Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 1999 – Province: Manitoba

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Jay Willman

School: B. Russell Vocational High School

Principal: Wally Stewart
School website:
Grades/Subjects Taught: Integrated technology, drama and literacy

Teaching approach:

  • Commit to keeping at-risk students in school.
  • Search constantly for the best teaching practices to reach the at-risk student.
  • Focus on student's voice and learning style, and respect them.
  • Draw shy, struggling students into the action; create a positive learning environment for them.

Outstanding achievements:

Leads development of technology at school:

  • students created a vocational skills website, demonstrating technical vocabulary, process skills and familiarity with technological tools
  • vocational students repair a virtual car to learn technical language, computer skills, and solve a wide variety of mechanical problems quickly and cheaply
  • technology program earned $10 000 Industry Canada Network of Innovative Schools award.

Initiated Community Action program and plays addressing critical issues for inner-city youth — gangs, drug use, violence — and providing information and resources for problem solving:

  • program began as after-school activity; its popularity and learning potential led to its becoming a credit course
  • students focus on literacy development through playwriting, public performance, workshop presentations skills, and spend after-school hours in rehearsals and travelling
  • Community Action received the Manitoba Foundation Award of Distinction for its play about addictions. This prestigious award is seldom awarded to school programs.

Rave reviews:

"Now that I have reached a goal and found a dream, I am interested in acting even more than my social life." Student and Community Action actress

"He stands out as a creative, skilled practitioner who brings humour and passion to every part of his teaching day." Colleague

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