Caption: Grand Erie’s Suzie Miller, Instructional Coach, and Diane De Vos, Human Resources Staffing Coordinator, are the recipients of this year’s Patti McCleister Memorial Leadership Award.
The Patti McCleister Memorial Leadership Award is given on an annual basis to a Grand Erie employee who best embodies Patti’s passion and has shown great leadership and effort within their role. This year’s recipients are Suzie Miller and Diane De Vos.
Suzie Miller is the Instructional Coach with the Indigenous Education department. She is looking to change the path of the many First Nations students, and the perception of First Nations students amongst the student body. She works hard to make them feel connected at school and that they have a voice in the classroom.
“She is always visible in the classrooms, working and talking with students,” said Kristy Hawkins, Learning Resource Teacher at Central Public School. “Suzie always takes time to focus on the positive things that she sees at our school.”
A great example that shows Suzie’s commitment to students is through the implementation of the Pen Pal project that she worked to establish. The Pen Pal project connects students from various school boards within Southwestern Ontario with schools on Six Nations.
“Suzie’s goal is to bring compassion and inclusiveness to engage students in their learning,” added Hawkins. “She inspires success in students and staff.”
Suzie strives to develop a sense of community in the school by creating a community circle with students and by bringing in powerful First Nations members such as David Bouchard and a popular Lacrosse player. She invites community members such as Rick Hill and Leroy Jaques Hill to educate staff about First Nations history, misconceptions and culture and to share strategies that may help staff break down barriers in their classrooms.
“I am deeply honoured to receive the Patti McCleister Memorial Leadership Award,” said Suzie Miller. Listening to the sentiments expressed by the team who nominated me and the congratulatory responses I received, warms my heart beyond words.”
Diane De Vos is known for going above and beyond every day. She oversees all aspects of the elementary staffing process in Human Resources. Diane is knowledgeable about all aspects of her portfolio and is able to give clear advice and information when asked.
She is a positive role model who provides the best possible service to those on the front line (principals, vice-principals, and teachers) and to enable them to ensure success for every student.
“There is no one more caring and compassionate than Diane,” said Sharon Bell, Manager of Human Resources. “She is kind, considerate, and patient and is always willing to help out by offering assistance to others.”
Diane is always looking for opportunities to grow professionally and to learn new things. She is an active and attentive listener who enthusiastically accepts challenges. She seeks opportunities to develop her skill set and to become even better at what she does. Not only is Diane committed to her own high standards, but she also sets high expectations for those whom she supervises.
“I take great pride in the work that I do to support elementary schools in Grand Erie and to be recognized for my leadership is an unbelievable feeling of accomplishment,” said Diane. “I feel fortunate to have worked with Patti, so to be a recipient of an award in her memory is truly an honour.”