FREDERICTON (CNB) – Five francophone teachers received the Teaching Excellence Award for their exceptional work during the 2009-10 school year. The ceremony was held on Saturday, Nov. 6, in Fredericton.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr attended this 17th annual ceremony and awards to the presented the following five teachers:

●    Chantal Duguay-Mallet (École Sainte-Anne, Fredericton - School District 1);
●    Mylène Bossé-Lamarre (École Mgr-Martin, Saint-Quentin - School District 3);
●    Margot Pelletier (École Arthur-Pinet, Eel River Crossing - School District 5);
●    Michèle Sonier (École Le Tremplin, Tracadie-Sheila - School District 9); and
●    Lucie Lévesque (École Mont Carmel, Sainte-Marie-de-Kent - School District 11).

"I am thrilled to commend this year's five award recipients for their dedication and initiative," Carr said. "They are all outstanding, every day, because of their great interest in their students' success."

Carr acknowledged the efforts of all the education partners during the past school year and their contribution to the increased success of francophone students on the last provincial assessments.

"I believe it is a success for all stakeholders in the education system," he said. "By continuing to work together, we will be able to sustain this progress, and by recognizing those who go the extra step, such as this year's award winners, this extraordinary work will continue."

The Teaching Excellence Award, established in 1992, recognizes teachers who display outstanding creativity, dynamism, and dedication. Over the years, 142 teachers have received this honour.

Background information on the recipients of the 2009-10 Teaching Excellence Awards

Chantal Duguay-Mallet
Teacher, École Sainte-Anne, Fredericton (School District 1)

Duguay-Mallet stands out for her skill and originality in managing her class as a community of independent, responsible learners. All teaching activities, intervention, and teaching methods in her classroom are designed to help students reach their full potential.

In Duguay-Mallet's Grade 6 class, it is like reading a novel with the main characters – the students, having come to life. It is also like looking at a painting in progress, adjusting the colours and brush strokes to make the picture clearer and more lifelike. Above all, it is like seeing a spider patiently spinning its web to make it stronger and more lasting to meet the children's needs.

She uses tools such as puppets and writing. She gets her students to put on plays so they can find out more about themselves through sustainable learning. This is all done with a large dose of energy and with no time wasted.

Her extensive linguistic and teaching skills make her a model for her colleagues. Her wide-ranging and innovative ideas spark a great deal of interest and secure the commitment and motivation of the students.

Duguay-Mallet helps students discover the importance of the French culture and language through reading, music, and writing. Through her, they experience a wide range of situations as she helps them become aware of their commitment so that they can be proud of their culture and language.

Mylène Bossé-Lamarre
Teacher, École Mgr-Martin, Saint-Quentin (School District 3)

Bossé-Lamarre is an exceptional, dynamic and unique teacher. She compares her students to the trees in a forest. Each one is different: some need more water, some need more sun; some already have deep roots, and others do not. It is necessary to adapt to each student's needs while respecting his or her style and pace of learning for that person to become an independent, responsible adult.

Bossé-Lamarre is on the lookout for new technologies and uses differentiated learning in her classroom. She seeks out and gathers material to offer her students rich learning opportunities.

She has developed excellent co-operation with her peers and is a very engaged teacher in the classroom and at the school and district levels. She is the school's mathematics specialist and contributes to staff development through her innovative ideas and commitment. She is always ready to give of her time to help her colleagues and students.

Bossé-Lamarre has introduced several activities at the school, such as the athletics program, intramurals, the chess club, and mathematics and problem-solving clinics. She is involved in the student council and initiated the Donnez la main au suivant project, which is designed to recognize and acknowledge students' good deeds and improved performance throughout the year.

A teacher such as Bossé-Lamarre is an invaluable member of the staff at a school and in a district.

Margot Pelletier
Teacher, École Arthur-Pinet, Eel River Crossing (School District 5)

When you enter Pelletier's classroom, you see the inscription Toutes les personnes qui passent ici sont spéciales (everyone who enters here is special).  This describes the experience of the Grade 8 students in her class at École Arthur-Pinet.

One of Pelletier's great qualities is her concern for the welfare of each of her students. They are all entitled to special attention, and you can feel the mutual affection between each student and this teacher right away.

In her classroom, the students know exactly what they have learned and what they need to learn.  They use portfolios regularly as a means of evaluation to help them with their learning.

Pelletier has identified the essential learnings in each subject, and the students do self-evaluations regularly and set objectives and strategies for improved success.

Within the school, she is involved in various activities: she is a student council leader and looks after the Heritage Fair and Provincial French Pride Week. Her expertise is felt well beyond her classroom. Many of her original ideas are being played out in other classrooms in School District 5, L'étoile du Nord.

Ms. Pelletier is one of those people who give the teaching profession a positive image.  She is greatly appreciated by her fellow teachers and makes an enormous contribution to the well-being of her students and all of the staff.

Michèle Sonier
Teacher, École Le Tremplin, Tracadie-Sheila (School District 9)

Sonier received her bachelor's degree from the Université de Moncton in 1995 and has been teaching for about 10 years.  She has two children, which helps her to understand the importance of innovating and responding to the changing and growing needs of our young people. Whether it involves new technologies or the importance of physical activity and good nutrition, she does everything she can to rise to the requirements of her profession.

Sonier has the skills and abilities to teach French and mathematics. She wants her students to be successful and spares no efforts to achieve her goals. Whether she is using the CLIC platform interactive whiteboard or the self-directed learning approach or taking part in a variety of activities, she is a teacher who knows how to adapt to change and to follow the trends in education.

She is outstanding for her degree of involvement in the school, where she is in charge of the nutrition committee and the youth council and is a member of the social committee and health and wellness committee.

Sonier also has responsibilities in the local branch of the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick. She has been the branch representative for several years and also looks after its health and wellness committee.

She is a sports enthusiast and enjoys taking part in recreational activities with her students, which sometimes results in a few bruises.

Sonier is a teacher without equal and an important asset for the students, staff and the school.

Lucie Lévesque
Teacher, École Mont Carmel, Saint-Marie-de-Kent (School District 11)

Lévesque has been working in education for close to 20 years, but every year is a new beginning.  She does not use material she has prepared for previous years because, to her, that does not make sense. Since she always gears her teaching to the needs of her students, she develops activities that respond to their particular requirements. She applies the principles of differentiation and prepares her activities based on the various expected outcomes.

Lévesque believes in play-based learning, and her students are the big winners. In her kindergarten class, students take an active role in their learning.

She sits down on the floor with her students, and sings, dances, and plays, but it is always with a specific end in mind, which is achieving a learning outcome with her students.

Lévesque incorporates literacy into all subjects. The students are involved in literacy in the gym, for example, when they do races with letters or other activities combining literacy and physical activity. She gives them challenges, such as the riddle of the day, to encourage them to read. At first, the students make up stories while looking through books, but as the year goes on, they want to learn more.

Her vision is to take the students as far as possible and enable them to outdo themselves. With exceptional students, she takes the time required to enable them to reach their full potential as well.

Lévesque has the gift of gaining the students' trust so they can learn and surpass themselves.