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Year: 2009 – Province: Prince Edward Island
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Three Oaks Senior High School
10 Kenmore Avenue
Summerside PE C1N 4V9
Subjects and Grades Taught: English and Ancient History in grades 10 to 12
Susan England has the amazing ability to make her students feel that they are capable of anything. As a result of her total belief in them, students feel compelled to transform their dreams into goals. Her students are among the most engaged and involved in the school: leaders, class officers, student council members, peer helpers, band members and top athletes.
Ms. England makes connections across the curriculum to ensure that students understand the context of the material they are learning. She also integrates technology into her courses, not for its own sake, but to enhance student learning and appeal to auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning styles.
- Ms. England breathes life into the pages of literature and history. Over her more than 30 years of teaching, she has seen the benefits of implementing a range of strategies to engage students and help them learn: group work, creative projects, dramatic presentations, independent portfolio assignments, guest speakers and field trips. She has experts make presentations on the background to other genres to complement curriculum. In her Ancient History classes, she has students create a model society where they choose the physical environment, laws, infrastructure, class system, government and available technology.
- Ms. England took charge of Remembrance Day activities at the school, transforming them from a time of duty into a moving tribute to Canadian veterans. In 2006, she organized a presentation in honour of war brides. Students researched war brides still residing in the area and presented dramatic vignettes of their stories to the school and at the Legion's Remembrance Day Ceremonies. This process was repeated in other years to honour veterans who were part of the famed Devil's Brigade and the Battle of Ortona. All of these projects won P.E.I. Heritage Awards.
- Ms. England is a founding member of the school's literacy committee, which strives to make students better readers. On the committee's recommendation, staff and students now read printed material of their choice for the 15 minutes of each school day.
- Ms. England won the City of Summerside's Good Neighbour Award in 2009, presented by the Mayor, in recognition of her long-time contribution to the community.
"For many years she taught the theatre arts class and staged productions with the "class list." She bravely did Shakespeare with non-Shakespeareans and comedy with those who did not know humour. Her directorial insight is remarkable and she can pull a performance out of anyone." Colleague
"After graduation, Mrs. England kept in contact throughout my university years. She wanted updates on my progress both in education and in life. She encouraged me to pursue my honours degree in English Language and Literature because it was my passion. Former student