Archived—Recipient Bios

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Year: 2001 – Province: Newfoundland and Labrador

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Valerie Pike

School: Prince of Wales Collegiate
24 Paton Street
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador  A1B 3E7

Principal: Allister Dyke
School Telephone: 709-576-4061
School Fax: 709-576-4920
School Website:
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grades 10 to 12 - French (core and immersion), international studies.

Teaching Approach:

  • To enable students to open doors to the rest of the world through language and cultural studies, and to view themselves as citizens of the world.
  • To contribute to students' formal education and their moral and civic training.
  • To enable students to learn about themselves as well as about the disciplines they study.

Outstanding Achievements:

Ms. Pike transformed the school's French department into a department of modern languages, offering popular classes in French, Spanish, Russian and international studies. Enrolment rose 25 percent the first year alone, even though taking these classes requires a major commitment of time and effort by students.

Ms. Pike was part of a team that designed the school's international studies program. This cross-cultural, experiential learning program allows 25 students a year to travel to Cuba for three weeks for the language and cultural immersion component of the course, and is based on a partnership among the school, Canada World Youth and the Cuban Ministry of Education. The program is now accredited as a university admission course.

Students maintain exceptionally high rates of participation and success in Advanced Placement exams. Ms. Pike's French immersion students are the only ones in Newfoundland and Labrador to write both the AP French Literature and AP French Language exams.

Ms. Pike has received a number of honours, including the 2000-2001 Canadian Parents for French Award for French Immersion Teacher of the Year in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the 2000-2001 Rotary Award for Teaching Excellence.

Rave Reviews:

Ms. Pike cared enough to convince me that not only could I do the French literature exam but that I could do well, and she prepared me and enabled me to do well. Former student

She never entered our class without enthusiasm, and her love of the subject was contagious. She encouraged her students both in and out of the classroom. Former student