Director General's Report to Council for June 2022

by Cindy Finn, Director General, LBPSB

In the education world, June is often a time of good news and celebration. Two pieces of good news came our way from the government earlier this month. First, one of our students was recognized as a winner of the Chapeau les Filles competition. This competition is designed to celebrate women who are pursuing careers in traditionally male-dominated fields.  I am happy to report that one of our students at West Island Career Centre, Sarah Buttle, received a bursary sponsored by the Ministère du Transport. Sarah is a student in the Automechanics program at West Island Career Centre. Congratulations Sarah on your award! 


The second piece of good news we recently received was the notice that our application for another new school has been accepted. We have been authorized by the Ministry of Education to build a second elementary school in the off-land area of our territory. My thanks to our team at Head Office who worked hard to prepare these proposals. We are very excited to see these projects take shape and help address the continued growth in our off-island student population. 


June is also a month of celebration. In our schools and centres, students and staff work hard throughout the school year, and toward the end of the school year we begin celebrating these achievements.  Activities, sporting competitions, concerts, retirements, and graduations are some of the ways we acknowledge milestones and celebrate our successes. This year, the emotions surrounding these events were even more heightened because we were able to gather more and more in person to celebrate these accomplishments. 


I can honestly say that this year I believe the J in June stands for jubilation. It has been joyful to finally step away from our screens and telephones and attend more in-person events such as graduation ceremonies. Meeting people en presentiel as we say, whether they be teachers, administrators, colleagues, students, and parents is a big part of my role, and I have missed that human contact. Being able to gather again has truly been energizing and reaffirming, and I treasure those special moments with students and staff.


One of those special moments happened earlier this month when I attended the track and event held on the athletic fields adjacent to Pierrefonds Community HS. Hundreds of elementary school children were busy running, jumping, throwing, and hurdling. Dozens of staff – physical education teachers, classroom teachers, integration aides, technicians, and principals – were on hand organizing, coaching, and supporting our students. On all the faces of the people I met were huge grins and we often greeted each other with – “Isn’t this great? We are so happy to be together again!”. 


That same feeling of togetherness is evident at graduation ceremonies. 

Sitting in a full gym or auditorium again to cheer on our grads is an absolute delight. Seeing the radiant smiles of students who have worked so hard to graduate and take their life lessons with them is very rewarding. Hearing the words of praise and encouragement echoed by teachers, administrators and staff is gratifying. To our graduating class of 2022, I congratulate you on achieving this important milestone. Whether you are moving from elementary to secondary, graduating high school or completing your studies in a vocational training centre, you have earned the right to walk across that stage with tremendous pride. I wish all of our Lester B. Pearson graduates nothing but the best. 


We have another group that is marking an important transition. This year we have almost 130 staff who are taking the plunge into the world of retirement. To our retiree class of 2022, I wish to thank you for your years of service and dedication to public education. Your reach goes farther than you will ever know. You have helped to shape the development of students, have supported families, had an impact on your colleagues and contributed to building the society of tomorrow. Merci à tous nos retraités pour vos contributions à notre réseau scolaire. May retirement bring you much happiness and exciting new adventures. 


It always feels great to end the school year on a high note. However, we cannot forget that this school year was again an extraordinary one, with many twists and turns along the way. It was a journey we travelled together, with the collective energy needed to meet the daily challenges that Covid and other circumstances life put in our path. Although the pandemic is not yet over, we have learned many lessons and adapted in ways we never thought possible. We worked through our difficult moments together, and this collaborative spirit will stand in good stead for future challenges. Again, I thank our faculty, staff, administrators, students, and parents for the energies they put forth throughout the year. 


For now, the immediate challenge ahead of us is an opportunity – an opportunity to carve out some relaxation time. School is now in recess, and our staff will soon wrap up the year and head off for some much-deserved vacation. I wish all the students, faculty, administrators, staff, and families throughout the Lester B. Pearson school board a wonderful summer vacation, filled with fun and joyful festivities as a reward for everyone’s hard work. See you again in August. 


Merci. Thank you.