2019 Innovator Award for Administrator – Sandy Millar
In September, 2017, Sir John A. Macdonald hosted the Canadian School Leadership Conference, bringing together nearly 1000 high school students from across the country. Sandy Millar was then a Student Leadership teacher transitioning into the Vice-Principal role and the key organizer of this event. Sandy saw the conference as the perfect opportunity to engage staff in an effort to move forward with SAMR strategies for the classroom. Our own SJAM students attended “Virtual School” from home for three days while the building was used to house the delegates for workshops and activities. As a pilot school for the WRDSB 1:1 Chromebook Program, SJAM was already well equipped with the hardware for digital learning, but Sandy organized a team of facilitators to get the whole staff on board pedagogically. He used the three days of virtual learning as the catalyst for teachers to become more comfortable and creative with technology, and built supports for teachers to continue taking taking risks long after the conference ended.
This one event, conceived by Sandy’s limitless vision, has sparked countless new innovative and engaging experiences for the students of SJAM. Currently, Sandy is the lead developer of a new program at SJAM – The Highlander Innovation Lab. The multi-credit, multi-disciplinary program is aimed at grade 11 students, allowing them to practice Design Thinking and pursue solutions to a genuine problem they identify. Our local universities and start-up businesses Vidyard and Communitech, to name a few, are actively supporting the initiative from the early planning stages to taking on mentoring roles for students during and after the course. Sandy’s infectious enthusiasm and understanding of Twenty-First Century learning and Global Competencies easily convinced these community leaders to become partners in this exciting initiative.
Sandy Millar is the kind of administrator that makes both staff and students happy to come to school every day. His genuine desire to enrich learning through deep pedagogy, innovation and risk-taking has made Sir John A. Macdonald a unique and inspiring place for all learners to grow.
2019 Innovator Award for Classroom Educator – Nicole Batte
Nicole Batte is in her eleventh year of teaching for the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. Since the beginning of her career, she has always strived to create innovative lessons to better meet the needs and interests of all her students. After 8 years of teaching intermediate students, Nicole’s last three have been in the role of an instructional coach. During this time, she has helped to create and facilitate makerspaces in her schools and has worked with teachers to use innovative practices to help meet the needs of their students and improve workflow. As an active learner, Nicole continues to push her thinking, recently becoming a Google Certified Trainer and Design Thinking Coach and is currently completing her second TLLP project.
2019 Innovator Award for Technician – Serge Gingras
I have 19 years working in IT in the education sector as a Technician, Technical Trainer Sr. DBA and am currently in my 5th year as the Technology Coordinator at CS Viamonde. In my current role I get to evaluate and promote new technologies for use in the classroom. Some of my passions in that regard are the Raspberry PI, the Microbit and coding in numerous different languages. One of my driving forces are looking at finding alternative methods to incorporate technology while looking towards cost reduction such as introducing Active Directory authentication into our Raspberry Pi’s permitting a more seamless use in the classroom. Also on my personal time I run a Kids Coding club after school at the board office.