The following letter to the editor was submitted by Nancy Beamer, board trustee for Pelham/Thorold:
Recently, as the Pelham/Thorold Trustee, I had the opportunity to visit Thorold Secondary School.
What an eye-opener. Schools have definitely changed for the better in the last decade!
This school may be old in its building, but it is so modern in its approach to education. If you haven’t visited a high school for a while, take advantage of the opportunity the next time there is an open house. You will be surprised. I would like to acknowledge the fantastic achievements of some of the students. The Junior girls volleyball team just captured the SOSSA championship title. All that hard work paid off big time—they are truly GOLDEN Eagles.
But this school not only has fantastic results in the sporting arena; students in the Arts program are also successful. Emma-Li Sikhanxay, Willow Larsen, and Hope Wiley all have pieces of their art on display at Queen’s Park!
Just imagine the number of people seeing these pieces. These students are only teenagers. Think of what they will create in the future.
Also of note is the fact that the Improv team, under the direction of teachers Lynn Farquharson and Carlee McTavish, came in first at the recent Regional Qualifier and they will move on to provincial finals in Ottawa in April.
Although the teachers credit the students for these accomplishments, it is only with time and dedication from the teaching staff that students are enabled to develop their skills and talents. As mentioned a few weeks ago, the DSBN is investing a million dollars in the trades programs. Mr. Ten Den is looking forward to the installation of new hoists in his auto shop. Getting experience outside of the actual classroom is so beneficial for students and Mr. Ten Den has partnered with local businesses and has some of his students doing work placements out in the community.
Opportunities like this for students are much more common nowadays than they used to be, and they help to build good relationships between school and community. A couple of weeks ago, I had an email from a teacher at Niagara College, Alex McGlashan, an E. L. Crossley grad. He runs a course that trains students in advanced manufacturing centred around Optics, Lasers and Electro-optics. The course he teaches is the only one in all of Canada.
He says that in this field there are more jobs than graduates. If you are or have a child who is science-minded, this might be an excellent program to look into. This is a field of learning and employment that did not even exist a few years ago. So check it out!
Two other people whom I met while at the school are the behind-the-scenes ladies who help keep Thorold High running. One is Nancy Beauregard, the chief caretaker whose team keeps the school a clean and inviting place for the students and staff. For those of us who have had teenagers, we know that this is not always an easy task.
The other person who most of the students see on a daily basis is Kathy Audet, better known as the “cafeteria lady.” I was told she makes the best ever poutine and chocolate chip cookies as well as other healthy foods. Once again, anyone who has a teen knows that a well-fed teen is a happy teen and a happy teen is one who is ready to learn.
I would like to thank Principal Karen Ferguson and Vice Principal Jessica Folino for taking the time to show me the school and to explain all the interesting programs they offer. At the Board, senior staff are working diligently to see how the recent announcements by the provincial government will impact our schools.
More information on this will be forthcoming when it is available. If at any time you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 905-892-5280.
District Board of Niagara