yic_2015_01The Seine River Teachers’ Association would like to congratulate three members of the Seine River School Division for their accomplishments at the 2015 Yes I Can! Awards. The awards are presented to students, staff and other organizations by the Manitoba Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) to recognize achievements in academics, arts, athletics, school and community activities, self-advocacy, technology, and transition.

SRTA member Ashley Gushuliak, a teacher at Dawson Trail School, was nominated for the Outstanding Educator award. The nomination recognized her ability to plan for student needs, ensuring that all students are able to participate in classroom activities. Her commitment to inclusion was particularly evident for a student with profound autism — she worked to make visual symbols to assist with communication, created a comfortable calming area and quiet learning space, and provided opportunities to build positive peer friendships in the classroom.

Tammy Engel, an EA at Dawson Trail School, is a fluent German speaker who helped support the German speaking families in understanding Canadian traditions, school expectations and programming. Tammy worked in classrooms and in small groups with students who needed to develop student literacy skills. Tammy’s help extends past the school day as she has also helped families with doctor and hospital visits, as well as with legal documents, to increase communications and a sense of belonging in their new communities.

Finally, Jennifer Waite, an EA at Arborgate School was recognized with a certificate of recognition for her work last school year with a grade 7 student with autism spectrum disorder. Jennifer worked hard to help this student, who at times felt isolated because he could not read social cues or express his feelings, better understand social situations. Jennifer’s colleagues say that she has a remarkable ability to connect with students who struggle with school.

We are very fortunate to have people as wonderful as these three working in Seine River, and we are impressed and thankful for their dedication to students with exceptional needs. Once again, we send congratulations for these achievements!