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Harmony Award

Top accolades for Catholic Central
Posted on 10/02/2018
David Walls and ACCE students

(Windsor, Ontario, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018) – A national organization known for empowering youth through promoting diversity and equity has named Catholic Central the 2018 School of the Year and one of its teachers as Educator of the Year.

David Walls, who has taught at Catholic Central for 20 years, was recently announced by the Harmony Education Foundation as the top teacher of the year. The award pays tribute to an educator who courageously demonstrates a passion and commitment to inspire and educate youth to be leaders for social change.

Catholic Central was named as the top school of the year for being actively engaged in promoting diversity, equity and inclusivity.

An essential part of Walls’ recognition had to do with his involvement as the facilitator of his school’s African-Canadian Cultural Experience. Through the project, Walls looks for opportunities for racialized youth so they may begin to see themselves as academics, employees, providers, and as contributing, successful, goal-oriented members of our community.

Field trips to St. Clair College and participating in the University of Windsor’s African Diaspora experience were just a couple of ways of helping students in the program visualize what a successful future might look like, and to realize that their goals are attainable.

“We have goals and dreams just like everyone else,” said Uonaka Mandila, a Grade 12 student who plans to study nursing next year. “I felt like others thought that I couldn’t be successful, but when I came here, I knew I was going to do something with my life.”

Daut Said, a Grade 12 student originally from Ethiopia who hopes to land a college basketball scholarship and study mechanical engineering, said Walls is extremely deserving of the award.

“He’s a great man,” he said. “He’s inspiring us to become better people. He’ll do everything he can to make us achieve our goals.”

Besides the ACCE, Catholic Central was also recognized for its Dare to Dream CommUNITY Project, an initiative designed to help a group of girls who recently arrived in Canada from Syria to build self-esteem through community involvement; the Global Leadership Opportunities Windsor (GLOW) Program, which improved school culture through better communication and dialogue between international and domestic students;  and for having 16 staff members participate in Harmony Movement Equity Training, which helps break down barriers through identifying biases.

“Catholic Central is one of the most diverse schools in the country and we pride ourselves on our inclusive approach to education,” said Principal Danielle Desjardins-Koloff. “Our students represent a global population, all having arrived with unique stories and under unique circumstances, so we do everything we can to identify their needs and goals, help them find their voices, and to become advocates for themselves.”

Along with Desjardins-Koloff, Walls and eight CCHS students will travel to Toronto in early November to receive the award.


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