Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 2002 – Province: Ontario

Certificate of Achievement Recipients

Donna DeCourcy

School: Emma King Elementary School
383 Cundles Road West
Barrie, Ontario  L4N 7C7

Principal: Greg Plyley
School Telephone: 705-728-5401
School Fax: 705-727-7672
School website:
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grade 3, all subjects

Teaching approach:

  • Create and deliver programs that give all students opportunities for success.
  • Constantly look for ways to improve teaching effectiveness and improve the lives of others.

Outstanding achievements:

Enriches her school with a wide variety of initiatives, all aimed towards enhancing the students' learning experience:

  • The Emma King website program: along with a fellow teacher, a parent volunteer and a crowd of eager students, DeCourcy created a website highlighting the activities at Emma King school. The site also presents the results of video and digital camera projects about the community and provides curriculum demonstrations for parents.
  • Special needs programming: DeCourcy continually strives to unlock the mystery of learning disabilities in order to devise the most effective teaching strategies. Developed a "training video" for students on how to interact with a special needs student.
  • Cultural and visual arts programming: invites "living treasures" from the community to visit the school and share their skills. These guests have included a master weaver, a 90-year-old community activist, a painter and many others; all are thrilled to be designated "living treasures" and delighted to meet and work with the students.

Transforms Grade 3 portable classroom into a welcoming "cottage," complete with Adirondack chair and potted tree outside the front door. Includes movement and activity as integral parts of every lesson: children read a story about the Tsimshiam woodcarvers and then sew a button on their own classroom button blanket, or "see the world" through the eyes of their own travelling bear tucked into the luggage of friends and relatives, who send pictures and postcards to the child describing the bear's adventures.

Rave reviews:

"Donna is the type of person that makes you proud to be in education." Principal

"Donna searches for ways to involve children, to build their joy for learning and to help them as they develop their own self-esteem." Superintendent of education

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