Best Wishes for 2014

Welcome to 2014

Hoping that you all had a great holiday season.  Thank you to our custodians, technicians and maintenance folks for working hard during the break to catch up on projects that are hard to complete when our schools are full of people.  For those that had a holiday, I hope that you had a restful break and that your first few days this week have gone well!

As I’ve travelled across the district this year I have been introduced to a number of new employees that started work for us this school year.  I would like to welcome the following employees to our district:


  • Jessica Clair, Mouse Mountain
  • Darren Dyck, Vanderhoof Maintenance
  • Michael Giesbrecht, Vanderhoof Maintenance
  • Hugh Harper, Transportation
  • Larry Bangs, Transportation


  • Tanya Baldwin, William Konkin
  • Janice Babych, Grassy Plains
  • Shelby Scheel, Aboriginal Education Worker, LDSS
  • Val Johnson, BESS
  • Roxann Jellett, Clerical, BESS
  • Kelsey Hunter, FLESS
  • Debora Broadhead, FLESS
  • Chelise Power, FLESS
  • Nolan Sagalon, FSJSS
  • Dana Boschman, FSJSS
  • Marissa Huhn, Concession, FSJSS
  • Taylor Johnson, David Hoy
  • Nona Wiebe, WL McLeod
  • Diana Davis, WL McLeod
  • April Snow, Concession, WL McLeod
  • Heather Campbell Stewart, Concession, WL McLeod
  • Chrystal Martin, Sowchea


  • Jessica Smallwood, LDSS
  • Heidi Piltz, Decker Lake / Grassy
  • Nonie Little, Grassy
  • Courtney Staples, Francois2004
  • Katherine Russell, FLESS
  • Kylie Moon, FLESS
  • Ashley Kennedy, Mouse
  • Megan Boniface, EBUS
  • Steve Hobson, WL McLeod
  • James Thwaites, WL McLeod
  • Lorinda Johnston, Mapes
  • Derek Broughton, NVSS
  • Jo Anne Leon, David Hoyd

I’m hoping to be able to profile our newest employees (although I am finding that they are fairly shy) in coming issues of One91.  This week I would like to introduce teacher Steve Hobson who has submitted the following introduction:

I have spent the last two years teaching as a TOC in Prince George and am eager to continue my teaching career with School District No. 91.  My wife and I have moved to Vanderhoof with our one-year-old boy. We are settling well into this beautiful community! I am now positioned as a District Teacher-on-Call within Vanderhoof and am teaching at W.L McLeod Elementary two days a week. Everyone has been very kind and welcoming, making this a wonderful transition for me and my family!  IMG_5616

Welcome to Nechako Lakes Steve!

student_workSharing Student Work

I’m really pleased to be able to share samples of student work from our various schools (of course you have to remember to send it to me!)  

EBUS Academy

This week I have two samples of work from EBUS students Jaya and Timothy.  Jaya is currently taking an Independent Directed Studies (IDS) 11 course focussed on composing instrumental and orchestral music and she has arranged a fantastic piece of work titled, Yoshis Athletic Theme (click HERE).  

A much younger student, Timothy, has created the following 21 second movie for your enjoyment (click HERE).  He told his teacher that he worked hard to redraw the ‘man’ in the movie to make it look like he was walking.


Kelly Inden, a Humanities teacher at FSJSS, uses a WordPress Blog (click HERE) to connect with her students in Geography 12.  Kelly posts a variety of videos /prompts to which students are encouraged to respond.  She indicates that it is difficult to engage all her students but it looks as if it is working well for some of her kids.  Check out the ‘Comments’ section below her posts to look at examples of student writing.

Genius Hour at William Konkin School (Thanks for sharing Judy!)

Judy Thompson’s grade 5 class at William Konkin Elementary has been working on a Genius Hour project and she has kindly submitted the photograph’s contained in the following video and the write up below.  Evelyn Dickson School also worked on a version of ‘Genius Hour’ last year and teachers / schools that are interested in learning more should contact Judy at WKE or Becky or Amy at Evelyn Dickson.

Genius Hour is a time where students can learn about what they feel passionate about. They are given access to resources and support from their peers and teacher to help them develop their own personal genius. These projects can be based on research, experimenting, building, or creating. The exciting part for many students is that they are not being told what and how to learn. They get to make the decisions. This means that students are engaged and in control of their own learning. In short, the students are empowered in their education.

