VCPAC Awards

Inspirational Student Award

Hailey (George Jay)

Hailey has a passion for helping others and has such a calm and gentle way that puts everyone around her at ease. She is responsible and so very generous with her time. She is a mentor to new PLAY leaders and role model for the group. When asked what makes Hailey so special, one of her friends and classmates Sara said; "Hailey always listens to me, she shares everything she has with others and helps me to feel good about myself". When Hailey grows up she said that she wants to be a restaurant owner, a female wrestler or a rock star." We know that she has the "rock star" part covered already and that there will be amazing things happening in Hailey's future. 

Gail Edwards Memorial Award

Morley Bryant (Macaulay)

Morley is actively involved in every aspect of the PAC and has spent countless hours of her time both in the school and out, helping raise money, organizing events, making valuable connections with the community, raising student and parent concerns and generally making Macaulay a better school. She is often the first person to arrive and the last person to leave the school for PAC events. She genuinely cares about the students and works tirelessly to build the community and improve the children's education, environment and extra-curricular experiences.

Morley successfully oversaw all stages of getting a pathway installed across the often-muddy school field , providing a dry walkway for students and parents to walk on for drop off and pick up. There were many delays on the project but Morley persevered, and is still working hard to complete the project by organizing the landscaping associated with the pathway. 

Her devotion and constant invigorating presence has served to support the very complex needs of her school community, inspiring students and families to feel a genuine connection to the school. In fact, Morley is so visible in the halls that children have come to happily recognize and embrace her presence. She has a way not only of bringing people on board with ease but is also quite comfortable taking on any need or project that arises, including coaching sports. From family dances to walk-a-thons, special lunches, treats for staff, volunteering to drive students to sporting events, movie nights, silent auctions, cupcake sales, metal drive collections, participating in Buccaneer Day events and providing home-cooked meals for classes, Morley has always demonstrated a passion and commitment to the well-being of our students. And, of course, this list goes on.

Lisa Woo (Lambrick Park and Gordon Head)

 

Parents' Choice Award

Hannah Gough (Strawberry Vale)

Ms. Gough is patlent and understanding and supports the indivídual needs of every child. She is a positive influence; she encourages the natural progression in children and promotes a healthy learnïng outcome for each of them. Miss. Gough is a kindhearted sincere individual who has the abitíty to share her infectious love of learning with everyone around her. ln addition, Miss. Gough maintains open communícation and is able to promote a peaceful environment for everyone. She is a confídent and carÍng individual who has the awareness and the knowledge needed to create a very positive experience for all the children and their parents within the school community. 

Ms Gough teaches the children about respect, order, and structure, without being rigid, authoritarian or a disciplinarian. She helps the children in the class to learn to be responsible and accountable for themselves and their behaviour, and she encourages and inspires the best from them.

Hannah focuses on encouraging her students' strengths and supporting them to work toward goals. She treats each child as special, and each of her students feel this way. For example, at the end of EVERY day, she lines up all of the children and shakes each of their hands using their own individually developed handshake.

Children throughout the school seem to be drawn to her magnetic personality and often stop to talk to her in the hallway.

Francisco Munoz (Strawberry Vale)

The depth of caring and compassion in Francisco is certainly bottomless, especially when it comes to supporting his students. He is passionate and devoted to supporting all children in the school. He can be seen daiþ supervising the crossing guards in the earþ rnorning, walking the school grounds during recesses, and saying hello to families in the hallways at the start and end of each day. He volunteers his artistic and creative talents for inclusive school projects, such as creating props for the school play and designing a mural for the school entrance with help from the students. Strawberry Vale Elementary provides a wonderfully enriched learning environment due in great part to Francisco's commitment and entlusiasm and leadership. 

To visit our school is to treat your eyes to the abundant creative treasures that Francisco has selflessly helped to create, from key art features such as our amazing handprint mosaic (imagine envisioning, overseeing and executing a large scale project that involved creating hundreds of individual handprints from all of the students and turning it into a stunning and beloved wall of art!), or the ever-present seasonal window paintings all around the school, which change ever so slightly here and there, just like nature, as the school months roll by. He devotes hours of his personal time to creating our school production sets that are worthy of awards themselves! His talents are no secret to the students who are constantly inspired by his creativity. In sharing his own creativity, Francisco demonstrates the value in contributing in this fashion to our communities and directly with the people we care about; he illustrates that art is communication and celebration.

 

Arkell Award

Beverlee Forward (George Jay)

Beverlee Forward has voluntarily given her time in the library at George Jay Elementary School in Victoria for a long time (at least 30 years!). She cares so much about children, books and our library. Her love and passion for George Jay library is extraordinary!

