Trades programs fast track Maple Ridge high school students to success

 By Cole Wagner, Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Times

Randy Uttaro maintains a focused look on his face while the trowel in his hands works through a repetitive series of motions – swipe, slap, scoop, repeat. His hands move tentatively at first, but as he starts to get comfortable, mud slides off the trowel and onto a brick quicker and quicker.

School board concerned about impact of provincial budget

The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Board of Education is very concerned about the negative impact this provincial budget will have on our students, staff and families. Our school district has already made service-level reductions in the amount of $8M over the past two budget years, and has reduced staffing by 70 positions over and above reductions triggered by enrolment decline. The recent feedback our Board has received from education partners, parents and students has confirmed the negative impact of these deep reductions.

Haney girls connecting the dots

by Neil Corbett, Maple Ridge News

Working at the Salvation Army Caring Place during the holiday season had a profound effect on a group of Leadership students at Thomas Haney Secondary, and with a little help from local businesses, they want to do more for the homeless people of Maple Ridge.

“It was kind of scary at first. We didn’t know what to expect,” said student Taylor Beare.

But she said all the seven girls in her group were moved by the people and their stories.

Everybody getting Footloose at Garibaldi

By Tim Fitzgerald, Maple Ridge News

High school is couldn’t be a more socially awkward time for teenagers. Just five short years from adulthood, their lives go threw enormous changes between the time they timidly find their lockers on that first day of secondary school to finishing Grade 12 finals and crossing the threshold into adulthood.

Along the way, teachers help guide students to make smart decisions, to think about the future, and to trust in themselves.

Global sounds explored at Pitt Meadows school

by Troy Landreville, Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Times

A man dubbed a “world-music dynamo” gave Highland Park Elementary students a sampling of sounds from around the globe this past Thursday, Jan. 29.

Boris Sichon introduced students and staff to musical instruments that are foreign to many, culminating with an afternoon concert in front of an assembly of students and staff in the Pitt Meadows school’s gymnasium.

Texas-sized talent signs scholarship

by Neil Corbett, Maple Ridge News

In a small ceremony at the Maple Ridge secondary gymnasium on Thursday afternoon, Bobbi Berkey gathered with her family and her fastball coach, and signed to play ball on scholarship in Texas.

The talented pitcher has been hearing from U.S. schools since Grade 10, and she finally chose one – Blinn College in Brenham.

Maple Ridge students spreading holiday cheers

By Christopher Sun, Maple Ridge Times

It was the coldest day of the year, but that didn’t stop a class from Blue Mountain Elementary from spreading holiday cheer to early morning drivers recently.

Grade 6 and 7 students in Cheryl Schwarz’s class are participating in 12 days of Paying it Forward, an initiative do kind acts.

Maple Ridge teens’ poems touch on poverty, homelessness

by Troy Landreville, Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Times

In an age of posts, blogs, and tweets, where countless musings of 140 characters or less are belched out into the ether, three Thomas Haney Secondary students are waving the flag for well written, powerful prose.

Teenaged poets Joshua Nicholas, Narisa Windover, and Erhardt Jansen Van Rensburg wowed the audience during the Dignity Breakfast held last week, benefiting The Salvation Army Caring Place.

Maple Ridge students bring families Christmas cheer

by Neil Corbett,  Maple Ridge News

This Saturday, high school student volunteers from Garibaldi and Thomas Haney secondary will bring a little Christmas cheer to families who use the Friends in Need Food Bank.

About 15 students at Garibaldi, and a similar number at Thomas Haney have been organizing a Christmas luncheon, explains Jackie Ponomariov, Garibaldi’s Key Club editor – a group affiliated with the Kiwanis Service Club.

New superintendent in a familiar place

by Neil Corbett, Maple Ridge News

For 17 years, Sylvia Russell worked in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District, and last Monday she returned, now in the top job.

Russell, the new superintendent, began her teaching career in Quesnel, was a vice-principal in Campbell River, and in 1988 came to School District No. 42. She served as the principal of Riverside elementary and Maple Ridge secondary, and went to the board office as the director of human resources in 1999, and was later promoted to assistant superintendent.