COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: It’s the time of year for bravos and farewells

Opinion Jun 17, 2015 by Gord Bowes Hamilton Mountain News

Sports seem to be the big focus in Hamilton these days. The Pan-Am games are coming to the city right after the Women’s World Cup finishes in Canada this month. Many of our students are involved in classroom and gym activities that tie into these international and multi-cultural events.

Congratulations to STM’s Robert Heppenstall on his fourth consecutive OFSAA track gold and STM football coach Peter Luvisa winning the Wismer award this year for his long-term commitment to coaching.

While we tend to focus on those who achieve excellence in sports, and often become excited spectators rather than participants, I was most impressed in recent weeks attending two athletic events that promoted the true values of sports — participation, fun, fitness, socialization and learning.

On May 13, over 10,000 students ran in the 5k Start2Finish event at Bayfront Park after preparing through the 20/20 Challenge exercise program, and in the process raised money for school supplies for needy students.

On June 4, almost 200 high school students, many with special needs, participated together in a physically active healthy living day, competing in friendship in six sports-related activities. We are seeing the return of activity-based play days, the development of meaningful DPA programs, the resurgence of active recesses and quality PE classes in our elementary schools, as educators are seeing the research that shows a direct relationship between physical activity/fitness and academic achievement.

Our school board is actively supporting a wide variety of physical literacy initiatives in our schools at the grassroots level for all students, and is committed to continue this as demonstrated in our Board Improvement Plan. Just as we encourage parents to support students in their academic learning, it’s equally important that they support them in their physical pursuits, by encouraging them to be active, by guiding their healthy lifestyle choices, and by leading by example!

As the school year winds down with school trips, graduations, report cards, testing and all the planning that goes into the new year on Sept. 8, and as we say farewell to students, teachers and administrators who are leaving, like STM’s popular retiring principal, Susanna Fortino-Bozzo, it is a good time to reflect on all the good things that have happened in our schools over the past year and the growth that has taken place.

It’s a good time to be appreciative of the extracurricular hours put in by teacher-coaches, advisors and the volunteers who have extended the school programs with the invaluable activities they provide.

John Valvasori is the Ward 8 trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: It’s the time of year for bravos and farewells

Opinion Jun 17, 2015 by Gord Bowes Hamilton Mountain News

Sports seem to be the big focus in Hamilton these days. The Pan-Am games are coming to the city right after the Women’s World Cup finishes in Canada this month. Many of our students are involved in classroom and gym activities that tie into these international and multi-cultural events.

Congratulations to STM’s Robert Heppenstall on his fourth consecutive OFSAA track gold and STM football coach Peter Luvisa winning the Wismer award this year for his long-term commitment to coaching.

While we tend to focus on those who achieve excellence in sports, and often become excited spectators rather than participants, I was most impressed in recent weeks attending two athletic events that promoted the true values of sports — participation, fun, fitness, socialization and learning.

On May 13, over 10,000 students ran in the 5k Start2Finish event at Bayfront Park after preparing through the 20/20 Challenge exercise program, and in the process raised money for school supplies for needy students.

On June 4, almost 200 high school students, many with special needs, participated together in a physically active healthy living day, competing in friendship in six sports-related activities. We are seeing the return of activity-based play days, the development of meaningful DPA programs, the resurgence of active recesses and quality PE classes in our elementary schools, as educators are seeing the research that shows a direct relationship between physical activity/fitness and academic achievement.

Our school board is actively supporting a wide variety of physical literacy initiatives in our schools at the grassroots level for all students, and is committed to continue this as demonstrated in our Board Improvement Plan. Just as we encourage parents to support students in their academic learning, it’s equally important that they support them in their physical pursuits, by encouraging them to be active, by guiding their healthy lifestyle choices, and by leading by example!

As the school year winds down with school trips, graduations, report cards, testing and all the planning that goes into the new year on Sept. 8, and as we say farewell to students, teachers and administrators who are leaving, like STM’s popular retiring principal, Susanna Fortino-Bozzo, it is a good time to reflect on all the good things that have happened in our schools over the past year and the growth that has taken place.

It’s a good time to be appreciative of the extracurricular hours put in by teacher-coaches, advisors and the volunteers who have extended the school programs with the invaluable activities they provide.

John Valvasori is the Ward 8 trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: It’s the time of year for bravos and farewells

Opinion Jun 17, 2015 by Gord Bowes Hamilton Mountain News

Sports seem to be the big focus in Hamilton these days. The Pan-Am games are coming to the city right after the Women’s World Cup finishes in Canada this month. Many of our students are involved in classroom and gym activities that tie into these international and multi-cultural events.

Congratulations to STM’s Robert Heppenstall on his fourth consecutive OFSAA track gold and STM football coach Peter Luvisa winning the Wismer award this year for his long-term commitment to coaching.

While we tend to focus on those who achieve excellence in sports, and often become excited spectators rather than participants, I was most impressed in recent weeks attending two athletic events that promoted the true values of sports — participation, fun, fitness, socialization and learning.

On May 13, over 10,000 students ran in the 5k Start2Finish event at Bayfront Park after preparing through the 20/20 Challenge exercise program, and in the process raised money for school supplies for needy students.

On June 4, almost 200 high school students, many with special needs, participated together in a physically active healthy living day, competing in friendship in six sports-related activities. We are seeing the return of activity-based play days, the development of meaningful DPA programs, the resurgence of active recesses and quality PE classes in our elementary schools, as educators are seeing the research that shows a direct relationship between physical activity/fitness and academic achievement.

Our school board is actively supporting a wide variety of physical literacy initiatives in our schools at the grassroots level for all students, and is committed to continue this as demonstrated in our Board Improvement Plan. Just as we encourage parents to support students in their academic learning, it’s equally important that they support them in their physical pursuits, by encouraging them to be active, by guiding their healthy lifestyle choices, and by leading by example!

As the school year winds down with school trips, graduations, report cards, testing and all the planning that goes into the new year on Sept. 8, and as we say farewell to students, teachers and administrators who are leaving, like STM’s popular retiring principal, Susanna Fortino-Bozzo, it is a good time to reflect on all the good things that have happened in our schools over the past year and the growth that has taken place.

It’s a good time to be appreciative of the extracurricular hours put in by teacher-coaches, advisors and the volunteers who have extended the school programs with the invaluable activities they provide.

John Valvasori is the Ward 8 trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.