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Sudbury Catholic Teacher Named Elementary Teacher of the Year

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Alice Desormeaux - the Early Learning French Immersion Teacher at St. Anne has won the 2010 OTIP Teaching Award in the category of Elementary Teacher.

October 4, 2010 - "It is still surreal to me...I keep expecting a phone call saying there has been some sort of mistake and they have picked someone else." Early Learning French Immersion Teacher Alice Desormeaux still cannot believe that she has been selected to be the recipient of the 2010 OTIP Teaching Award in the category of Elementary Teacher. The Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF), in partnership with the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP), honours educators each year whose commitment, creativity and energy result in a superior experience for students. This initiative began in 1991 and over the years the honourees have covered a wide range of disciplines, teaching methods, age groups and geographical locations. Up to four awards are given annually to outstanding teachers in the categories of elementary, secondary, francophone and beginning teachers.

Desormeaux, who is just starting her twenty-first year of teaching with the Sudbury Catholic District School Board has been at St. Anne's Catholic Elementary School since the beginning of her career. The bulk of her teaching has been in the Primary division and this year she is teaching in the schoolís Early Learning French Immersion classroom. "To be recognized by my peers, as well as provincially, it is a true honour," Desormeaux stated. "With this honour, also comes a huge responsibility in that I know I have to always make sure that I am living up to this expectation." According to her colleagues, she is more than up for that task. As several of her co-workers nominated her for this award, they also had to submit testimonials as to why they thought she was deserving. Jody Odaiskey, also a teacher at St. Anneís knew that Alice was the perfect fit for this award. "Alice has a gift that makes her approachable in every way," Odaiskey said. "She has impacted more lives than I think she is aware of as she always treats all students with the utmost respect and always finds their shining qualities."

Lucie Cullen, Principal of Marymount Academy had the opportunity to work with Desormeaux as her principal at St. Anneís several years ago and also feels that she is deserving of this award. "I have known Alice for over 20 years, as a colleague, friend, and fellow parishioner. Her positive attitude, her love of children, her passion for student success, her dedication to literacy and numeracy initiatives and her insatiable hunger for personal and professional growth are reflected in the outstanding quality of her work as a teacher." Cullen said.

Over twenty different submissions from co-workers and parents were sent on Desormeauxís behalf and it is clearly evident that she is truly deserving of this award. On St. Anneís website, it speaks to the school providing a safe haven for children, instilling a sense of pride and respect for themselves, others, and for their environment, where students are continuously encouraged to strive to achieve their own personal potential in every aspect of their spiritual, academic, social and physical growth. Alice Desormeaux does just that each and every day with all students and staff that come into her life.

Catherine McCullough, Director of Education expressed her joy regarding Desormeaux's win. "On behalf of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, I would like to congratulate Alice on this tremendous accomplishment and it is with great pride that we call her a Sudbury Catholic teacher, and consider her an integral member of the Sudbury Catholic family."

Desormeaux travelled to Toronto for the awards ceremony on Thursday, September 30 at which time they bestowed her with the award as well as presented a documentary that was filmed by TV Ontario reflecting a day with Desormeaux in the classroom. The Toronto Star has also done an interview with Desormeaux along with the other recipients that will be a part of their weekend edition story on the awards.

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