North Vancouver School District #44

Notes from the desk of John Lewis, Superintendent of Schools

North Vancouver School District #44

Two Carson Graham alumni in women’s World Cup rugby final

Congratulations to Team Canada and especially to Carson Graham alumni Andrea Burk and Hilary Leith, who both started in the women’s World Cup rugby final on Sunday.

Andrea Burk graduated in 2000 and continued her studies at Acadia University.  After graduating from Acadia she moved back to North Vancouver to play for the Capilano Rugby Club and has been a fixture on national teams over the last 6 years.  She continues to give back to the game by volunteer coaching at various levels of rugby including Carson Graham.

Hilary Leith graduated in 2001 and continued her studies in the USA on a wrestling scholarship. After graduating from university Hilary also returned to North Vancouver to play for Capilano Rugby Club. In recent years she has been playing at Saracens Rugby Club in England.  Hilary has been a member of national teams since 2000. She also volunteers her time coaching girls’ rugby.

Finishing second place in the World Cup final was a great moment for Carson Graham and Canada. As district administrator Brad Baker shared with me,  “I coached both Andrea and Hilary while they attended Carson Graham, and I am extremely proud of how hard they have worked to achieve their dreams of playing for Canada in the World Cup.  The Carson Graham Girls Rugby program is proud of what these players have accomplished. They are an inspiration.”

hil #1

Hilary Leith and her dad

andrea 2

Andrea Burk

Artists for Kids Receives Generous Donation

At the Public Board Meeting on June 17th Board Chair Franci Stratton was presented with a cheque in the amount of $50,000 by Richard Savage, Smith Foundation Board of Directors Vice President. Founded in 2002, the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists was established to support the North Vancouver School District’s Artists for Kids Program. To date, the foundation has directly contributed over $750,000 toward this quality art education program. We thank the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for their ongoing support of Artists for Kids  and its enrichment opportunities for our students. For more information, please visit:


Board Chair Franci Stratton, Smith Foundation Board Vice President Richard Savage, Smith Foundation Exective Director Astid Heyerdahl

International Aboriginal Day Celebrations

Thank you to Brad Baker for providing this post:

Queen Mary, Norgate and Westview hosted the first ever combined schools Aboriginal Day Celebrations on Thursday, June 12th. The event took place at the new Queen Mary Elementary School with over 800 people in attendance which included students, staff, community members and elders.

The day opened with all participants gathering in the gym to hear a traditional welcome from the Squamish Nation.  Students were then led through workshops hosted by various First Nations and Metis people. Student leaders from Carson Graham assisted the younger students as they moved from station to station.  Workshops included: lacrosse, bracelet making with beads, cedar necklaces, story- telling, drumming and singing.

The afternoon ended with a performance by the Eagle Song Dancers followed by the Metis performance group Compaigni V’ni Dansi.

It was a great event enjoyed by all. Special thank you to the planning committee, Bill Reid, Barbara Leigh, and Lisa Upton, and to all those involved in the celebrations.


Results from 2014 Sea to Sky Regional Heritage Fair

North Vancouver is a community that places a high value on history and heritage. Every year, students from our schools demonstrate their historical knowledge, research and presentation skills at the Sea to Sky Regional Heritage Fair. Their topics range from local family history to defining world events and their resulting projects often earn special recognition at the Fair.

This year, five of our students will continue on from the regional fair to present their projects at the provincial heritage fair in Kamloops at the end of June. They are:

Ben Nicholson, Ross Road Elementary; Elliott Riches, Dorothy Lynas Elementary; Linnea Irvine, Ross Road Elementary; Alicia Ranahan, Ridgeway Elementary and Tiana Vogt from Windsor Secondary.

A number of other students distinguished themselves with honours at this year’s fair:

Student’s Choice Award—Colby Tom, Windsor Secondary for “Histoire de le Cirque au Canada”

Veteran’s History Award—Michelle Wang, Canyon Heights Elementary for “Norman Bethune”

Canada’s History Award—Sarah Chernenkoff and Maya Sardari, Ross Road Elementary for “Solving the Mysteries of Emily Carr”

District of North Vancouver History Award—Samantha Mark and Olivia Young, Braemar Elementary, for “Lions Gate Bridge”

Family and Personal History Award—Makenzie Shannon, Ridgeway Elementary, “The Story of Eric Liddell”

My congratulations to all the students who participated in this year’s Sea to Sky Regional Heritage Fair and best wishes to our students who are continuing on to Kamloops.

HERITAGE FAIR 2014 War of 1812


HERITAGE FAIR 2014 Websters Corner

Concours d’art oratoire 2014

The Canadian Parents for French Concours d’art oratoire (French public speaking competition) is a long-standing tradition in our school district.  On April 14th and 15th 2014, 37 Early French Immersion (EFI), Late French Immersion (LFI), Francophone and FSL students from across North Vancouver participated in the North Vancouver School District Concours d’art oratoire final.  Over two glorious spring mornings, students came with great enthusiasm to present a wide variety of well-prepared and entertaining speeches.

