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February 27, 2009

“Who is Your Hero?” Asks Education Minister

Next week, students, teachers and staff in schools across the province will participate in special activities in recognition of Education Week 2009. The special week this year is focused around the theme Celebrate Our Heroes and many students will be discussing heroes of both the past and present.

“There are all kinds of heroes in classrooms throughout the province – the special teacher who goes the extra mile so a student can master a problem, the parent who coaches the basketball team, the volunteer who serves breakfast every morning, and the student who lends a helping hand,” said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minster of Education. “These are every day heroes, and they deserve recognition and thanks.”

Minister Burke said that people like these reflect the many heroes that came before them in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Students are learning about some of these women and men through Of Character, Newfoundland and Labrador, a series of informational posters featuring 17 women and three men – a special initiative of the Provincial Government’s K-12 fine arts and cultural strategy, Cultural Connections.

These heroes saved lives, tended the sick and provided spiritual guidance. Facing extreme hardship and often severe isolation, they hunted and trapped, bore children and delivered babies. Through their every day lives, they displayed courage, bravery and tenacity. Some were quiet heroes; others were legends in their own time.

“The province we enjoy today is founded on the strength and determination of the women and men of Newfoundland and Labrador’s past,” said Minister Burke. “Just as these women and men made their communities – and sometimes the world – a better place, so do our heroes of today make our schools safer, better places. During Education Week, we remember yesterday’s heroes, and we salute today’s for their contributions and thank them for their commitment to the young people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Education Week is a time set aside each year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association to recognize and appreciate the importance of education and learning. Education has been identified as one of the highest priorities of the Provincial Government with unprecedented levels of funding being allocated for the K-12 system. More than $121 million was recently allocated for 2009-10 for new school construction, maintenance and repairs, building on the overall budget for education which now stands at over $1.1 billion.

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Media contact:
Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624

Of Character, Newfoundland and Labrador

The following women and men have been profiled in the Of Character: Newfoundland and Labrador poster series. Communities listed are not necessarily places of birth, but communities most associated with the individual.

Agnes Marion Ayre
Myra Bennett
Gilbert Blake
Frances Cluett
Marie Felix
Stella Fowler
Elizabeth Goudie
Ann Harvey
Ann Hulan
Sara Kirke
Peenamin McKenzie
Frances McNeil
Mattie Mitchell
Kirkina Mucko
Violet Pike
Julia Salter Earle
John Shiwak
Doris Saunders
St. John’s (1890-1940)
Daniel’s Harbour (1890-1990)
Double Mer (1885-1979)
Belleoram (1883-1969)
Red Indian Lake (Circa 1796-1820)
Black Duck Brook (1923-?)
Capstan Island (1918-2003)
Happy Valley-Goose Bay (1902-1982)
Isle aux Morts (1811-1845)
McKay’s (1750s-1840s)
Ferryland (arrived in the province 1638-1680s)
 Sheshatshiu (1873-1966)
St. John’s (1869-1928)
Nain (Circa 1740-1795)
Bonne Bay (c. 1850-1921)
Happy Valley-Goose Bay (1890s-1970)
Grand Falls-Winsor (1914-?)
St. John’s (1878-1945)
Lake Melville (1889-1917)
Cartwright (1941-2006)

2009 02 27                            9:35 a.m.

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