Posted: September 1, 2017
With the band “Dropkick Murphys” blaring in the background the new Superintendent of Anglophone North School District, Mr. Mark Donovan, made his way to the stage and brought forth a message of innovation, professionalism, risk taking and rejuvenation. This message was delivered during opening day professional learning sessions on August 28th in Miramichi and August 29th in Bathurst.
Mr. Donovan's words were backed by a commitment to action in the form of some exciting new initiatives that had teachers in ASD-N buzzing. These include, but are not limited to:
- An expanding partnership with Brilliant Labs allowing teachers and students to have their innovative ideas and projects supported.
- Embedding First Nations cultural celebrations in our schools.
- Rolling out STEM bins to K-1 classrooms across ASD-N.
- Celebrating innovation in ASD-N during a gala event in May
- Highlighting and honouring the important roll our support staff play in developing the whole child
Mr. Donovan also unveiled a plan to have our high schools commemorate the 75th anniversary of Juno Beach by traveling to Germany, The Netherlands, and France, following in the footsteps of the North Shore Regiment as they liberated Europe during WWII. On June 6th, 2019 dozens of students from across northern New Brunswick will awake at sunrise to hear the waves crashing on the beaches of Normandy. The same beaches where our forefathers once stood and fought for our freedoms.
In keeping with the theme of innovation, Mrs. Joan MacMillan, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, then highlighted numerous ongoing projects in Anglophone North that exemplify teachers stepping out of their comfort zones, taking risks, and empowering their students. Teachers and students from across ASD-N are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local causes like the SPCA and global initiatives in Lesotho and Uganda; they are encouraging healthy eating by raising sustainably grown fruits and vegetables using aquaponics; they are stepping out of their comfort zones when it comes to formative assessment and challenging the status quo in high school; and the list goes on.
To culminate the day teachers entered the gymnasium to witness the catapult creations from the “build challenge” and cheer on their school team as they competed for various prizes. In Miramichi the first 8 shots blew through all the targets until the group from Miramichi Rural steadied their aim and hit a bullseye to win the iPad. The builders from Bathurst were more accurate in their initial shots, claiming prizes such as spheros and gift bags, but the iPad did not go until the second round when the team from Jacquet River rolled one perfectly into the centre hoop.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Donovan stated that our goals as teachers should be to educate our students in such a way that they become, “A generation of adults who will be stewards for our global village; problem solvers, sustainable creative thinkers, and innovators.” By building relationships with our students and allowing them to be hands-on learners, sparking their creativity and inquisitive nature, and sharing our best practices ASD-N will be well equipped to do just that.