Support staff honoured for excellence

Limestone Learning Foundation
Support staff honoured for excellence
Posted on 06/26/2019
Image of graphic that reads excellence in education

Six Limestone District School Board staff have been recognized with the Barry C. O’Connor Excellence in Education Award. Awards recognize excellence in education as provided by support staff.

Recipients are recognized for their outstanding contribution of individual support staff in the improvement of programs or services they provide. Support staff are recognized in the following categories: Clerical and Secretarial, Custodial and Maintenance, Educational Services Staff, Educational Assistants, Central Office Staff and Administrators, and Other Support Staff and Volunteers. Barry C. O’Connor was Director of Education from 1998 to 2003.

Central Office Staff and Administrators: Frank Halligan

Frank Halligan is the Secondary Athletics Coordinator within LDSB and has held this position for almost a decade. As the KASSAA convener, Mr. Halligan develops schedules for 19 leagues across 12 different sports, and is instrumental in sharing information and resources for the 10 sports that have individual conveners. Mr. Halligan’s work, connections, and influence extend beyond the Limestone District School Board. He regularly reaches out to other jurisdictions to explore their offerings in high school sport, and ensure we are matching, often exceeding, those opportunities for students. He has built strong relationships with community partners to ensure our students benefit from area facilities that are not owned by the Board. Mr. Halligan believes high school sport is about the development of the individual, and sees education through sport as a way to develop character. His goal is always to improve the experience of our student athletes, and to provide support to our teachers and coaches.

Clerical and Secretarial: Rosemary Groenewegen

Rosemary Groenewegen has been the Office Administrator at Lord Strathcona Public School for the last six years.  She is a difference-maker for all members of our school. She loves to see and interact with students. She gets to know all of our students by name, including their interests and what helps them have a better day. She also readily provides a safe and quiet place for students who are ill, injured or who just need an individual place to work. She initiates and organizes fundraising efforts to help purchase items such as outdoor equipment for our students. Her efforts are always beyond her “job description” and performed in the name of making our school a safe and caring place for students and staff. Ms. Groenewegen maintains a welcoming office environment for all members of our school community. For all of our families, including those new to Canada, she goes out of her way to communicate information in a respectful and caring manner. Her professional and warm manner are key reasons why our school successfully meets the needs of a very diverse student population and community. She consistently does extras that are beyond her scope of duties.  Her initiative and help are invaluable. She conscientiously completes her work and more with a sense of humour and perspective that make working with her an absolute pleasure.

Educational Services Staff: Margo Virtue

Margo Virtue has contributed to the development and well-being of students in our district since September 1993 in a variety of roles. In her district level roles as the Student Support Counsellor Connections with the Autism Team and with the School to Community Team she has worked to support students and build capacity of staff across our district. Ms. Virtue consistently exhibits a strong work ethic and goes above and beyond to support families and staff across our district. Whether she visits a family at home when there is a crisis, meets with families and other community partners to advocate for specific student needs, attends appointments with parents or meets with school teams to problem solve, she is always focused on what is best for students always keeps students’ needs at the centre of her work. Ms. Virtue approaches all situations with a quiet demeanor and always looking looks for creative ways to enhance student success. She values her relationships with students as she watches them grow and develop. She has spent many years developing strong relationships with community partners and families to ensure the success of students. Her knowledge and expertise in the areas of autism and intellectual developmental disabilities have made her an invaluable team member and a highly respected member of the Educational Services team. She is a true team player in all respects and an asset to a multi-disciplinary team.

Volunteers: Kim Shaw

Kim Shaw works tirelessly as a volunteer and as an important and highly respected leader in our school community. She is an exemplary leader as the School Council Chair, a position she has held for five years. She has been involved with the School Council Executive at Ecole Sir John A. Macdonald Public School since it opened in 2011. In her current role as Chair, Ms. Shaw skillfully and respectfully represents the diversity of interests in our school of 800 students. She provides leadership and works collaboratively and professionally with other members of the School Council Executive, as well as with the school’s administrator team, support staff and educators, community partners, students, and parents/guardians. Ms. Shaw has initiated, led and/or supported numerous school-based and healthy active living initiatives. She has done fundraising for many school improvements and student enrichment opportunities. She has worked in consultation with others to ensure that PRO Grant applications have been completed and that available Ministry funding for parent engagement events has been accessed to serve the needs and interests of our parent/guardian community. Ms. Shaw has worked to promote positive culture, citizenship and a strong sense of community for our school. Her highest level of care and commitment to the academic success and physical and socio-emotional health and well-being of our students is exemplary and has cultivated a positive school-wide culture for all in our school community.

Custodial and Maintenance: Robert (Bob) Hamilton

In a school known for our caring, dedicated staff members, and parent and community volunteers, Bob Hamilton distinguishes himself by going above and beyond on behalf of our students. Mr. Hamilton has worked for the Limestone District School Board for 29 years and has been head custodian at Loughborough Public School for the past 6 years. Every day, Mr. Hamilton shows the kind of initiative that makes the school run smoothly at all levels. For Mr. Hamilton, his job is always about the people. Whether it is his daily tasks or small gestures of support, he takes care of our students and staff members in a personal way. Mr. Hamilton encourages everybody to work together to maintain the school - custodians, teachers and students. He encourages the students to show care and respect for their school, while at the same time, he understands that learning can be very messy at times. The one thing that staff all agree upon is that Bob has a big soft spot for those students who need a caring adult in their lives. He can always tell if students need some extra support or a distraction. When other tasks need doing, Mr. Hamilton is always there to help. He always handles critical situations in a calm, professional manner. Mr. Hamilton and our two evening custodians, work as a team to make sure that the halls and classrooms are safe, clean and attractive for our students and community. He says that it is his job to take care of the building, so that the teachers can take care of helping the students learn.

Educational Assistants: Lesley Beauchamp

Lesley Beauchamp has an been an Educational Assistant at Rideau Heights Public School for the past 11 years. Lesley demonstrates exemplary professional practices in all that she does at school. She consistently explores strategies and resources to support student achievement and well-being. As part of a Resource Team at Rideau Heights Public School, Ms. Beauchamp takes the initiative to create and organize resources that may be necessary for some students but are often beneficial for all students. She regularly consults with staff to develop solutions in order to promote inclusive learning environments. Ms. Beauchamp's solutions are always strength-based and student-centered. In order to promote optimal student learning conditions in the classroom, Ms. Beauchamp established a lead role in an initiative that led to the design and implementation of Regulation Station. Lesley organizes and maintains the space for all staff and students. Lesley has also taken the lead with our school-wide snack program. Ms. Beauchamp has been an essential member of our collaborative and multi-disciplinary team at RHPS. She helps to coordinate and communicate with families, community agency supports and District Teams. In doing so, she aims to help create a culture where all students matter, where all students have a voice, and where learning is accessible to all.



The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.