Banting students learn stories of resilience from residential school survivors

Education about reconciliation has taken many forms over the past year in the SCDSB. In honour of National Aboriginal Day on June 21, we would like to highlight another way our students have been learning about and reaching out to survivors of residential schools.

Kathy Hacon-Belcourt teaches Grade 9 English at Banting Memorial High School. Recently, her classes have been reading the book Keeper’n Me by Richard Wagamese. In order to personalize and extend their learning, she shared an article from The Muskokan titled Locked away and forgotten. The article told the stories of three women who spent years living in the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia.

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Stories of Simcoe: Darcy and Frasier

Picture of Darcy and Frasier
Frasier surprised his friend Darcy by raising $1,500 for components for a new wheelchair.

Meet Darcy and Frasier.

They are Grade 4 students at Mountain View Elementary School in Collingwood, and are best friends. Darcy has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, and is looking forward to getting a new wheelchair. Frasier wanted to help, and decided to raise funds for a camera mount for Darcy’s new wheelchair. He set a goal of $150, and did 15 hours of pogo stick and skateboard tricks in his neighbourhood. After his mom posted his goal on Facebook, Frasier raised $1,500!

“He didn’t know about it,” Frasier said. “It was a big surprise. I went to his house and gave it to him. It felt pretty good.”

“He is kinda my best friend,” says Darcy. “I actually felt pretty good. If your friend needs help, then definitely help them.”


Stories of Simcoe is a place to share the stories of our staff and students, past and present. Do you know someone with a story to tell? Let us know! Contact us at

Ideas include: students or staff with a passion, comeback stories, people with a cause, success stories, exchange student experiences, what I want to be when I grow up and more. Subjects can include students, parents, staff, volunteers, graduates and other members of the school community.



Why I love my job

buttonI recently attended a workshops in our board entitled ‘You had me at Hello’. It was a wonderful session led by Alison LaMantia, Manager of Communications at the board.

One of the key aspects of the presentation was the importance of storytelling. Learners remember significantly more of what they hear when it is framed within a context from a story.

As I sat down, I noticed that on our tables, were buttons. One set of buttons stated: Ask Me Why I Love My Job

I was inspired to answer this question by considering some of the stories of my own practice in education.

As the workshop continued, I was able to think about how the 6 Cs play a role in my practice. The 6 Cs from Michael Fullan are:

  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Citizenship
  • Character

Each of the 6 Cs play significant roles in our classrooms and learning environments. They contribute to the success of all learners, and connect quite well to the concept of our ‘Sphere of Influence’. 

Sphere of influenceEducators make key decisions based on the factors that we have influence over as well as factors that are out of our realm of control.

If we can clearly identify realistic variables that have a positive influence within our realm of control, we can harness greater outcomes for our students. When I thought about this, I couldn’t help but feel the significance of our ability to influence the lives of our students. What we do on a daily basis DOES matter! I realized that when we can identify the ways we can positively influence our students, we can harness a great deal of power to help everyone learn and grow together in so many positive ways.

It inspired me to think about the importance of creating shared visions and understandings. If we can come to a shared understanding within our learning environments about what the 6 Cs mean to our situations, then we will be more likely to identify realistic goals and take steps to meet those goals based on our own learning needs.

This works to set the framework for success, but with enough flexibility for the kind of creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, citizenship and character that we need to inspire and innovate with learners and educators alike.

And this is why I love my job!  Why do you love your job?