Opening Statement

Monday 30 April 2012

Steve Hnatiuk Fundraiser at the Horseshoe!

Many of you will remember James Cardinal McGuigan Beginning Teacher, Steve Hnatiuk, who died from cancer in January of this year. Our school community, like many of you, were quite devastated. Now is the time to once again get together, this time to celebrate his life, have a good time, win prizes and raise some money for a new student bursary acknowledging student excellent in athleticism and academics. Our staff is sure Steve would've liked that. So, some of our JCM teachers are holding a fundraiser this weekend. You can show up at the door, but should buy an advanced ticket. There could be a last minute rush. Steve sure had a lot of TCDSB friends! Please contact Julia Nobrega via our board email. You can also buy some lottery tickets to support the cause. Please see her message below;
On May 6th, join us for a celebration of Steve's life at the Horseshoe Tavern - 370 Queen Street West in Toronto. Join us for live music, prizes, drinks, good food, and most importantly, good friends.

Tickets - $25.00
Raffle tickets - 2 for $10 and 5 for $20

Our goal is to raise $30,000 - which will be used to create the Steven David Hnatiuk Memorial Award, an honour that will go to a graduating student at both schools he taught at. In addition to acknowledging the student for their excellence in academics and athleticism, we would like to also give a $1500.00 bursary that could be used towards post secondary education. $30,000 would give the award 10 years of life at both of the schools Steve taught at.

Some of the door prizes:

1) Paru Creative Services has donated a full web design package. Valued at $1800, here is what the package includes:
- domain name
- hosting for 1 year
- fully customized web design (5 pages and blog capabilities)

2) SiriusXM Canada has just donated 3 Satellite Radios each with a 1-year subscription! (valued at $350 each)

3) 2 Gold Leafs Tickets (ahem, for next season)

4) 4 Field Level Seats & 4 Blue Jays Hats to a game of your choice this season

5) TFC tickets

6) Autographed Arsenal Football Club Jersey and Ball

7) Fishing and lunch for 2 at The Franklin Club

8) $500 Costco Gift Card

9) $250 Home Depot Gift Card

10) $50 Gift Card

11) Blue-Ray DVD Pack & ET Canada Studio Tour

12) NHL DVD Package

13) Photography Package

14) Starbucks Gift Basket

15) Bath & Body Works Gift Basket

<Students and minors are not allowed to come, of course, in the Horseshoe Tavern>

See Steve's Video at:

Thursday 26 April 2012

Michael Powers Vs Vanier Championship Game!

As promised I have uploaded the Championship Game to Youtube on my new Davechiarelli Channel. I filmed the final Competitive League Championship playoff game using an Ipad 3.

Some of you will recall when I got hit in the arm with a volleyball. The Ipad went flipping up into the air and landed on the court screen first suffering nary a crack! Yiiikes! All was well but this is definitely not, repeat not, recommended! Volleyball can  be a dangerous sport! Anyway, it was lots of fun, and a great game.

For some reason I had to split the game video into 2 parts to upload to Youtube. I am a novice here. If I can find a better way, or anyone can advise me how, I will try to put them back together for some seamless viewing. In the meantime, enjoy!

Michael Power Verses Vanier Championship Play Off Game PT.1:

Michael Power Verses Vanier Championship Play Off Game
Pt. 2:

PS: Subscribe on Youtube to my new Davechiarelli Channel. Lots more great videos to come! Complete TSU Election 2012 Coverage begins May 3 to May 23! See it all here on Youtube and/ or my blog!!!

Friday 20 April 2012

TSU Volleyball Tournament Winners!

Everything came together in the end! Big time! Everyone seemed to have a good time playing volleyball and enjoying the comradeship of our fellow teachers from the schools across the board. As such there weren't any losers. However, in the end the top teams were:

Competitive League:

Champions: Michael Powers CSS
Finalists: Jean Vanier CSS

Recreational League:

Champions: Pope John Paul 2 CSS Team 1
Finalists: Cardinal Newman CSS

Trophies and medallions were awarded to the winning champions and finalist teams at the pub afterwards. We enjoyed a couple of rounds of drinks, lots of pub food and good cheer.

I took lots of photos which I will keep posting on my slide show in the top left corner of my screen. It only shows 20 at a time. However, if you click on the photos it will take you to Flickr. Here you can see enlargements of all the ones I've posted and make copies for yourself.

I also filmed the final Competitive League game between Michael Power and Vanier. I hope to show it here on this blog over the next few days.

Many thanks to our great Beginning Teachers Committee for a great TSU event, especially Helena, Lori and Marie for the long hours they put into tonight hosting our event, and of course everyone for the planning and preparations. BTC Rocks!

[PS: Stay tuned here for an announcement about the BTC's next event: A Niagara Wine Country Trip!!!!]

Competitive League Champs: Michael Power/ St Joes! 

Recreational League Champions: Pope John Paul 2 Team 1

Champion Playoffs!

Competitive League Scores!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Thursday Volleyball Update!

