Community members recognized at Brantford award night

BRANTFORD – Community members Pauline Johnson, Lana Henhawk and Donte VanEvery received awards of excellence at last night’s Spring Awards Gala in Brantford.

The gala, held at Jean Vanier Catholic Elementary School on Tuesday May 31, is put on by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and takes an opportunity to award and thank students, teachers and community volunteers for their hard work throughout the year.

“Award applicants are nominated by fellow students and co-workers,” said Darlene Maracle, classroom assistant at Oliver M. Smith Elementary School and committee member for CEC chapter 834. “The council committee then goes through all of the nominations and selects the recipients.”

CEC is an non-profit organization that ensures students who face challenges have their needs met. They provide special education to pre-school, gifted, multi-handicapped, learning disabled, post-transition and ADD students. They work toward the professional upgrading of teachers and give students the opportunity to participate in various activities and special programs.

Maracle nominated the winner of the Professional Support Service Award, Pauline Johnson for being a over-and-above helper and contributor to their school.

“I nominated her because she is an outstanding woman,” said Maracle. “She goes out of her way to help anybody and everybody in the classroom. She is an early counsellor learner, and teaches the kids how to cook, has taught the staff how to make scone and she has done other thing like teach girls how to sew.”

Johnson is retiring this year, so Maracle was very happy to see her recognized for all her hard hard work.

Lana Henhawk took home the Judith Lapierre Community Volunteer Award. Henhawk is a parent who is very involved with the school.

“Lana is also our chair for the home and school committee, she caters all the time for our school events and is an amazing cook,” said Maracle. “She always finds the time to pick up food for the kids, bring snacks, cook hot dogs, cook a hot meal ever week. She’s amazing.”

Maracle said Henhawk has a lot of children and says “hats off to her!” for finding the time to help so much with the school on top of everything else she does.

Donte VanEvery, winner of a student achievement award, was nominated for the award by his teacher, Tamar Thomas. VanEvery is in the primary multi-level class at Oliver M. Smith Elementary School and his teacher nominated him for consistently bringing such a positive attitude to class and everywhere he goes.

“Donte won for being such a big help in the classroom,” said Maracle. “He has such a great attitude, good behaviour, comes to school on time and finishes all his work.”

CEC puts on the gala every year and has been doing so for more than 25 years. It was started by Judith Lapierre. There was also artwork posted around the gymnasium that was made and created by students who attend Jean Vanier Catholic Elementary School.

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