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Creating an Inclusive World

WSD Yes I Can Award winners inspire, advocate positive change

It was an incredible year for WSD students and staff at this year's Yes I Can Awards. The event, held annually by the Manitoba Council for Exceptional Children, recognizes exceptional children and youth and the staff who support them. Through leadership and their personal success stories, these students and staff members are helping to create a more inclusive world for all. Here are the WSD award winners from the 28th annual Yes I Can Awards.

Jamal Bouchie, David Livingstone School—Self-Advocacy

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Photo by Christian Manzano and Reign Santos, Tec Voc Photography

Jamal demonstrates the qualities of a positive, caring community member who assumes leadership opportunities within his classroom and the school. He understands his own strengths and can communicate what he needs to be a successful learner. Jamal is able to effectively advocate for himself and his classmates, and his positive outlook resonates with all who are fortunate to meet him.

Louise Calibo, Greenway SchoolAthletics

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Photo by Tyson Schenkeveld, Tec Voc Photography

Louise, a Grade 3 student in Greenway's Adaptive Skills Program, has made great strides in communication and physical development. Louise participates in programs such as occupational and physical therapy groups, social skills groups, yoga, art club and music therapy. Louise has been honoured with a Yes I Can Award for her strength, determination and tenacity.

Whitney Duck, Elmwood High School—Transition

Whitney has grown into a confident young woman who has overcome many obstacles. She is very proud of her First Nations heritage and has involved herself in Aboriginal Leadership Club, Elmwood's drum program and more. In addition, she is a self-published author who seeks to help youth who are struggling. Whitney is currently on work experience at the Health Sciences Centre and is on track to graduate in June 2018.

Faraday Autism Centre Team—Outstanding Achievement, Teaching

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Photo by Christian Manzano and Reign Santos, Tec Voc Photography

The Faraday Autism Centre Team has made a distinct and significant difference in the lives of young people with exceptionalities. The team has supported Faraday staff by providing professional development to help meet growing needs in the community. The team has worked diligently to offer programming that uses a variety of pedagogical approaches to address students' different learning styles. Their work has enabled Faraday to create inclusive environments where students with autism can successful participate. Congratulations to: Andrew Robson, Cheryl Moreau, Kally-Anna Clinton, Robyn Lechow, Marc Fillion, Laura Donnelly, Robert Bernard, Laureen Berezowsky, Suzanne Phung, Ayleen Ewbank and Christina Lewis.

Perlita Faustino, Greenway School—Educational Assistant of the Year nominee

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Photo by Tyson Schenkeveld, Tec Voc Photography

As an Educational Assistant in the Autism and Adaptive Needs Program at Greenway, Perlita understands the complex needs of students and is dedicated to seeing students grow and flourish. She is gentle in her approach and is creative in building manageable routines for her students. Perlita continually enriches the lives of her students with her calm and caring attitude.

André Genaille-Rawluk, Elmwood High School—Athletics

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Photo by Taylor Boehlig, Tec Voc Photography

Andre has made great strides as a valuable member of the varsity Elmwood Giants football team. His consistent work ethic, perseverance and sportsmanship came in handy as he learned a tough technical position for the team. Andre has grown in skill and confidence and never shies away from contact on the field. He has earned the trust and admiration of his teammates and coaching staff alike.

Dana Hawrysh, Elmwood High School—Educational Assistant of the Year

Dana is a hard-working educational assistant who has served in Community Access, the Special Education Centre, and currently in a Senior Learning Assistance classroom. In the evenings, he runs a mentor program in a group home and provides respite to a family whose son has ASD. For the past 11 summers, Dana has worked with youth in the Community Transition Program. Through the Winnipeg Harvest Summer Program, Dana has set up and run a 10,000 square foot sustainable garden with youth in Inclusive Education. Congratulations to Dana for being awarded the MCEC's Educational Assistant of the Year Award.

Kingston Lewis, Elmwood High School—Transition

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Photo by Taylor Boehlig, Tec Voc Photography

Over the years, Kingston has become more independent and a great contributor to the Life Skills/Community Access program at Elmwood. He is an active participant in the Community Transition Program through the ImagineAbility workplace. Kingston has learned how to control his voice and has a calming effect on the younger students. He has also taken on responsibility for grocery shopping for the food labs.

