|EMSB STUDENTS RETURN HOME SAFELY AFTER FRIGHTENING EXPERIENCE ABOARD SINKING SHIP|
MONTREAL, APRIL 9, 2007- English Montreal School Board (EMSB) Chairman Dominic Spiridigliozzi says that he has nothing but praise and admiration for the 38 students and five staff from Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North who were aboard a sinking ship near the Greek Island of Santorini.
Mr. Spiridigliozzi was among those on hand at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport Sunday to personally welcome the EMSB delegation back home. "They are safe and sound and that is what matters most," said the EMSB chairman. "I am so very proud of all of them. The staff and students on board handled this matter with the utmost professionalism and maturity. They were all there for each other in the type of situation most of us cannot comprehend."
Mr. Spiridigliozzi was joined at the airport by school principal Terrence Quinn, Vice-Principal Serge Furlannetto, Commissioner Sylvia Lo Bianco, Regional Director Patricia Moffa, Director of Student Services Lew Lewis. Trauma Team member Lori Rubin and Communications and Marketing Specialist Michael J. Cohen. Mr. Lewis has assembled a trauma team of seven people, including Ms. Rubin, who will be at the school on Tuesday morning.
The EMSB also wishes to thank Robert Lavigne of airport security and his staff. They arranged for Mr. Quinn to go through customs and meet with the students before they appeared in the arrivals area where they were faced with an onslaught of media. A special exit was secured for the students, complete with security escort. Four students were designated by Mr. Quinn to do interviews, as well as acting vice-principal Alan Simoneau.
Mr. Quinn is asking members of the media not to come to the school Tuesday morning out of respect for both the returning students and others who were affected by this incident. Media opportunities will be arranged upon request later in the week.
Michael J. Cohen