Year: 2016 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute
289 College Avenue West
Guelph, Ontario N1G 3S9
Subjects and grades taught: Business Leadership, International Business Fundamentals, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, grades 9, 11 and 12
Convinced that students learn better outside the bounds of a classroom, and having had experience with a program that took students abroad to study, Michael Parsons developed a local program with an international component that is open to all students.
Mr. Parsons believes that experience combined with information can be the best teacher. Students in his courses learn by reading, doing and solving problems. In the process, they take in all the necessary concepts in a meaningful way and then apply them to real-world situations.
- Developed Beyond Borders, an experiential, cross-curricular business leadership program:
- Students from four schools convene in a heritage building downtown for classes and expert lectures on business topics.
- A weeklong stay at a summer camp focuses on learning about leadership and developing leadership skills; numerous local, regional and international field trips give students access to businesses leaders.
- The semester culminates in students' planning and organizing highly successful fundraising events.
- Students earn four credits, two in business, one in English and one in math.
- The first class loved the outside-the-school experience so much that students successfully petitioned the school board to have Beyond Borders extended to a full year in the future.
- Inspires numerous student-led projects each year that raise funds for charity; in five months in 2014–2015 alone, students donated nearly $30,000 to local organizations.
- Coaches students in developing business proposals and presenting their pitches—in class and in regional, provincial and even international competitions.
"Thank you for being the role model for everything I hope to be—inspiring, trustworthy, humble, passionate, kind and truly genuine."
"[Mr. Parsons'] desire and commitment to create programs involving experiential learning that shape the future for his students is above and beyond my expectations of a teacher."
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