10:00 pm

Hey ho sports fans! We are looking good for the tournament! Our BTC [Beginning Teacher Committee] Chair Helena Suite will arrive early at PJ2with Sparky Stelmacovich and Claudio Chichiarelli to make sure everything is set up and ready to go for our 4pm start time. Our committee members will arrive as they get out of school. Any extra help is much appreciated, please see the BTC there before the games!

We've got 2 referees confirmed with 2 more strong maybes. Now I know why everyone is so thankful for our volunteer referees! The Competition League can get pretty tight, so please let's respect the referees calls and make sure we first and foremost just enjoy the good sport and comradeship of the games with our fellow teachers. I am still working on getting plenty of referees, so please contact me asap if you can help out! Whew!

I picked up the water bottles, granola bars and fruit snacks for during the game tonight. The drink tickets too. We will set up the tournament schedule [Round Robin] on bristol board outside the gym. We would appreciate the help of anyone who's expert at this in case we have to make any last minute changes!

Some schools don't have a full team, so we've asked any individual players to come early, and we will see what we can do. Better a few too many than a few short, and at the very least, if you are so inclined you could perhaps play relief on another team. Please see us before the games begin.

We've got two custom made trophies, about a foot high, one for each league, and a bunch of medallions too, for all our outstanding athletes. It should be fun, so please show up by 4pm, and let the games begin!

Photos will follow on my slide show in the top left screen. When you click on them it takes you to Flickr where the enlargements are. Kindly forward any you take of your team etc. too! I will start posting them this weekend, so please check back here later.

Please stay tuned for any further pre game updates. There is a lot more info that follows below. I have provided a map box in the left hand column, to help you find your way to JP2. Scroll down and you will see it....

11:00 am:

Our BTC is busy getting the trophies and medallions for tomorrow's tournament starting at 4pm. The gyms will be setup in advance but we are still short one or two referees!!! You need to be tough nosed but fair, the competition can get pretty rough. If you can help out or know anyone else who can please email me asap!

We are planning on a Round Robin, best 2 out of 3. I have one team cancellation. If your school does not have a team please come anyway, see us at the registration desk, and I'm sure we can plug you in anyway. Some teams always show up short or need a substitute and so on. The more the merrier.

We ask everyone to sign in, personally, at the front table by the gym, so we have an accurate count for all the teams etc. Guests are asked to do so too. We will use these lists for drink tickets afterwards, so please sign in.

More updates to follow over the next 24 hours and see below:

Tuesday 17 April 2012

TSU Volleyball Update!

Our Beginning Teacher's Committee [BTC] is busy finalizing all the arrangements for our TSU Volleyball Tournament at Pope John Paul Secondary from 4-8pm this Friday April 20th. There will be another official notice coming out. The TSU office is very busy, so let me share the basic details with you as Executive Liaison for the committee. You have been sending me a lot of questions and it has been hard to reply to them individually, so many of the answers are or will be posted here too. I will continue to update this post until the games, so please stay tuned.

OT's without a school may send me your name and we will find a team place for you, so don't miss out!.

Okay. So far we have 6 Competitive League Teams registered from Neil McNeil, Loretto Abbey, St. Basil's, JP2, Michael Power, and Cardinal Newman.

So far we have 3 Recreational Teams: Cardinal Newman and 2 from PJ2.

There are one or two teams who haven't told me which league they want, or given me their team member names. I sent out emails today for confirmation purposes for all the teams I have registered, and to get the missing info from the others. If your team does not get a email then contact me asap so you don't get left out!

Registration will remain open until Thursday morning when we will create the roster.

The 3 gyms have been booked at JP 2, with set up taken care of. However, we are very short on referees, so if interested or you know somebody who might be let me know asap.

In other news, in response to your questions and so on;

The tournament is intended for active TSU members. Some teams are short one or two players. In such cases you may register an OT or past teacher from your school, as long as they are still a TSU member. LTO's count as a regular member of your school for tournament registration purposes. Student teachers from your school may also play on your team. OT's who submit their name to me but don't have a school will be available for rotation or to top off your team numbers.

You may not sign up "ringers" or other pros using the above as an excuse to make up and register a super team.

Both Leagues are Co-ed.

There aren't any fees to register or play in the tournament, the cost will be taken from the BTC budget.

Two trophies will be awarded by our host BTC after the tournament, one for each league.

All team players and school members who come to the gym to cheer you on are invited to our ceremony afterwards, the location of which will not be disclosed until during the games as usual. We will provide food and refreshments once again for the awards ceremony and social. Wink. Wink. Wink. Please don't be a party crasher if you are not involved! It's very tacky. Join in the games!

Remember, if you still wish to register a team, by all means do so, but please email me by Thursday morning when we sit down to do the roster.

You can use my board, hotmail or gmail email account to reach me if necessary.

Most of the teams are from our east end schools, lots in the competitive league, but the recreational too. What's up west enders? Does the east rule? Please do not tell me you are afraid of their prowess!!! Nay! Sign up a team now to uphold your school honour, and maybe show the others how the game should be played.

We will be arriving at 3pm Thursday to set up for the games and plan to start at 4pm prompt. Usually the games wrap up by 8pm and we head off to the awards ceremony and social.

See my April 4 Volleyball Tournament post with more info by scrolling down the page.