The students at George Jay come to the library at least once a week for a book exchange. Whenever they come, the books are where they should be on the right shelves and arranged so that the children can sec the best ones. Beverlee comes two and often three times a week to the library for a few hours each day to shelve books, arrange them in order, change them up by weeding out old ones, making room for new ones. ln the past three years we had to pack up the whole library and move to another site during an earthquake refit of the school. All in all, we packed and unpacked the library four times! Beverlec was the constant force in getting the library going each time.

Beverlee was not new to libraries where she voluntarily gives her free time. She was a teacher at George Jay and then became the teacher librarian when her father was principal here. Unfortunately, her paid time in the library was cut short in the early 1980's when the government deemed that teacher librarians were not necessary in elementary school libraries. Despite this, Beverlee still worked in the library on her own time at the end of the day and between classes. She retired in the mid 80's but continued to come to the school. Former teacher librarian Bob Warren recognizes Beverlee's commitment to the students at George Jay through her tremendous amount of work in the library. Beverlee is a permanent legend in the story of George Jay. A few years ago, she attended the l00th Anniversary event at George Jay and everyone knew Beverlee! Students know her by name and love the care she takes in showing them how to find books!

Fine Arts Champion Award

Jody Onuma (Campus View)

It is my pleasure to write this letter of support for teacher Mrs. Jody Onuma for a VCPAC Award. Mrs. Onuma has worked passionately at Campus View for the past four years as our full-time music teacher. During her tenure, she has brought a love for learning music to all 460 of our students and inspired them to participate in a variety of extra-curricular music activities.

Each Wednesday morning at 8:00am, Mrs. Onuma leads a choir practice of 90 Grade 4 and 5 students before our morning bell. Whenever there is opportunity to do so, Mrs. Onuma has our choir participate in various community functions including: singing with community choirs, at local municipal halls, and at adjudicated festivals and events.

This year Mrs. Onuma has taken on the mammoth task of leading our school musical productions, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Each recess, lunch-hour break, and several times a week after school, Mrs. Onuma dedicates her time to rehearse with students. She works closely with parents coordinating the sound, lighting, costumes and set designs.

In addition to our choir, Mrs. Onuma's music program at Campus View is beyond outstanding. She provides students with a wide range of opportunity to learn various musical instruments including the ukulele, the recorder and various percussion instruments. To inspire students to practice and learn various songs on the recorder, Mrs. Onuma put in place a program called "Recorder Karate". This program allows students, at their own pace, to learn new songs and earn a coloured II recorder belt" for doing so. Participation in Recorder Karate is high and students are anxious to get their belts! As a school principal, I am incredibly thankful to have a teacher of Mrs. Onuma's caliber working at our school. Her dedication and passion to inspire a love for learning and music is truly infectious

School Partnership Award

Brent Kelly (Gordon Head)

Mr. Brent Kelly received the VCPAC School Partnership Award. The recipient of this award is acknowledged for their leadership in developing genuine school partnerships with the parents, students, community and staff. Principal Kelly has been epitomizing the criteria for this award his entire 37 year career. The Gordon Head community is truly grateful for his authentic passion and care for public education. It is evident that the academic, social and emotional needs of every student are important to him. He is innovative, welcoming, fair, trustworthy, compassionate and respected. His remarkable dedication to being present and encouraging at EVERY student event no matter where or when it is has not gone unnoticed and for so many it was deeply cherished. You have shown others how to teach, administer and parent students in a thoughtful and inclusive manner. Thank you for sharing your heart with us for so many years Mr. Kelly. You have inspired all of us to continue your legacy of compassionate leadership. We wish you many wonderful adventures to come in your much deserved retirement.

John Young Award

John Bird (Reynolds / VCPAC)

John, as a parent and a parent advocate for VCPAC, believes in supporting and advocating for our vulnerable students. As long as I have known him John has actively advocated for equity and access for all students. John always comes forward with solutions to break down barriers and inequities and is first in line promoting student rights. He too is passionate in his beliefs, principles ( that’s “ple” not “pal “as John Young would always say!) and his actions. John listens carefully to other positions and then, thoughtfully and firmly points the way to different ways of thinking of “problems” and creating the solutions that always has the students as first priority. At times this can be his voice standing up to other groups who may not see matters as John does, believing the system should accommodate the student not the other way around. 

 

John Bird is courageous. He has taken on many issues, including class composition that another person might be too timid to broach. Being courageous is different from being fearless. John never appreciated the intense push back he received from those who disagreed with him. It is never easy to sit at meetings and listen to personal attacks. He understands the importance of advocacy and therefore continues to advocate for all students regardless of the acrimony that might come his way. John recognizes that it is never about personal reward but rather it is about our children. John has fought and continues to fight for the rights of all students. He has influenced decision makers and has been successful in creating change. He has reminded and continues to remind us of our responsibility to ensure that all students are treated equitably. John Bird defines advocacy.