Archived—Recipient Bios

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Year: 2000 – Province: Ontario

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Marlene Walther

School: Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute
707 South James Street
Thunder Bay, Ontario  P7E 2V9

Principal: Ian MacRae
School Telephone: 807-577-4251
School Fax: 807-473-8223
School Website: westgate.lhbe.edu.on.ca
Grades/Subjects Taught: Business English, technological design, computer technology

Teaching Approach:

  • Foster a connection between in-school courses and the outside world. Make education more meaningful for students, and bring authentic projects into the curriculum.
  • Stay on the forefront of technological innovation through professional development.
  • Weave technology into other components of the curriculum.

Outstanding Achievements:

Launched and continues innovative credit course called The Printing Press, which combines business English with design technology. Students publish a newspaper, Eye of the Tiger:

  • allows students to experience whole process of creating a successful product
  • emphasizes open-ended problem solving, and focuses on process as well as product or solution
  • every student participates in positions that match and challenge his or her interests and abilities; some students repeat the course on a not-for-credit basis to continue learning
  • Eye of the Tiger won provincial honours at the annual Toronto Star High School Newspaper Awards (nine awards in the past two years); students also submit their work to other local, national and on-line publications, and some have branched out into radio and TV journalism
  • students take progressively more responsibility for their own learning.

Forges relationships within the community to further students' learning:

  • brings in speakers and arranges field trips
  • arranges for donation of paper for Eye of the Tiger by local pulp and paper company
  • works with the district health unit to get health information for the paper
  • established partnership with Warner Music to get review copies of CDs and interviews with musicians.

Rave Reviews:

"You get to be creative and be involved with a positive thing in the school. And you have the chance to express yourself and your views." Student

"Marlene has been gifted with a natural ability to create and shape the curriculum to meet the needs of our changing world." Vice-principal