Archived—Recipient Bios

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Year: 2001 – Province: British Columbia

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Lee Curtis

School: Langford Alternative Education Program
2724 Jacklin Road
Victoria, British Columbia  V9B 3Y7

Principal: James Cambridge
School Telephone: 250-478-5114
School Fax: 250-478-5114
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grades 8 and 9 - mathematics, English, science, physical education, social science, keyboarding, art, career preparation.

Teaching Approach:

  • To help students at risk of running afoul of the law, of substance abuse or of dropping out of school find direction by teaching them a balanced mix of life skills and academics.
  • To bring students to the point where they stop thinking of themselves as victims and begin to be active participants in a deliberate process of personal change and success.
  • To encourage students to be socially responsible, and to value truth, honour and citizenship. To strengthen students' reading skills so that they can become lifelong learners.

Outstanding Achievements:

Mr. Curtis created an alternative school program that gives at-risk students a smaller, more intimate atmosphere than does a regular school, so they can get their lives back on track. The program, which Mr. Curtis has run for 15 years, has a constant waiting list.

  • Students who regularly skipped classes become regular school attendees.
  • Students take up challenging new activities and become active community members, participating in fundraisers and helping at a local seniors' hospital.
  • Students significantly improve their grades.

Students facing the greatest challenges — personal trauma, fetal alcohol syndrome and developmental disorders — succeed against considerable odds in Mr. Curtis' program, going on to be class leaders and academic achievers.

Mr. Curtis stresses employability skills. For example, students interview businesspeople in preparation for applying for jobs. Mr. Curtis videotapes mock interviews to help students gain a more accurate view of themselves and sharpen their interview skills.

Rave Reviews:

Perhaps the highest testament to Lee and his program is its incredible success rate. Given students whose statistical chances for high school graduation are very low, Lee sends a significant number on to complete school. School administrator

Lee has been teaching for 25 years and for the last 10 years that I worked with him he proved an exceptional teacher to youths who have had many difficulties, both academically and in their personal lives. Former colleague