This past week students finalized their first Genius Hour projects and presented their work to over 80 parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, teachers, and fellow students. They explained their Genius Hour questions, presented their PowerPoints, and even did demonstrations!  We had exploding volcanos, cartoon strips, paper flowers, expanding snow, robots, slime making, bottle rockets, rottening fruit and vegetables, and even a mini UFO!  It was a lot of work, but everyone had fun and enjoyed the day!

SD 91 Science Fair is Coming UpScience_Fair_9

Andrew SchulzSubmitted by guest columnist, Andrew Schulz (FLESS student heading to World Science Fair in Taiwan)

Many elementary schools in our district will be starting their science fair preparations.  Students, teachers, parents will start exploring ideas and trying to think of the next greatest discovery.

We wanted to let all students in our district know that Science Fair is not just for elementary students.  Our District Fair, organized by Mrs. Little is held in Burns Lake in February and is open to  high school students as well (You do need to register for the District Fair.)  After elementary school, my sister and I continued doing projects on our own time, presenting them at the District Fair and then moving on and competing at Regionals in Prince George.  Science Fair at the high school level is a lot of extra work (all on your own time)  but it is also very rewarding and well worth it!!!

Reasons to do a science fair project……

  1. You get to choose what you want to learn about.  Our projects often started with, “I wonder……”.  Then we talked about how could we find the answer to our question.  Our teachers helped us to understand how to set up an experiment, do it and then use our data to answer our question.
  2. You get to share what you learn with other people.  No one knows your project as well as you do. YOU OWN IT!  We have always enjoyed sharing our findings and judges and the public are always so interested to see what we have learned. Participating in Science Fairs will help you develop great communication skills.
  3. You get to learn from others.  I always enjoy seeing other projects and talking to other kids about what they have learned.  At Nationals, there are about 450 kids from across Canada.  We met so many great people and made friends. We were amazed how many famous people had roots in Science Fairs like Roberta Bondar (Canada’s first woman astronaut in space), Ben Gulak (inventor of the Uno) who we met at Nationals last year.
  4. It can lead you to great adventures. If you are in grade 7 and up, and make it to the Regional Fair in Prince George, you can be selected to attend the Canada Wide Science Fair held in a different Canadian City each year.  There is over $1 000 000 given out in cash and prizes at Nationals.  Last year at Regionals, my sister Elizabeth won the Best in Fair prize which means the judges thought her project was the best one there!  She was the first one selected to go to Nationals. There she won a silver medal, and best in Environment Category.  I was also one of the five selected from our region and my project won a gold medal at Nationals.  We both won cash and scholarships.

If you make it to Nationals at least two times and medal at least once, you can be shortlisted and apply to attend the Taiwan International Science Fair (TISF).  I couldn’t believe when I got the call in October that I was one of two students chosen to represent Canada, B.C., and our District at this prestigious fair.  I will be going in January with my project from last year entitled, “Achieving Accuracy in Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose”. And it all started with our school and district fairs.

To close I would like to share the theme for the TISF 2014,

    “ Dream Big, Inspire the Future”. Dream-Big

Tips to create a good Science Fair project

  • Have a focussed and specific question and something that is measurable.
  • One mentor once told me when I was thinking about an idea, try to envision your finished project.  How will your data answer your question?
  • When designing your experiment, make sure you are giving considerations to variables and your experiment is testing exactly what you want it to test.
  • In your conclusion, directly answer your question.
  • Along the way, research and ask questions.  Any people we have ever contacted through the years have always been happy to help!
  • Practice your presentation and make sure you are getting your message across clearly.
  • Your board should be clearly laid out and include everything your teacher tells you to….its important!
    • Give yourself lots of time…..don’t procrastinate!  You have done all this work…make it the best it can be!

Thanks for sharing Andrew…best wishes in Taiwan. Andrew has promised to send in another guest submission when he returns from Taiwan.

879989.jpgClassroom Projects that you may want to consider:

  1. Happy for 100 days (click HERE)

Learn to Code (click HERE)

If there are projects or topics that you think should be shared district wide, please drop me an email.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s