Monday, 20 May 2013

Supporting Superior Student Talent!

This was a pretty exciting week for many SD 60 students. The Peace River Zone Drama Festival saw amazing performances from a number of North Peace Secondary students. The winning entry was written, directed and acted by NPSS students. A second of of the three entries featured a script adapted from an original screenplay by one of our grade 11 students, and also featured award winning acting talent of current NPSS students in its cast. Its director also was a graduate of this district's drama programs. The remaining play included yet another recent NPSS drama alumni. Not to be outdone the current drama class contributed a presentation to the festival as well.

Meanwhile in Lethbridge, five SD 60 students ranging in age between grades 7 and 11 competed and were honoured with medals, cash awards and scholarships at the Canada Wide Science Fair.  Closer to home the students of Duncan Cran Elementary School were recognized nationally as the top school in all of Canada in Canadian Geographic's Classroom Energy Diet contest for the second year in a row. All in all our students had a pretty good week.

SD 60 takes pride in assisting students to reach their potential in whatever path they choose. This week's accomplishments clearly demonstrate our district goals of literacy, numeracy and social responsibility are taking hold,and that our students can compete, and excel, against any in the country. At the drama festival a spokesperson voiced admiration and some amazement at the talent displayed by our teen aged students. While the the admiration was certainly earned, I don't think anyone should be surprised that our students are amazing and talented.  SD 60 students have demonstrated for years that they are more than capable as any found anywhere else.

Its easy to chalk up student accomplishments to individual talent or to family support. There is no doubt such forces do play a tremendous role in supporting talented children, but the role of SD 60 educators cannot be discounted when one examines  how these students got to where they are today. In his book Talented Teenagers: The Roots of Success and Failure researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihaly points out the importance of exceptional teachers in the lives of talented teens, how genuine and enthusiastic educators can help spur talented students on to remarkable accomplishments.

Living in the north its sometimes easy to think that we have to settle for less than what other regions have to offer. Measures like the Fraser Institute reports are quick to point out the shortcomings of school districts beyond the reaches of the lower mainland. Accomplishments like those posted by SD 60 students last week illustrate just how false those suggestions can be. We really do have great students supported by an excellent school system. Our district motto is "Together we Learn" and it rings especially true every time we celebrate the accomplishments of our students and the adults who inspire and support them.

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