EMSB marks Teacher Recognition Day with Breakfast Television and Group Sportscene

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Montreal - Thursday, May 9, 2019

On the occasion of English Montreal School Board Teacher Recognition Day, three teachers were presented with special awards from P.F. Chang’s and La Cage Brasserie Sportive. The ceremony took place on   May 8 at Cedarcrest Elementary School in St. Laurent and is co-sponsored by City’s Breakfast Television Montreal.

The EMSB launched this ceremony five years ago to coincide with National Teachers Day in the United States.

The EMSB received many nominations from parents, teachers and students for the awards, which fall into three categories: youth sector, adult sector and physical education and health.  Adrian Saad, regional director for  Groupe Sportscene,  which owns  PF Chang’s and La Cage,   presented $100 gift cards to   teachers  Stephanie Vezina-Tulli (Physical Education and  Health) from Cedarcrest, Andrew Adams from LaurenHill Academy and Nicolina Sindici from the St. Laurent Adult Education Centre.  Also recognized at the event was Michael MacKenzie, who will be retiring from Cedarcrest after 30 years of service as a Physical Education and Health teacher.

Catherine Verdon-Diamond of Breakfast Television Montreal conducted  live interviews from the school and hosted a formal awards ceremony.

Here are the reports:

Stephanie Vezina-Tulli

Stephanie has been teaching for nine years - six of which at Cedarcrest.  She started off her career at our lady of Pompei in Ahuntsic and St Dorothy in St. Michel.  “It is so rewarding to see students succeed in tasks that they didn't think they could do,” she says. “I always loved sport and physical activity growing up. My father played football and always put us in sports as kids. I was never the best athlete, but I enjoyed playing sports and keeping active. I knew I wanted to work in sport and share my passion for physical activity with others. This led me to teaching.

“Teaching physical education allowed me to teach children to love physical activity from a young age and discovery different activities that can lead them to lifelong physical activity. I tell my students often that lifelong physical activity comes from enjoying being active and finding the right activity for them. I also share with them my personal physical activity stories. I'm a long distance runner and tell them about races I do or challenges I give myself to show them that movement is lifelong and fun.

Stephanie helped launch a “learn to bike" program at Cedarcrest that really had the community and the students excited.  Students were asked to  bring in their bikes and staff spent a week teaching them how to ride (if they didn't already know) and honing their skills with obstacles and varying terrain if they were more comfortable/experienced riders. “Being able to see students who were on training wheels or nervous about riding be able to take to two wheels by the end of the week was fantastic!” she said. 

Stephanie also runs the BOKS morning exercise program where students come into school three times a week from 7:10 to 7:55 am   to engage in extra movement/exercise. The philosophy behind the program is to get students active in the morning to help focus their minds for the day of learning ahead.   

Andrew Adams

Andrew is an English Teacher and Department Head at LaurenHill Junior Campus. His passion for LaurenHill is contagious to many he works with. He is a positive leader who is a mentor to students, alumnae, and colleagues.

Principal Donna Manos notes that Andrew is innovative in many ways. Along with other teachers he spearheaded the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics) program, he mentors students in his Pandoji After School Writing Program, is head of the Junior Vernissage which showcases students’ work in art and English Language Arts, heads the junior student council and helps guide LHA students “giving back” to the community.

“Andrew is very giving of his time and offers up his weekends and evenings to supervise student council students for school and school board events,” said Ms. Manos. “He is also part of the Governing Board, chairman of the School Council and a teacher representative on our active Home and School Association. I am very proud and delighted that   Andrew has been recognized for his contribution to the teaching profession.”

Nicolina Sindici

Nicolina has been teaching   for more than 25 years.  She first worked for the former Verdun Catholic School Board as an elementary language specialist for about a year. She also taught 10 years, part-time, at the McGill University   Continuing Education Language Department.  At the EMSB she has primarily worked in the adult sector   at her present post, St. Pius X Career Centre, High School of Montreal and James Lyng.

“I love many things about teaching,” she says.  “It makes me feel good and happy when I can give my students the tools they need to ‘move on’   with their lives, especially the young adult education population.   I like encouraging and motivating students.  Whether I am teaching an immigrant adult who just arrived, or a Canadian born student who needs their high school leaving certificate, I give of myself to meet their needs. Sometimes, I am a mentor, or facilitator or an educator.  I treat each student with respect and dignity.  The positive feedback I get as each one learns or gets on with their task makes my life meaningful.”  

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