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Central Okanagan School District board highlights

Mountain Biking Academy to be created at Mount Boucherie Secondary

The Central Okanagan Board of Education has saluted the volunteer efforts of two teachers for their organizational efforts in the elementary district track and field meet.

Dean Sader, a retiring Shannon Lake Elementary teacher, and Jim Bradshaw, now retired, both have taken on the task of organizing the annual track meet which now involves the participation of more than 1,200 students, and the Westside Cross Country Challenge.

Board chair Moyra Baxter acknowledged the dedication of both Bradshaw and Sader to help stage the event for the benefit of students.

“I don’t have to ask either of you why you do this because you do it out of love for your students,” Baxter said.

Bradshaw became the director of the District Track and Field Meet in 2015, and when he retired in 2018 Sader took over as meet director. During their tenure, the track meet evolved from a one to two-day event involving more than 1,200 athletes from 35 district and five independent schools.

The Westside Cross Country Challenge was started in 2004 by Sader and Bradshaw, organized for Westside schools with a course starting from Rose Valley Elementary and extending into the hills of Rose Valley Regional Park.

Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools superintendent/CEO, said the result of the efforts of Bradshaw and Sader is the epitome of sports competition and celebration of true sportsmanship.

“There is nothing quite like that experience that students have in their first track meet of this magnitude and it is something that stays with you as a memory the rest of your life, ” said Kaardal.

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Michael Hagen, science teacher at Mount Boucherie Secondary, was also recognized for being the Gordon Gore Award winner for excellence in science teaching from the BC Association of Physics Teachers.

One of Hagen’s colleagues said in an email to the Capital News: “Michael is an incredible teacher whose passion for science is infectious and it would be wonderful if you could take some time to shine a light on a wonderful teacher in our community.”

Hagen was applauded by the trustees for translating that passion for science to his students and inspiring his colleagues.

The award criteria calls for nominees to incorporate hands-on science activities and demonstrations; inspire students in science; bring humour and creativity to sience teaching; share their love of science with the students; and share resources with their colleagues.

“I don’t think this is an award for me as much as it is for our science department and for our school,” Hagen said.

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Mountain biking will become a larger presence on the school curriculum at Mount Boucherie Secondary.

The board of education has approved a Mountain Biking Academy to be created at the school, which will feature mountain biking 10, 11 and 12 course electives.

The courses evolved from expressions of interest from several students for an alternative to other physical education programs, designed to introduce students to the sport of mountain biking and develop their personal fitness, technical and tactical skills, teamwork and communication, and understanding of their role in the natural environment.

The new program was strongly endorsed in a meeting of parents hosted by the MBSS parent advisory council on Nov. 22, 2021. The new courses will be open for student enrolment in the 2022-23 school year.

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Okanagan-Mission Secondary has developed its own outdoor education alternative – parks and recreation class for Grade 12.

The course has been developed in response to the question: What can I learn about myself by learning about others and my environment.

Seeking the answer to that question is the genesis of the Parks and Recreation 12 course, where students will participate in small groups in conjunction with a teacher mentor and community member to plan, prepare, and participate in backcountry leadership and team-building exercises.

The course offering was presented at an OKM parent advisory council meeting on April 12, and received widespread support from parents in attendance. It will be offered to students in the 2022-23 school year.

It will also form the starting point for the creation of the Academy for Parks and Recreation at OKM.

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The co-presidents of the District Student Council for the 2022-23 school year will be Zach Johnson, student at École Kelowna Secondary, and Mehak Parihar, from Rutland Senior Secondary.

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Scott Sieben will serve as president of the Central Okanagan Principals and Vice-Principals Association for the 2022-23 years.

Sieben is the principal of Mount Boucherie Secondary.

Joining him on the executive is vice-president Jared Birkeland; acting past president Derek Lea; treasurer Bryce Owens, secretary Jeremy Sanbrooks; elementary liaison Jennifer Adamson and Tim Vandbrummelen, Middle liaison Jesse Bruce and secondary liaison Darryl Smith and Christey Hughes.

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Central Okanagan trustees bid a farewell to administrative support staff worker Michelle DesRochers, who is moving on to another career opportunity.

Board chair Moyra Baxter said DesRochers, the executive assistant to the secretary-treasurer and board of education, who worked closely with trustees and was a technical support fixture at the board of education meetings, will be missed for her assistance to trustees.

“She handled her job dealing with us with all our various needs and opinions with great grace and patience,” Baxter said.

“We wish her the best of luck in her new endeavour.”

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The iGen finale was held recently at the Innovation Centre, as more than 110 high school teams, more than 270 students in total, competed for the iGen business idea challenge with $5,000 in cash prizes on the line.

It came down to eight team finalists before a panel of five judges. First place and the $2,500 cash prize wen to Gurdit Sidhubar, from Rutland Senior Secondary, for his ‘Twisted Cereal’ venture.

In second ($1,500) was Noah Garcia, Okanagan Mission Secondary), for Ominplex; and third ($1,000) was Skylar Banman, Rutland Senior Secondary, for Steavia Teas.

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