Oromocto High School has captured the title of School of the Year in a new provincial contest geared toward celebrating the achievements of New Brunswick women during International Women's Day on March 8.
Students of all ages were invited to submit either a video, a poster or a story about a woman who inspires them. Entries were received from all regions of the province. These entries will be featured in the International Women’s Day Magazine and International Women’s Day E-zine, which will be shared province wide. The top five submissions were featured at a March 6 event, they were as follows:
- Sana Hashmat, Fredericton High School
- Kenzie Auger, Woodstock High School
- Gabby Byrne, Woodstock High School
- Elianna Pitre and Shelby Henry, Superior Middle School, Bathurst
- Vera Chen, Fredericton High School
Oromocto High School was awarded the School of the Year certificate for their demonstrated support of International Women’s Day 2020.
Cindy Kimove, English and sociology teacher at Oromocto High School, said roughly 80 of her students from three classes took part in the competition, the highest level of participation for a school in the province.
"Students wrote about women who were generous and selfless," said Kimove. "A lot of them chose their family members or a coach who had played a big role in their lives. The sociology students wrote a lot about New Brunswick women who had come to Canada as refugees and they overcame obstacles to be successful. Overall, it was an exercise that seemed to resonate most with students who had strong women in the lives to provide them with examples of compassion and resiliency."
Kimove assigned the project to encourage students to try out a wide variety of writing assignments.
"They will need to have the skills to write a recommendation for others, or to advocate for themselves when it comes time to apply for post-secondary opportunities and scholarships, so it seemed like a good stepping stone for them," Kimove explained. "After beginning the assignment, it became clear to me that a lot of the students had never taken the time to reflect on the strength of the women in their lives. It opened the door for conversations to take place around what defines 'successful, inspiring, strong,' etc. I felt that writing for someone other than themselves provided the students with a chance to grow both as writers and as people."
Kimove said her students were surprised and excited to win the title of "School of the Year."
"I’m glad we won this award rather than one of our students being singled out, because it gave confidence to some of the students who aren’t the strongest writers, and showed them that their words and thoughts were valuable. It was therefore a team effort and we could all share in the success equally, regardless of academic ability."
Another announcement on International Women's Day was the establishment of the VIVE (Visionary, Inspirational, Vibrant, Empowering) Award by Service New Brunswick Minister Sherry Wilson, who is also minister responsible for Women's Equality. The deadline for award nominee submissions is Nov. 1, 2020. Winners will be honoured at the 2021 International Women's Day celebration.
“Women’s roles and contributions are often not part of the history books, yet they have many significant and inspiring stories that should be told; stories of courage, strength and perseverance,” said Wilson. “The inspiring women in our lives may never appear in any history book, but we can create our own recorded history by highlighting these women through the VIVE Awards.”
Shown in the photo below is Oromocto High School teacher Cindy Kimove with the award won by her students for School of the Year in a recent International Women's Day contest. The winners were announced March 6 at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.