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February 17, 2012
For immediate release
Island educators recognized for their efforts to promote inclusive education
Education and Early Childhood Development
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Prince Edward Island’s school system continues to make great strides in promoting inclusive education and it is important to recognize educational leaders for working to enhance the lives of all students, says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Alan McIsaac.
“The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is pleased to partner with the PEI Association for Community Living to recognize several outstanding educators and school staff for ensuring all students are welcomed, valued and supported in their classrooms and schools,” said Minister McIsaac. “Inclusive education promotes participation, friendship and interaction and allows for a well-rounded learning experience for all students. This also allows other students to respect diversity in school and in society.”
Inclusive education means ensuring all students are educated with their peers and have equitable access to learning and achievement in the education system.
To celebrate National Inclusive Education Week, Minister McIsaac presented Island educators and staff with national certificates of recognition from the Canadian Association for Community Living.
The 2011 Inclusive Education Award recipients include:
• Velma Durant, Physical Education teacher at École Évangéline
• Jackie Charchuk, Former Special Education Consultant with the Western School Board
• Trenna Burke, Educational Assistant at Westwood Primary School
• Jane Wilson, Special Education/Resource Specialist at Montague Intermediate School
• Peter Meggs, Special Educational Coordinator at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
• Staff of Montague Consolidated School
“As Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, it’s encouraging to see the valuable work being implemented in our classrooms and schools,” said Minister McIsaac. “It’s important to recognize our educators who make the extra effort to practice and promote an inclusive environment.”
National Inclusive Education week runs from February 13 to 17 and February is National Inclusive Education month.
Velma Durant, École Évangéline
Velma Durant is a true role model when it comes to including students with special needs in all education programming. She demonstrates outstanding leadership and focuses on the strengths and interests of the student to benefit learning in the class in terms of acceptance and inclusion. She often takes initiative to suggest new and creative ways to include students in many school projects. This provides insight for her colleagues and helps ensure all students are included as much as possible.
Jackie Charchuk, Former Special Education Consultant at the Western School Board
Jackie Charchuk’s knowledge and experience make her a great source of information and many students and teachers have benefitted from her work. Former principals and staff members speak very highly of Jackie and agree that every school where she has worked was greatly influenced by her passion for inclusion and her practical and common sense approach.
Trenna Burke, Educational Assistant at Westwood Primary School
Trenna Burke is committed to working closely with students and families to promote independence, inclusion and self confidence. She works tirelessly to help all students learn and master skills in the classroom. Ms. Burke shows insight and dedication to helping her students achieve personal strengths and goals such as independence and leadership in school. This is allowing students to develop a sense of confidence and maturity.
Jane Wilson, Special Education/Resource Specialist at Montague Intermediate School
Jane Wilson exemplifies the expression “putting others first.” Her professional conduct and her willingness to try new and unexplored avenues of support are indicative of her belief that we are here to serve our students and work towards providing the best education possible. Jane pushes students to reach their potential, and she pulls from them the qualities necessary for success. She provides supports to students, staff and the EAs she supervises, making sure all are part of the process and have a share as stakeholders in the means and the ends. She is there for parents and fellow professionals to provide the necessary information to meet goals and objectives for both student and family. She does all this in a manner that makes people feel welcomed and supportive, part of the team.
Peter Meggs, Special Educational Coordinator, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Peter Meggs is a great advocate, and is actively involved in community events that relate to inclusion. He continually searches for the best matches between the abilities of students and the various opportunities the schools can provide, equitable access to learning and achievement, and resources that are available. Both as Teacher and Administrator, Peter’s goal has been to improve inclusion for students. Peter Meggs inspires his staff using strong leadership skills and provides constructive feedback enabling staff to truly understand what an inclusive education involves.
Staff of Montague Consolidated School
It is difficult to highlight an individual at Montague Consolidated School for excellence in inclusive education. The entire school staff deserves mention. Everyone at the school from educational assistants to custodians, teachers, administrative staff, bus drivers and other students work together to provide a truly inclusive educational experience for all students. No activity at the school is out of reach for any student. The administration and staff at Montague Consolidated School consists of a strong team of inclusive educators that includes all students.