Rosanna Messina, École Victoria-Albert—Educational Assistant of the Year nominee

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Photo by Salomé King and A.J. Asuncion, Tec Voc Photography

Rosa always goes above and beyond when delivering service to students. Since 2001, she has worked primarily with children new to Canada and living with a disability, or dealing with hidden disabilities such as traumatic life events. Rosa has an impressive talent for finding creative ways to communicate learning to students so that it is both meaningful and enjoyable. She continues to help her students make connections both academically and socially.

Caroline Orobko, Greenway School—Educational Assistant of the Year nominee

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Photo by Tyson Schenkeveld, Tec Voc Photography

Caroline has worked as an educational assistant in Greenway's Autism and Adaptive Skills program for 20 years. She has a firm understanding of what children need to grow and further their skills. Through skilled observation, Caroline is able to anticipate students' needs to remain regulated. Her ability to collaborate with clinicians and teachers as well as take direction for student programming makes her a valued team member.

Jacob Reid, Elmwood High School—Academics

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Photo by Taylor Boehlig, Tec Voc Photography

Jacob has developed confidence and responsibility at Elmwood, and that includes his academics. He participates in all subjects independently and is motivated to learn new concepts. In class, Jacob can share his viewpoints while being respectful of the viewpoints of others. Jacob is proud of his work ethic and this is evident in his positive demeanour and respectful interactions with everyone around him.

Jamie (JJ) Shappee, Inkster School--Self-Advocacy

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Photo by Emily Sibilleau, Tec Voc Photography

With support and perseverance, Jamie has made great gains in his communication skills. JJ works well with the students in his class during various activities, such as partner reading, mathematics games and classroom discussions. He participates in Lego social groups, reads the joke of the day on morning announcements and supports his school patrols. JJ is truly deserving of a Yes I Can Award for his achievements in reaching his goals.

Marcus Switzer, Elmwood High School—Technology

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Photo by Taylor Boehlig, Tec Voc Photography

Initially a quiet student who rarely spoke, Marcus has found his voice through his interests in technology. His exploration of electronic circuits led to projects such as a tethered sumo car. These cars involve lessons in gearing, power to weight rations and electronics. Marcus has demonstrated abilities as a problem solver and enjoys fixing things. He is now connecting with peers, enjoying successful work experiences and is now talking in sentences with his teachers.

Donald Teel, Winnipeg School Division—Outstanding Achievement, Leadership

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Photo by Emily Sibilleau and Carrie Carreon, Tec Voc Photography

Donald, who is currently WSD's Service Director for Inclusion Support Services, has had a long and distinguished career with the division. He consistently demonstrates leadership skills in the area of development, enhancement and advocacy. Donald is a true activist and was instrumental in the development of many student support systems within WSD. He provides families and agencies with the respect and understanding they deserve in advocating for their children. Donald is seen as a thoughtful and insightful person amongst his colleagues. He has always sought to provide the very best care and supports to the students under his responsibility. That is why Donald is an outstanding leader, educator and devoted advocate for the inclusion of all.

John (JM) Ticman, Greenway School—Academics

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Photo by Tyson Schenkeveld, Tec Voc Photography

John has made amazing gains in his confidence, academic skills and social skills. He also made many personal gains as a self-advocate; he recognizes when he needs adult support and when he doesn't. This has resulted in an increase in his independence. JM has a wonderful sense of humour to top off his great personality.

Logan Widenmaier, Dufferin School—Technology

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Photo by Emily Sibilleau, Tec Voc Photography

Within a year of entering Dufferin School, Logan has made remarkable improvements in literacy and mathematics through the use of technology supports and online programs. With the gradual transition from picture symbols to the use of the Proloquo2go app on an iPad, Logan has learned to speak and communicate his needs to adults and peers with two to three word phrases independently. Logan is an inspiration for anyone who gets discouraged by the obstacles they encounter in life.


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