Friday, 14 February 2014

Hometown Heroes

Its been a big week for my home town of Fort St John. Local skater, and SD 60 graduate, Denny Morrison, received an opportunity to race in the 1000 m long track speed event, and responded with the skate of his life, taking a silver medal. This accomplishment was made possible by the selfless gesture of team mate Gilmore Junio, a hero in his own right, who gave up his spot in the event in order to give Canada's team its best chance for success. Closer to home, and in a perhaps quieter way, former NPSS principal Daniel Vecchio returned to the Peace country to speak to students at our middle and secondary schools about what they can do to promote respect and appropriate relationships between men and women. A long time champion of the "My Strength is not for Hurting" campaign, Daniel continues to work for a world where boys and girls, men and women live together in a culture of mutual nurture and respect. Both Denny and Daniel are, in their own ways, hometown heroes helping to challenge and inspire our students.

By definition, a hero is a person identified with good qualities, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.  They are looked up to for their actions.  They frequently inspire others. In the case of Morrison, his ability to compete and win at the highest levels of international competition serve as proof to our students that given the right attitude, effort and conditions they can make it to the top of whatever activity they choose as their own. As for Vecchio, his work serves to remind all students that everyone can make a difference, that heroic action is not just reserved for those with special talents and aptitudes. Given the opportunity, all students can have an impact on causes they see as just and right. Informed, persistent and passionate action in support of a worthy goal, is achievable by anyone and helps make the world a better place for all.

So whether our heroes are talented athletes demonstrating their ability to seize a moment, selfless team mates doing their bit for the team, or simply quiet and determined people striving to improve the world for all, our students are well served knowing that such heroes come from their midst, and that they can also aspire and work towards being heroes in their own right. Our district's achievement contract has long held social responsibility as our number one goal. We want our people to demonstrate the best our community has to offer but to not only be some of the best folks in the world, but to also be persons who are best for the world as well. This week Denny and Daniel helped underscore that message!

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