MONTREAL, JANUARY 8 , 2010 – The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) kicked off its fourth annual Public School Education Month on Thursday, January 7 with a press conference at Dunrae Gardens Elementary School in T.M.R. to promote the excellent level of French education offered at its primary and secondary schools.
Public School Education Month encourages prominent graduates to return to visit their neighbourhood schools to talk to students about the role public school education played in leading them to their present-day success. These individuals now serve as outstanding role models, as do many other prominent Quebecers having or having had a link with area public schools or vocational centres. Other high profile products of the public education system are also invited to visit different schools while different special events and programs are highlighted as well.
While Public Education Month begins in January, some of the visits extend into February.
Here are some preliminary highlights.
-On Wednesday, January 13 (8:30 a.m.) CTV New Montreal researcher Peter Schiavi will speak to students at the Philip E. Layton School for the Blind, located at the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre (7000 Sherbrooke Street West). Mr. Schiavi became legally blind at the age of 21. Thanks to the support he received at the Montreal Association for the Blind he has been able to enjoy a very successful career in the television industry.
-On Friday, January 15 (8:30 a.m.) Lieutenant Jonathan Lang of the Canadian Navy will return to his former elementary school, Edinburgh (500 Hudson Ave.) in Montreal West. Mr. Lang has served overseas in Sudan and is about to join the Canadian Air Force.
-Also on Friday, January 15 (1 p.m.) immigration lawyer Jack Silverstone will return to his former elementary school. Sinclair Laird (8380 Wiseman) in Park Extension. Mr. Jack Silverstone, who now works out of Ottawa, was the chief of staff to the federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and before that held the same post at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. In previous government service he acted as advisor to Canadian parliamentary committees and held diplomatic and consular posts in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. For many years he was the executive vice-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. He is now in private practice and affiliated with the Rothwell Group.
-On Wednesday, January 20 (2:15 p.m.) web designer and motivational speaker Jameson Jones-Doyle will return to Willingdon Elementary School (5870 Terrebonne) in N.D.G. Mr. Doyle has a mild-to-medium case of Cerebral Palsy, which has affected his speech, balance, left leg and right hand. He is currently completing his master of science degree in Marketing Administration, specializing in new product development, at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business. “I have attended public school all of my life, which I feel was of great benefit to the development of my social skills and my determination to equal or surpass my fellow classmates,” he says. “I'm the proud father of a beautiful five year old boy who just began kindergarten at Willingdon.”
-Also on Monday, January 25 (10:20 a.m.), CTV News reporter and weekend co-anchor Paul Karwatsky will return to speak at his former elementary school, Nesbitt (6108 8th Avenue) in Rosemount.
-On Tuesday, January 26 (1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) Vincent Massey Collegiate (5925 27th Avenue in Rosemount will host the Greater Montreal Athletic Association Wrestling All-Star meet. EMSB graduate David Zilberman, who attended LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, will be the honourary chairman. He was a member of the 2008 Canadian Olympic team in China and is now a physical education teacher at Vanier College..
-On Monday, Februrary 1 (9 a.m.) Frederic Abaji will come back to his old school, Our Lady of Pompei (9944 St. Michel North) in Ahunstic. Mr. Abaji is an investment and financial security advisor for Manulife Securities, where he assists individuals manage their assets while creating savings and goals for retirement as well as children’s education. He is also the public address announcer for the Lac St. Louis Midget AAA hockey Lions and works in the area of game show presentations for the Montreal Juniors hockey team. At the Bell Centre, he is an in-house announcer for special events. He last attended Our Lady of Pompei in 1985. Lawyer Joseph Ionata, another former Our Lady of Pompei student, will also address the students.
-In early February, 90 year old violinist Joseph Greenstone will return to Bancroft Elementary School (4563 St. Urbain) in the Plateau for the first time in more than 70 years. For the past 27 years Mr. Greenstone has played violin at the prestigious Austrian Ball. He has performed with the most renowned opera and ballet companies, symphonies, ice shows, stage productions, bands and accompanied world-famous stars at major events in posh hotels, dinner clubs, the United Nations, National Arts Centre, Museum of Fine Arts, celebrity weddings and city halls
-On February 18 (11:30 a.m.), newly appointed Canadian Senator Judith Seidman will return to her former elementary school, Gardenview (700 Brunet) in St. Laurent. Senator Seidman is an educator, researcher and adviser. She has worked with universities, governments and not-for-profit agencies in the field of health and social services. She is an epidemiologist and social worker by profession, and has worked as senior researcher at the University Institute of Social Gerontology of Quebec. She also served as project coordinator for the Canadian Study of Health and Aging at the University of Ottawa; a timely subject.