for whom he also served as goalie coach for many years.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213