Sudbury Catholic District School Board
June 12, 2014

St. Charles College Educational Assistant Eileen Kennedy Wins SCDSB’s Annual Chairperson’s Award

Every year at the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, nominations are sought for the Chairperson’s award. This award is given to a person or persons who makes outstanding contributions to the Catholic school system. The Board believes in the importance of recognizing employees who embrace Catholic values, demonstrates initiative and ingenuity, and contributes positively to the lives of students and staff. At the board’s annual retirement dinner, on June 11, 2014, Sudbury Catholic staff Eileen Kennedy was presented with this year’s award. Kennedy has been a deaf/blind intervenor for the board for the past 27 years working in both the elementary and secondary school level. Currently, Kennedy works with students at St. Charles College and was nominated by several of her school co-workers as well as board office staff. Jody Cameron, Chair of the Board, presented Kennedy with her award and spoke about Eileen’s contributions to the Sudbury Catholic community. “In her role as an intervenor, she constantly strives to find unique and fun ways to encourage these most challenged students to communicate. She researches best practices and activities that will help these students find success in the classroom,” Cameron stated. “She is dedicated to preserving and ensuring the dignity of her students, and her disposition and open-hearted kindness is admired by all who have had the pleasure of working with her.” Cameron cited many examples of how outstanding an educator Kennedy is, and thanked her for her selflessness, and dedication to the Sudbury Catholic students. A very humble person, upon receipt of the award, Kennedy was quick to explain that educating this group of students takes a real team effort. “Over the years, I have worked with some amazing Board administration and teachers,” Kennedy explained. “I would also like the trustees and administration of our board to know that our Intervenors and EAs have been envied all across the country. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at conferences in Winnipeg and Vancouver and have come to know that we are valued here more than anywhere. You respect our knowledge and experience and we truly appreciate that.” Kennedy described many of her experiences where she was able to positively connect with and engage the students as “this helps their world seem a little less overwhelming and more meaningful.” Kennedy closed her speech by expressing that she was honoured to be the first educational assistant to be chosen by the board for this award, and that she is happy to have the privilege of having a career all these years doing what she really loves, and that the award is “icing on the cake!”

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