Weston students looking for their former teachers

Two graduates of Weston elementary schools are looking for their former teachers to give their thanks.

Parent Central is helping students find their former teachers.

If you happen to know where these teachers are, would you lend a hand?

Ms. Linda Elliott, of H.J. Alexander Community School, Weston

Omar Petralis writes:

Ms. Linda Elliott taught my full-time kindergarten program, and was instrumental in my early development. She identified me as having a gift for reading, and encouraged me in this direction as other kids in my class played with blocks. I recall being sent to the library to do “research” — and above everything feeling encouraged without having been singled out.

I graduated high school, graduated university with a B.A., and found an entry level job working for IBM. On a whim in the mid-90s, I looked her up again and she was teaching ESL at the same school. I walked into her classroom unannounced, and 25 years after the last time she saw me, she recognized me in an instant. We caught up briefly, wished each other well, and I haven’t seen her since; but that feeling of being recognized, of being remembered after all this time still brings tears to my eyes.

 

Ms. Suzanne Abbott, of Weston Memorial Jr Public School, York, 1980s

Valerie Smith writes:

After second grade, where I experienced a change in schools and a teacher who was less than supportive in many ways, my self-esteem was very low.

When I walked into my Grade 3 class on that early September morning, I was greeted with a warm smile and a huge “Welcome to Grade 3!” I immediately felt comfortable in Ms. Abbott’s presence. She had patience and seemed to truly love her job. During that time, I was fascinated with Newfoundland and when it came time to do a project on a province of our choice, I chose Newfoundland! Ms. Abbott just so happened to be from Newfoundland and I was able to interview her and get valuable information from her for the project.

She was also my younger brother’s first grade teacher the next year (1990-1991) and he had the same wonderful experience as I did. After she taught my brother’s class, I believe she decided to move back to Newfoundland.

 

TAVIS Barbecue Tonight, June 16, 2011.

There will be a barbecue tonight from 5 – 7 pm hosted by 12 Division TAVIS initiative officers and Councillor Frances Nunziata. This is to let the community know that an additional 32 police officers have been made available during the summer for street patrol in the Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue area. Check out the PDF version of the poster here.

Farmers’ Market open, awesome

The Farmers’ Market got off to a great start this year. Hundreds of people turned out to support our local growers and retailers—and to get fed.

Indian Elvis put in an appearance, as he usually does, and the lineup for Ken’s bacon sandwiches (which your correspondent takes as an index of the buyers’ mood) was very long—surely foretelling a wonderful year ahead.

Indian Elvis, Weston Farmers' Market

Huge turnout for Queens Drive sale

The weather gods blessed the annual garage sale on Queens Drive, and it was a roaring success this year. Thousands of people turned out and packed the sunny streets.

Your humble correspondent scored many sweet deals, the sweetest of which was certainly a gorgeous golf bag from back when stuff was still made in the USA. $5!

Mike Sullivan Speaks in the Commons

Mike Sullivan, our newly elected NDP MP spoke for the first time in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Here are his comments:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the voters in York South—Weston, who sent me here to advocate for them. I will do my utmost to bring forward their issues in this House, like public transit.

Public transit supports economic activity, improves productivity and, done right, it helps clean the air. In York South—Weston, public transit is an important public service, as it is across Canada.

Unfortunately, public transit is not a priority of the government. Aside from the gas tax rebate negotiated nearly a decade ago by then-FCM president, the hon. member for Toronto—Danforth, the current federal government refuses to support this crucial element of our economic life. This must change if we are to help Canadians in their daily life.

The federal government must develop a national public-transit strategy so that sensible investments in public transit like electric light rail can be made to meet the needs of millions of Canadians.

Mr Sullivan made a name for himself here in Weston as a passionate supporter of the Clean Train Coalition and it’s good to see that he is still chipping away on the same topic. His unseating of Alan Tonks was one of the many surprises in last month’s general election.

He made further remarks on June 9th, describing York South-Weston and the problems facing our community.

St John (still) wants a new school

Dave Bennett, the Vice Chair of Parent Council of St John the Evangelist Elementary, sent around an email earlier this week again drawing attention to the conditions at  his school, and explaining how they are likely to worsen in the coming years. The school has six portables and little grass; in 2014, full-day kindergarten will make things much worse, he says.

Bennett says “building a new school during the construction of the Weston tunnel seems like the right path to remove our six portables, exclude our children from the tunnel construction and provide full-day kindergarten.”

In June of last year, Bennett backed a proposal to move St John the Evangelist to Swanek Park, which would have led to the expropriation and demolition of as many as 33 houses. That proposal led to significant strife in the community.