UCDSB Honours six employees with 2020 Trustee Innovation Awards
The annual awards program started in 2012 to recognize staff for innovative teaching and work practices, with the intent that these practices will be shared and used to improve the way the school board delivers education and other services to students and the community.
Among the winners are:
Paul Merredew, Teacher – Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute:
Paul has been instrumental in supporting Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute and the school district in implementing Indigenous studies. He has taught First Nations, Métis and Inuit studies courses for many years and is a leader throughout the district in program planning, implementation and innovation. As a strong advocate for Indigenous education, Paul plays an important role in establishing reciprocal relationships with many of the board’s cultural advisors. Paul has dedicated many hours to planning in the annual Spirit of the Drum Powwow and arranging other learning experiences in the lead up to the Powwow, including a traditional canoe building weekend that was rich in culture, history, language and community. All of these efforts give students the opportunity to showcase their learning in an authentic way. Paul willingly offers his knowledge and expertise in presenting at professional learning activities within our school district, all of which are examples of his passion and commitment to Indigenous education.
Dion Running, Teacher – South Crosby Public School:
Dion is an exceptional educator with a passion for environmental causes as well as being an Indigenous education leader for South Crosby Public School. Last fall, he collaborated with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR) on an experiential learning project to help students connect with nature and to understand the problems that the bat faces. Dion started conversations about the plight of the brown bat with his students and community partners and organized a bird box build at the school. This initiative and experiential learning activity helped engage and inspire students. Dion’s caring and willingness to share this knowledge, passion and experience with a new generation of young learners will contribute to their success and inquisitive minds.
The innovation, creativity and dedication from these employees is remarkable” says Trustee Innovation Award Chair and UCDSB Trustee Corina Parisien. “They all found engaging ways to connect their students, staff and community, that was especially important during the global pandemic.”