More details and updates to follow.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Our Initial Contract Proposal

Our TSU membership has approved an initial contract proposal. The low turn out was disappointing at last night's general membership meeting. Why, you might ask, would we make an initial offer, when the Provincial Discussion Table (PDT) has not yet settled on our contract terms and numbers yet? Since we have made an initial proposal we have now commenced the collective bargaining process with our school board. As such we can begin to negotiate asap when we know what will be available and what will not.

Our meeting of course was "in camera" so I haven't any photos and so on to share.You really had to be there! TSU will be providing the official details with you soon.Make sure you read them!Collective Bargaining (CB)is all about our work conditions and pay.The school board does not naturally give these to us out of the goodness of its heart. They have many different priorities they need to consider. You are represented in the decision making process by your teachers union.

It is a very busy time of year. Still, as TSU members we need to be aware of and keep up to speed with our contract talks. It will be too late afterwards to gnash ones teeth or blame your teachers union if we end up with a contract you don't like and you did not get involved.

Last nights meeting then presented our member priorities for the new contract for once the talks get going in earnest. Your CB committee has surveyed our members and from that written up the proposal presented last night. The members present got to question the proposals and could make motions for changes or additions. Please pay attention to any TSU emails or other information on the CB process as it unfolds in the months ahead. Don't let yourself be left out of the loop!

Wednesday 4 April 2012

TSU Volleyball April 20th at JP2 4-8pm!

Yes! It's official. The volleyball tournament is on for April 20. We are experiencing delays in getting the announcement and flyers out. However, you can register now! All TSU members can play. Please send the following to my hotmail address as listed in Highlights;

Please send me:

1) your school and team members
2) which league; Recreational or Competitive?
3) your contact person and phone number

The location is at Pope John Paul 2 at:

685 Military Trail
Scarborough ON M1E 4P6

Postal code is for GPS users. A search map is also included beside
this blog for your convenience in getting directions.

The registration deadline is April 16.

There also is an ad on the back page of Hightlights which I have reposted here
for referral until the good copy is sent out.

The tournament is organized by our BTC (Beginning Teachers Committee). Hooray BT's!!!

Food and refreshments will follow after the games. Team players and school staff who come to cheer you on are invited. Trophys will be awarded then for the winning team in each league.

If in doubt fear not! More details will be posted here. Please share my link. Email me for my phone number if need be. The official flyer and letter from TSU is forthcoming. In the meantime, I hope this helps get the ball rolling.

Let's play volleyball! Look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday 1 April 2012

OECTA Everyday Teachers Video

The link for the next stage of our OECTA "Who Speaks for Children?" education campaign  can be found by clicking on it's title below:

Everyday Teachers, Extraordinary Impact

You can find my "Who Speaks for Children?" report and Youtube link in my October blog archives. During the fall Ontario provincial election it drew a lot of kudos for providing a graceful and poignant reminder. Voters were encouraged to consider each party and candidates stand on education in deciding who they'd vote for. Our election endorsements then followed based upon that criteria.

Our focus remains on our students, teachers and our schools. "Who Speaks"  emphasized the hard work that has gone into building our Ontario education system into one of the best in the word. At last count we rated third place amongst all the world's school systems. Our campaign, be it by video, flyers, buttons, posters and street or media ads helped make sure education remained a front burner election issue. We did not want to see all the good work over the last eight years be destroyed to help balance the provincial budget, like during the 1990's.

Our new minority provincial Liberal party government at Queens Park has pledged that education will not be cut to pay off the current deficit.  This is good. It's commitment seems to have focused on two key Liberal policies OECTA has strongly supported; all day Kindergarten and class size caps. Our teacher association is pleased because we fought hard for both of these. Please see my Sept. 16 Who Speaks for Children? post in my Blog Archive.

Our concern now is for our teachers, who make the system work so well. The government can spend as much as it will on the education system.The human element is the professional, well trained and caring everyday teacher.  You can't have one without the other. Unfortunately, in our recent PDT [Provincial Discussion Talk] on our new contracts, that same Liberal Government has surprised us by asking for a pay and salary grid freeze, a reduction of our sick days, and a cap on it's contribution to our pension plan. Please see my March 1st PDT Contract Shocker blog.

The OECTA PDT talks continue, under a news blackout, as our association works quietly behind the scenes to find a better solution. Such "quiet diplomacy" has been OECTA's well respected trademark. Please see my March 11 Windsor AGM Education Minster Reception blog.

The government is in a financial bind. As proud Ontario citizens we understand that. The recent budget called for a 2 year public service salary freeze, so the freeze seems pretty certain. What about the other cuts they have suggested in PDT?

Let's see if OECTA can work together with the Liberal government as we have for the past 8 years, to find more creative and effective ideas that help with the deficit but recognize our professional and personal commitment to making our education system work. Everyday Teachers then, is intended to help the public, and hopefully the minority government appreciate how every day teachers work to inspire and help our students. As such we provide the human spark which ultimately has the most extraordinary impact. It is the everyday teacher who makes Ontario's education system work so well for our students!

All my blogs can be accessed via the Blog Archives at the bottom of this column.

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!