Congratulations to Florence VanderMeer, Educational Assistant, North Hastings High School. VanderMeer is a proud recipient of a Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
VanderMeer was chosen as an award recipient in the Excellent Support Staff category from numerous nominations submitted to the Ministry of Education.
"I am still coming to terms with it," remarked VanderMeer when asked how she felt about being selected. "It’s an honour that I will cherish for a long, long time."
VanderMeer’s nomination included reference to the Resource Room which is “the heart of the school” and where VanderMeer spends her days. In her room, students are provided with the educational, social and emotional help they need to overcome obstacles and achieve success.
Nominators commented on VanderMeer’s implementation of assistive technology software to support students with disabilities. They also praised her by stating it is not unusual to find her consulting with teachers, working one-on-one with students or co-preparing learning activities during lunch or after school. VanderMeer is also involved with many committees and groups in her school and community.
VanderMeer was honoured at a provincial recognition ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday, May 5, 2010.
SUMMARY OF ACHIEVEMENTS
Florence VanderMeer has worked as the North Hastings High School’s Resource Room Educational Assistant for the past 10 years. She has developed the expertise required to effectively use technology to support students with disabilities and she assists staff in incorporating the use of this specialized technology in their instruction. The goal is always to remove obstacles and to introduce accommodations that will allow students to work to their full potential. She also has developed strategies to encourage and support students who are at risk of dropping out of school.
VanderMeer collaborates with teachers and administration to determine specific supports that are required. It is not unusual to find her consulting with teachers, working one-on-one with students or co-preparing learning activities during lunch or after school. The Resource Room is an inclusive environment where students, both exceptional and non-exceptional, are provided with the educational, social and emotional help they need to overcome obstacles, achieve success and gain hope for the future. The Resource Room is seen by students as “the heart of the school.”
VanderMeer is involved with many committees and groups in her school and community, such as the school climate committee and healthy snack program. She has also served as the representative for educational assistants in the North Hastings Area for 10 years.
Recognized as an expert in her field, Florence VanderMeer has been invited to present to teachers enrolled in the University of Ottawa’s Special Education courses offered in Bancroft.
For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354, firstname.lastname@example.org