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Year: 2009 – Province: Nova Scotia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Prince Arthur Junior High School
85 Prince Arthur Avenue
Dartmouth NS B2Y 0B3
Principal: Debbie Rowsell
School Tel.: 902-464-2435
School Fax: 902-464-2727
School Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subjects and Grades Taught: Instrumental music and band in grades 7 to 9
Every year, the boys and girls in the Prince Arthur Junior High School band get on the bus and head out on a "world" tour of elementary schools in the area with which Mr. Diabo has formed partnerships. He uses music and performance opportunities to give his students a first-person experience of community and diversity. He also shares his Mohawk heritage and culture with his music students and throughout the school.
Mr. Diabo believes that all students can succeed at music. He makes it possible for them to learn, regardless of their ability, by introducing a wide variety of instruments and incorporating recording and computer technology into the program. Beyond that, he encourages students to take risks and solve programs to develop creativity and confidence. He also makes sure students have fun and experience the satisfaction of working with others to make music.
- Mr. Diabo, who has been teaching for 15 years, has made the music program so appealing that nearly half of the school population is currently enrolled. Retention rates are also high—students stick with the program—and absenteeism is very low.
- He worked with French immersion teachers to create an interdisciplinary project called Journey Through Time to give students a tour of music in world history and show them how music helped shape that history.
- Mr. Diabo has facilitated many initiatives to increase students' respect for difference and to heighten their appreciation of the 12 cultural groups represented at the school. He has also organized professional development for staff to reinforce these goals and is always ready and willing to meet with individual students to speak about difference and diversity-related issues.
"Due to a developmental delay, my daughter was far below the skill level of the other students. … When she was in Grade 9 she came home and told me she was doing a solo in the next concert. Mr. Diabo gave her the same opportunities to participate in the band that the other students had and provided her with the necessary support so she would be successful in her efforts." Parent
"It is because of [Mr. Diabo] that we will have students enrolling in university music programs and registering for sound and music systems programs at community colleges … students performing in community bands and symphonies, students using their music to bring meaning to their lives and staying off the streets and out of trouble with the law… ." Principal