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Celebrating Excellence

Annual Report Home About the SCDSB Supporting Student Achievement Community Connections, Global Outreach Responsible Growth Safe, Caring & Green Schools Celebrating Excellence

Outstanding Principals Awards
Two SCDSB principals named tops in Canada

Tracy McPhail, Principal, Student Success, and Chris Samis, then Principal at Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School, were two of 51 exceptional educators named as Canada’s Outstanding Principals for 2013 by The Learning Partnership. Principals who receive this recognition have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their school communities.

Grade 2 student wins Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award  

One of our Grade 2 students is so involved in her community that she received an Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award. Alexandra Pino, a Grade 2 student at Cookstown Central Public School, was selected from 150 nominees for this honour. The award is sponsored by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association, who summarized Alexandra’s accomplishments: “Alexandra has displayed the desire to become involved in her community in various ways. For the past few years, Alexandra has collected and donated teddy bears to sick children at the Royal Victoria Hospital…To date she has donated more than 100 teddy bears. In addition, Alexandra has also collected items for the Barrie SPCA in lieu of birthday presents and has raised nearly $300 for this cause.” Read more about Alexandra's award
Tottenham Public School using EQAO data to enhance student success 

Tottenham Public School sets high standards, and they believe all of their students can meet them—all students can achieve success with the right supports in place. And it’s this whole-school approach that garnered Tottenham Public School a 2012 EQAO Dr. Bette Stephenson Recognition of Achievement.  Tottenham PS was one of 27 schools in Ontario to receive a 2012 Dr. Bette Stephenson Recognition of Achievement.

History teacher’s passion for WWII education helps him win Prime Minister’s Award  

Clint Lovell, a teacher at Eastview Secondary School in Barrie, received a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence for his work with his history classes focusing on local World War II soldiers. Lovell’s classes have completed numerous projects involving research into Barrie and area soldiers. His students' research was published online on the Veterans Affairs Canada website where it served as a model for other schools. He also led his students in the production of a YouTube video on the topic and his students have published a book, The Boys from Barrie 1939-1945.

Bear Creek student receives Diamond Jubilee Medal for honouring Canadian Soldiers  

Bear Creek Secondary School student Madison Ford made such an impassioned speech about Canadian Soldiers at a gathering to mark Battle of Vimy Ridge that she received a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal. She made her speech in Green Park in London, England, prior to visiting Vimy, France to retrace steps taken by thousands of Canadian Soldiers on April 9, 1917.

More good news stories online 

You can find stories on our newsfeed, on our Facebook page at or on Twitter @SCDSB_Schools. New this year is our Sharing Simcoe blog, found at

PASS program breaks down barriers, re-engages students  PASS logo

There is a pause before 18-year-old Brandon Araujo speaks. 

“My advice?  Talk to someone about it. If you’re struggling, don’t keep it to yourself—there are so many people who can help.”

Brandon is a Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) student who has started school again after dropping out last year. His advice is for his peers in high school—those thinking about leaving, those who feel disconnected.

“When I left school, I had no idea what I was going to do until I was called.” 

That call was from Lyanne Rouse. Lyanne is a Pathways to Student Success (PASS) teacher with the SCDSB. Her job is to reconnect with students who left school and help them make their way back.

“The right path looks different for each student,” she says. “I get to know the students and find classes and programs that fit into their lives so they can get their diploma."

Read more about Brandon and Lyanne's journey on Sharing Simcoe.

Local change-maker takes her passion to the province  

Twin Lakes student one of 60 Ontario students to serve on Minister’s Student Advisory Council

Arlana Bickell, Twin Lakes studentArlana Bickell wants to help move education forward, to challenge students to take an active part in their education and to help educators see students from a different perspective. She took this passion for change and brought it all the way to the Ministry of Education as a member of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council.

Arlana is one of 60 students from across the province who were selected for the council. She and her peers share their ideas and offer advice to the Minister of Education to ensure that the Ontario school system stays engaging for students.

“I decided to apply to the Student Advisory Council because I felt I had a lot to share—my experiences and challenges as a First Nation student, my enthusiasm for student participation in their education, and my desire to help educators and student to work together,” says Arlana. “I was very excited when I found out I was selected to be on the committee, but I was also nervous. It’s a lot of responsibility!”

Arlana has been sharing her experiences with the council. She has offered insights on First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) education from a student perspective.

Read more about Arlana and the impact she's having on education in Ontario.