Sudbury Catholic District School Board
October 29, 2010

Turning Points at Sudbury Catholic

Students, parents, teachers and invited guests gathered at the Sudbury Catholic District Board office on October 28, 2010 to take part in the SCDSB’s first annual Turning Points Essay Contest Awards ceremony. This essay contest is an initiative which stems from the Learning Partnership which is an organization that champions a strong public education system to deliver innovative programs, credible research, policy initiatives, executive leadership and public engagement across Canada. Turning Points is a character development and literacy program that allows students to reflect on their fundamental values and, through a process of self-reflection and dialogue, write a narrative essay about a significant event, or turning point in their lives. The Board was approach last year about piloting the program and SCDSB administration felt that it was a good fit for Sudbury Catholic students as it ties in well with faith-based curriculum and the monthly virtues that each school celebrates.
Students from Marymount Academy and St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School in Grades 9 to 12 took part in this contest and their essays were then submitted to students at York University for the first tier of judging. Second tier judging occurred back at board level and then all names and winning essays were submitted back to Turning Points for publication. Students who wrote winning essays were awarded plaques, a copy of the publication, as well as monetary awards at Thursday night’s celebration.
At the awards ceremony, the students were honoured for their efforts and several students had the opportunity to read their essays allowed. The audience was visibly moved by these emotional accounts and several of the teachers involved spoke of the courage and strength of their students to be able to write such heart-felt accounts of their experiences. Jody Cameron, SCDSB Board Chair congratulated the students for their outstanding efforts and encouraged them to continue on their journey of self-discovery and emotional and spiritual growth.
English Teachers from all four Sudbury Catholic Secondary Schools participated in the Turning Points inservice on October 29 to prepare for their second semester’s English classes and Catherine McCullough, Director of Education expressed her delight that the program is now expanding. “I am thrilled that the pilot program met with such success at two of our secondary schools and know that expanding to all four will only mean that even more of our students will be able to participate in such a unique and rewarding writing initiative.”

Winning Essays included:

Grade 9/10 Awards

3rd place: Corissa VandeWeghe, Four Kisses
2nd place: Kalya Richardson, Another Person’s Mistakes
1st place: Jorden Barberio, Stripping the Blue Chair

Grade 11/12 Awards

3rd place: Alexandria Tsimiklis, A Final Goodbye
2nd place: Shelby Eyre, A Subtle Charisma
1st place: Jennifer Roy, An Unforgettable Encounter

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