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Year: 2000 – Province: Newfoundland and Labrador
Certificate of Excellence Recipients
School: O'Donel High School
PO Box 578, Ruth Avenue
Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador A1N 2W4
Principal: John Walsh
School Telephone: 709-364-5305
School Fax: 709-364-5317
School Website: www.odonel.k12.nf.ca
Grades/Subjects Taught: Biology, science, robotics cooperative education, computer technology
- Challenge students to achieve excellence, often far beyond their dreams.
- Take a practical hands-on approach to learning: "What I hear, I forget; what I see, I remember; what I do, I understand!"
- Be ready to go the extra mile in investing time and effort in students - the dividends are enormous.
Spearheaded interest and participation in field of robotics throughout school district:
- eight district schools now involved, up from original one
- increased participation from 20 to more than 200 students, from one to four full-time engineering mentors, and from three to eight teacher-mentors
- moved program from a basic woodworking shop to facilities at Memorial University and several advanced fabrication companies
- O'Donel team placed first in a national and international robotics competition in 2000.
Makes science real and intriguing:
- takes students into the "real world" of private enterprise and public institutions
- uses hands-on, laboratory-based instruction, especially with underachieving students
- leads students on field trips to see biology in action or investigate environmental science
- challenges students to solve science questions not by prescriptive methods, but by choosing or defining investigation methods, and applying and enhancing them to discover answers.
Enrolment in Advanced Placement courses has increased substantially, academic performance of all students has improved, as has interest and engagement of underachieving students, and the cooperative education program has been expanded, all under Mr. Button's direction.
Secured funding to revolutionize the school's information technology capability. Aggressive proposal writing and consultation led to dramatic changes in teaching and learning methods.
"The time and effort he invests in his students is remarkable, and he drives them to succeed in every challenge they face." Student
"I sometimes wonder how it is possible for one person to be involved in and accomplish so much." Department head