Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 1999 – Province: Ontario

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Gary DaCosta

School: Lester B. Pearson High School

Principal: Ozzie Caldarelli
Grades/Subjects Taught: Technology (transportation and auto mechanics)

Teaching approach:

  • Respect students and treat them as mature individuals; this will bring out responsible behaviour, help them develop good character and make good life decisions.
  • Give students real-life employment skills and inspire them with examples of students who have succeeded. At the same time, work hard and have fun.

Outstanding achievements:

Makes the most of hands-on teaching in auto mechanics, and provides experiences of success to encourage students to stay in school:

  • winner of outstanding student award returned to teach auto mechanics at school
  • more than 40 former students employed in industry as mechanics, aircraft pilots and mechanics, and business owners
  • up to 50 percent of technology students are girls.

Contributes to expansion and improvement of school equipment. A two-day annual Christmas Craft Fair hosting 70 vendors and staffed by student volunteers raises more than $6000 for equipment upgrades and Graduation Technology Awards.

Developed compulsory integrated technology course for Grade 9 girls and boys, and designed group projects that students are motivated to finish and enjoy. Most popular was designing, building and testing a pinball machine using computer design, plastics, wood and electronics.

Driving force behind safety policy now used in every auto shop in Halton District School Board.

Active in extra-curricular sports for girls: launched and coaches girls hockey team and also coaches girls soccer team.

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