Students showcase talents at Poetry Slam

by Neil Corbett, Maple Ridge News

In a high school auditorium, dark but packed with teens, the young poets walked up on stage and into the spotlight, and unflinchingly bared a bit of their soul.

Their offerings ranged from touching to hilarious, and the audience rewarded their efforts.

Westview’s second poetry slam expanded this year, and included writers from Thomas Haney, Maple Ridge and Samuel Robertson – 27 poems in all. The writers were from Grades 8 to 12.

A commitment to teaching

by Neil Corbett - Maple Ridge News

A Maple Ridge educator has been chosen to receive a rare honour from his alma mater.

UBC has selected Scott Ormiston to receive the 2014 UBC Alumni Teaching Award, citing his “indefatigable commitment to teaching, and the passion, kindness and caring he brings to his practice.”

“It’s tremendous to be recognized, amongst all the amazing colleagues I’ve worked with over the years,” he said.

Spoken word opens up students in Maple Ridge

by Maria Rantanen, The Maple Ridge Times

Artist in residence Zaccheus Jackson does things his way in the classroom.

The spoken word poet, who hales from Vancouver, brought his creativity, spontaneity, and fun into the class of Grade 10 to 12 students at Maple Ridge Secondary annex.

He has been coming to the school once a month for two days and works with students in creative writing, poetry, performance exercises, and more.

He teaches Grades 10 to 12 in the morning and Grades 7 through 9 in the afternoon.

School Trustees Alert Community to Budget Pressures

April 1, 2014

As the local Board of Education begins to prepare its 2014/15 budget, trustees express frustration at having to consider significant cuts of over $5 million for the second year in a row. Their collective concern is that all of the cuts made now will have an impact on students and their families.

No more kindergarten sleepovers

By Neil Corbett, Maple Ridge News

Last year, parents wanting to get their children into the kindergarten French Immersion program at Pitt Meadows elementary camped out at the school the night before registration.

This year, there was a more dignified process, as the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district went online with kindergarten registration.

Maple Ridge school board bids farewell

By Maria Rantanen, The Maple Ridge Times

Two words come up again and again when in conversation with outgoing superintendent Jan Unwin: kids and passion. And she has made it her mission to lead the school district in a direction that allows kids to follow their passion in their public education.

Last Wednesday, the board of education bid farewell to Unwin, who has been at the helm of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district for five years.

THSS principal an education 'rock star'

By Neil Corbett, Maple Ridge News

Sean Nosek remembers his first days as an educator in Maple Ridge, starting out teaching English and gym at Thomas Haney secondary.

To the young teacher, a school like Thomas Haney, with its self-directed learning model, had existed only in textbooks.

“It was theoretical – what education was supposed to be moving toward,” he said.

More education options with Flex42

By Neil Corbett, Maple Ridge News

Parents of Environmental School students cheered as the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board passed Flex42, a new program that is designed to offer students in Grades 8 and 9 a customized education alternative to the traditional classroom.

The program was developed by Darren Rowell, the vice-principal of Riverside Centre.

District Appoints Acting Superintendent as Search for New Superintendent Begins

The Ridge Meadows School District will see a reorganization of senior staff by the end of this month as Superintendent Jan Unwin leaves the district.

Unwin announced her intention to step down in late October, though at the time no further details about the date of her departure or her future plans were available.

“I felt great about what we’d achieved, and just knew it was time to step aside and let the district have a new voice,” Unwin said.

Titans tickled by California adventure

A tour through sunny Southern California turned out to be a bonding experience for the Samuel Robertson Technical (SRT) Secondary Titans senior girls basketball team.

SRTS teacher Jason Hampton has coached his Grade 11 players since they were in Grade 8.
“I have three really awesome kids in Grade 12 so with my crew of Grade 11s and the three Grade 12s, we decided this would be the year we take a big trip,” Hampton explained, about the reason behind the team’s nine-day excursion to Palm Springs and Anaheim.