ÉSCS Official Opening
Last week, on Thursday January 18th, École Sage Creek School had its Official Opening ceremony! It was absolutely moving to be in the gym which was filled with so many people; from parents, to students, to community members, to staff, to LRSD board members, to the acting superintendent, to architects, and so many more. Students Naomi and Sebastian did an excellent job being MCs and leading this joyous ceremony that included presentations by the band, choir and guitar. We were also blessed to hear many speeches from special guests that all seemed to have the same message: “Yes, this building is amazing, but it’s the people inside these walls that are making it incredible”. (If you would like more information about our school’s physical space and all that it has to offer, please click here.)
Marni Crymble and I were honoured to speak about our journey and experiences as teachers within this school. When we first met to brainstorm what we wanted to share, it only took us 5 minutes to lay out exactly what we wanted to say and then we got to writing in a shared document. It came easily to the both of us because we were speaking from the heart. Here’s what we shared:
Marni: When Annick and I were talking about speaking to you tonight, we quickly realized that during the hiring process, we had written similar things when describing our ideal school. We agreed that our work environment with bright windows, open spaces and new technologies would enhance the learning experience for staff and students alike – but we strongly stressed that what really makes a difference is the PEOPLE within its walls. We know that the foundation to an ideal school comes down to RELATIONSHIPS; relationships between the staff, students, parents, and community members. We will each take a moment to talk about these aspects.
Annick: Following the roller coaster ride that the hiring process brought on, it would be an understatement to say that I was completely overjoyed to be offered a position here at École Sage Creek School… a position that I couldn’t have dreamed up even if I’d tried, a position that I had spent the previous year and a half preparing myself for. It didn’t take long to feel an immediate bond with my new-found colleagues during our first get-together at our Mexican Fiesta. These personal bonds quickly expanded to professional ones during our first PD day last April with George Couros as we realized that we were all moving towards the same goals. Then, true magic happened in May when we had our next two PD days together during our staff retreat. I still remember, and will never forget, the chills I had running down my spine and the tears of joy that fills my eyes when I looked around at all of these amazing people who shared the same love, passion, and enthusiasm as I do when it comes to education. It was evident from that moment on that these people all had so many different areas of strength and were willing to share, support, encourage and push one another. I count my blessings every single day to work in this environment. I love that it’s easy to find inspiration within these walls that can quickly be put into practice because guidance and support is always just a few steps away. I am so thankful to work with these dedicated and like-minded people every day who always strive to do what’s best for kids. We are certainly all better together.
Marni: Finding out that you were successful in securing a job you dreamed of is exciting. It gains momentum when you realize that every one of your new colleagues is equally as excited. But what really solidified things for me was realizing how excited the families and students I would be working with were- and continue to be.
From my very first exposure to this community during Kindergarten Information Night at the board office in March of last year- I knew I was coming to the right place. The room was filled with eager, excited parents that were welcoming and kind. I was overwhelmed with the positive response after we sent out our introduction letters to students at the end of June, and loved seeing so many of my new students’ faces on our summer bingo. One of the first direct messages I received on Twitter was a welcome from PAC president Sandra Beer with a great photo of her son- soon to be my new kindergarten student.
School this fall was filled with firsts- and the parents in my class have been nothing but supportive! From trying out new texting apps, sorting out furniture, and establishing the systems a new school requires, I have had an outpouring of support and a “what can we do to help?” Parent volunteers have been endlessly dedicated: donating pumpkins, making play dough, reading with kids, cutting out endless gingerbread shaped letters and creating winter concert costumes. I have enjoyed getting to know families alongside their children inside our classroom.
I believe completely that learning is a partnership between home, school and community and all areas are working strong here in Sage Creek.
It really is a privilege to teach your children. Their curiosity, empathy, energy and love of learning makes my job a pleasure every day. They are the reason we are all here today. I am truly looking forward to what we can accomplish together.
Annick: In preparation for this speech, as Marni and I re-read our initial papers from the hiring process (read mine here) that explained our ideal schools, we couldn’t believe how accurate they were in describing École Sage Creek School. Not only do we have an incredible building filled with the most amazing learning tools, but the relationships that we’ve built, the school culture and climate that continues to be developed, is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before and we are so grateful to be on this journey with you all.
Before all of our guests were invited to tour our incredible school, the ceremony ended with a bang as our school logo was unveiled… go Coyote’s go!
I think it’s safe to say that the students are excited based on this video I captured of the reveal. (Click here for more info regarding the process behind getting to this beautiful logo.)
A VERY special thank you to two dear friends who pushed me to volunteer to do this speech and who listened and gave me feedback as I practiced delivering my heartfelt message. I also want to thank Marni for doing this with me, I’m so thankful to have had you by my side… it’s just a little nerve wracking speaking in front of a gym full of people instead of a class full of students! 🙂