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Catholic School Board briefs
Teachers give funds to organizations

Candace Thomson
Northern News Services
Published Friday, November 29, 2013

More than $12,000 raised by teachers and staff of Yellowknife Catholic Schools was donated to four organizations with roots in social justice.

The Association for Community Living received $5,600, the Yellowknife Salvation Army received $3,200, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul received $2,400 and the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith received $2,400 out of the funds that were raised over the past year.

Teachers and staff donate $2 or more every Friday to be able to wear casual clothing, a program that's been running in the district for several years.

"This is a donation program that started at the school district through an idea from the teachers, not the board," said superintendent Claudia Parker.

Do Edaezhe recognized at Alberta Premier's Awards

Yellowknife Catholic Schools' Do Edaezhe program was recognized at a provincial awards ceremony.

The program was one of four finalists in the Alberta Premier's Awards competition, and though the program didn't win, it was recognized with a plaque for the merit of the program.

"We weren't expecting to win because it's an Alberta (ceremony), even if we know the program is a winner. But when we got to Alberta for the ceremony, the program was named one of four finalists," said Claudia Parker, superintendent.

The board of trustees decided to nominate the program, even though it was an Alberta competition, to recognize the hard work put in by the co-ordinators, who they presented with the plaque at the board meeting Wednesday evening.

"You guys are the winners of this award, not us, because you do the work behind it," Parker said.

$45,000 for new classroom assistant

At least $45,000 will be drawn from the YCS surplus this year to pay for a temporary support teacher to tend to a specific student with special needs. Finance committee chair Amy Simpson told trustees on Nov. 20 that the teacher will be staffed for as long as the superintendent deems necessary, based on needs of the student, which will be monitored.

"We have a student with special needs and he needs one-on-one help, so we basically had to find some money to make sure he's properly supported," said Mike Huvenaars, superintendent of business.

The board of trustees voted unanimously to accept the position, which will be filled for January.

New vice-chair for trustees

While Simon Taylor's time as chair of the Yellowknife Catholic Schools board of trustees continued uncontested, he will be working with a new right-hand man. After calls for a new vice-chair, past vice-chair John Dalton and trustee Myles Welsh both put their names forward. It went to vote, and after asking his fellow trustees to give him a chance in a new role, Welsh was given the title.

"I knew there was a big year coming up and I had a year under my belt, and I was looking for the opportunity to do what I could. I knew the chair was going to be busy, and I felt I could give them the support they need," Welsh told Yellowknifer on Monday.

Taylor had a few words to describe the hard work put in by Dalton, who will remain as a trustee.

"He has been there whenever I've needed him, answering calls at strange times of the day, meeting for lunch at times when it was inconvenient for him, so I appreciate all he's done for me, and for the board."

Career centre approaches 10th anniversary

The Kimberlite Career and Technical Centre, a separate school operated through YCS that offers a first taste of the trades for students in YCS, Ecole Allain St-Cyr and adult students, is approaching its 10th anniversary.

KCTC principal Larry Connolly spoke at the board meeting about a nationwide decline of students going into the skilled trades and announced a campaign to raise awareness in YCS and promote the program. The campaign, called Apprenticeship pays ... just ask us, is modeled after Skills Canada's campaign with the same goal.

Connolly said posters will be put up in the schools and around Yellowknife that highlight graduates from St. Patrick High School who have gone into trades and are now apprenticing.

"Our message, as always, is that trades is a viable career option," he said.

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