Winners from the district competition will go on to compete with students from across BC in the Provincial Concours d’art oratoire held at SFU Surrey Campus on Saturday May 3th 2013. We wish them best of luck and look forward to hearing about their experiences.

This year’s Concours d’art oratoire was a very successful event.  We are proud of the effort and dedication of all students who took part in the district competition.  The speeches were well written and well presented to an audience of their peers, teachers and parents.

For more information about Concours d’art oratoire, please visit the Canadian Parents for French website (  Félicitations à tous et bonne chance à ceux qui avancent!

Concours Elem

May 13th update: NVSD Students win top awards at provincial French public speaking competition

Soaring Career Conference – Indspire

I would like to thank Brad Baker for coordinating the Indspire Youth Career Conference Soaring on May 13th. Twenty-eight students plus staff from Argyle, Sutherland, Carson Graham, and Eslha7an secondary schools attended and were excellent representatives of the North Vancouver School District. Students showed great leadership during the workshops and participated with enthusiasm in the Q&A sessions. During the career fair, students had the opportunity to explore post-secondary and career options. We are fortunate for the dedication of Brad and the Aboriginal Education team who encourage students to set high goals for themselves and seek out opportunities for personal growth.

 NVSD Students at IndspireIndspireStaffphotoIndspire photo

Foods that Fit Workshop

North Vancouver School District Parent Advisory Council in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health hosted the annual Foods that Fit workshop at the Education Services Centre on May 7th. The workshop was open to lunch coordinators and parents from schools on the North Shore. Over 80 guests came to sample foods from 16 different vendors. After the food sampling, Helen Yeung (VCH), facilitated the workshop on food programs in schools and the new Provincial Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools. Speakers from Vancouver Coastal Health, HealthlinkBC, Edible Garden Project, and North Shore Recycling gave presentations on topics such as incorporating healthy produce into school food programs and recycling and reducing waste in school lunches. With the organics ban in waste facilities coming to Metro Vancouver in 2015, communications will be sent out on how we will be making changes to waste disposal in our school district. More to come!

We are pleased to support Vancouver Coastal Health in promoting health and wellness in our schools, and thank Helen Yeung, Community Dietitian (VCH) for her guidance and expertise.


Public Health Dietitians Margaret Broughton, Charlene Wood, and Helen Yeung


NVPAC Executive Members: Karen Nordquist, Jane Lagden Holborne, and Debra Dennehy

Primary Days of Music 2014

I wish to thank Margaret Inglis, Bruce Sled, and Yolande Martinello for organizing this year’s Primary Days of Music (May 5 – 9). This NVSD-wide event featured 70 performances by K – 3 students playing musical instruments, singing and dancing. Over 2300 students from 17 different elementary schools performed throughout the week for each other. Many of their teachers are involved with rehearsals, collecting field trip forms, and organizing the logistics that go into making this annual event such a success every year. This enriching experience is always a crowd-pleaser and we thank all involved for their support.


CNV Civic Youth Awards

I am pleased to acknowledge the recipients of the City of North Vancouver Civic Youth Awards for 2014.

The CNV Civic Youth Awards program recognizes youth ages 10-24 who have made noteworthy contributions to the community. Every year the City of North Vancouver celebrates students and supporters of youth during Youth Week and we are thrilled so many of our students are nominated for their achievements.

Each student’s story is unique but what is common is what they have given back to their school and community. In addition to being good citizens, these students are participating on sports teams, running clubs, or volunteering to make a difference. One example of this is the Sutherland Undercurrents who won the Outstanding Youth Team Award. This group of students is involved with a number of projects at their school and have fundraised for several school initiatives. They provide leadership to younger students and contribute positively to the atmosphere at Sutherland Secondary.

Thank you to Board of Education Chair Franci Stratton, Vice Chair Cyndi Gerlach, and School Trustees Lisa Bayne and Christie Sacré for attending this year’s awards ceremony last Thursday.

 CNV Youth Awards  -photo Mike  Wakefield  May 0814

For a full list of award recipients and photo gallery, please visit:

Brooksbank Elementary ‘Do Good’ Team captures DNV Outstanding Youth Team Award

One of the inspiring stories to come out of this year’s District of North Vancouver Civic Youth Awards Ceremony (see previous post) was the DNV Outstanding Youth Team Award. The 2014 award was presented to the Brooksbank Elementary School Do Good committee led by teacher Vicky Milner and nominated by their Principal, Arlene Martin. Just as their name says, this group’s initiative is to ‘do good’ within their school and community and they have accomplished a lot of good in a short amount of time. Activities this year included raising funds for a music scholarship and instruments for Ngoma Dolce Music Academy in Zambia, leading a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of composting and recycling, and organizing the planting of six fruit trees on the playground. Members from the Do Good committee recently wrote an article for a North Shore News feature about the importance of supporting each others’ sense of belonging. Congratulations to Brooksbank and the Do Good committee, and for the leadership and support of Vicky Milner and Arlene Martin. 

A complete list of winners can be found at The City of North Vancouver’s Youth Awards Ceremony took place on Thursday, May 8th and I look forward to posting more highlights of recipients in the weeks to come.