Principal Mary Jane Rossi of St. Michael Catholic Elementary School was recognized last month at the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) 60th Annual Provincial Special Education Conference.
The Ontario Council is a non-profit organization committed to recognizing the achievements and promoting the advancement of learners with special needs, while fostering the professional excellence and personal growth of its members.
The theme of the CEC Provincial Conference was "Well-Being and Success For All," with a "focus on evidence-based practices, instructional strategies, and technology to support the well-being, learning and achievement of all students with special education needs." It celebrated individuals, like Rossi, for their continuous dedication to the success of all students.
Rossi was also recognized earlier last year at the local "Yes I Can" Educational Leader of the Year awards.
"Mrs. Rossi adopts the 'each belongs' philosophy extensively on a day to day basis," said nominators Anna Boyle, Sam Agro, and Sandra Tirabassi.
"Compassion and dedication are one of the many attributes that she exemplifies. She implements many programs to help with children reaching their full potential academically, socially, and emotionally."
One of these programs include Summer Success, a two week summer program that allows students to work on their literacy, physical literacy, and robotics skills.
Currently she's working on creating a connections program which partners immigrant students with Canadian students to develop social skills and friendships.
In addition, Rossi works tirelessly with neighbouring community programs like Neighbour to Neighbour and Taste Buds, to ensure families going through financial burdens can still provide food for their families.
Finally, Rossi works with Big Brother Big Sister, a mentorship program that pairs students up with an adult mentor for extra guidance. Through this program she also woks with refugee families by welcoming them to Hamilton and exposing them to Canadian culture.
Congratulations Mary Jane, and thank you for your constant devotion to each and every child!