Year: 2014 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
St. Bonaventure Catholic School
1340 Leslie Street
Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2K9
Principal: Mr. James Graham
School telephone: 416-393-5263
School email: firstname.lastname@example.org
School website: www.tcdsb.org/Schools/stbonaventure/Pages/default.aspx
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 6 & 8, English, Science and Math
Ms. Maureen Sims challenges her students to "think outside the box" every single day in the classroom. She employs special "Challenge" projects to encourage her student to think on their feet and take risks with the material in order to effectively problem solve.
- Shared the Socrative App, an academic assessment program, with her class so students can identify the gaps in their learning and address their weaknesses; students also have a say in planning lessons by providing feedback in polls through the software;
- Provided her students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning beyond the class with the National Mathematics Leagues and Young Writers of Canada Competition;
- Won $20,000 in grant money to implement the "Success for All" program, where she worked with a team of eight educators to develop revised science units for combined grades.
As an administrator, it is important to have strong leaders among the teaching staff. If there is a job that needs to be done, a committee to be formed, a challenge to be solved, a colleague in need or an extracurricular event to be organized, Ms. Sims can be relied on to rise to the occasion. She has consistently modeled lifelong learning throughout her career and continues to find innovative to engage her students and inspire them to achieve.
I understand that gifted children are often referred to as 'strange' or 'odd.' I know that many of the students in the gifted program have come to St. Bonaventure to find a 'safe haven' as much as they have come to find appropriate educational challenges. Ms. Sims has created an atmosphere of acceptance in her class that should be the model for other teachers. Students that were once marginalized have found a classroom where their uniqueness is celebrated.
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