New principal takes over JPPS, for one day only

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As the school year draws to a close, JPPS elementary school in Cote Saint-Luc found an innovative way to keep spirits and excitement levels at a peak. Beloved Principal Marnie Stein released the reigns for just one day to make room for Grade 4 student Jeremy Nashen to become Principal-for-a-Day.

“Jeremy has a busy day planned,” Stein told us early in the morning. “There are meetings with the Vice-Principal and other members of staff and of course the daily announcements over the PA system.”

Principal Nashen was well-prepared for his day long gig: He amassed agenda items to review with school leadership including suggestions about student council, recess and field trips.

Principals Marnie Stein and Jeremy Nashen

Jeremy showed up early at school in order to welcome students and their parents at drop-off. Dressed in a smart, professorial-looking dark suit and bright-coloured bow tie and carrying his executive red briefcase, Jeremy made his way to the Principal’s office as his schoolmates headed to their classrooms.

After a quick briefing session he was off to the recording booth with Grade 6 students Milo and Isaac to make the morning announcements which began with the joke of the day, supplied by Charlotte in Grade 3: How do bears walk around? With bear feet!

Jeremy advocates for students at the management table

Next he sent off the kindergarten and Grade 2 students on a field trip to the Cosmodome. “You represent our school, so please be on your best behaviour and make us proud,” Jeremy told the kids before departure. He gave them a list of questions about space and astronauts and challenged them to find the answers.

Presenting the Word of the Week to the entire school

He also sent off the Grade 5 class, with their grandparents, on a trip to Old Jewish Montreal. He also reminded these older kids their behaviour should reflect JPPS’ good reputation.

Principal Jeremy supervised the recesses and lunch and even sent one student “to the bench” for a short time out.

He attended two important meetings. At the Weekly Administration Meeting he learned about grants and was able to offer some suggestions of his own. Addressing the school management staff he implored them to install tether-ball in the playground for added fun during recess. On a more serious note he requested that all grades get to have representation and vote for student council, not just the Grade 6 students (that’s my boy!).

Enjoying a coffee break (errr chocolate milk) in the Principal’s Office

JPPS-Bialik President Lee Wise expressed his overall satisfaction with the new principal’s performance today. “Our board of directors sets very high standards and we are so pleased that Jeremy exceeded all of our expectations,” Wise wisely said. “With his leadership around the management table and his commanding voice on the intercom, Jeremy has shown that our elementary school, an International Baccalaureate institution, is the place to be for fast-tracking one’s career and achieving one’s dreams.”

Checking over the school’s invoices and signing off on the expenses

The day ended like all others with Principal Nashen being picked up by his proud mom, Dr. Judy Hagshi. Once at home, the suit came off and the sweats went on: time for a granola bar and some relaxation.

Thank you to the innovative and affable Marnie Stein and the entire team at JPPS for seeking new and fun ways to keep their students motivated and inspired and always learning.

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Many thanks to all our great teachers

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JPPS-Bialik board members (L-R): Rob Burrows, Glenn J. Nashen, Randy Kay Kugler, President Lee Wise and Warren Levine

 

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.
– Lilly Tomlin

 

There are many important responsibilities that school board members undertake. But few are as important as expressing great appreciation to the wonderful teachers, administrators and auxiliary staff who nurture our children with the love of learning.  Day after day, these professionals transfer knowledge and multiple skills to help us teach our kids how to succeed in life. The best teachers are remembered for life as those who gave us direction, or sparked an interest or encouraged us to try again.

On this staff appreciation week at my alma mater, JPPS-Bialik, I salute the many educators who make a difference in my children’s life.

Review: JPPS Theatre’s Little Mermaid Jr. makes a big splash

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JPPS Theatre presents The Little Mermaid Junior

Montreal Director extraordinaire Anisa Cameron made a very big splash in uncharted waters with the very first production from the Jewish Peoples and Peretz Schools (JPPS) Theatre. Talented students from grades one to six took to the stage at Cote Saint-Luc’s Harold Greenspon Theatre in Disney’s sensational production of The Little Mermaid Junior for two sold out shows.

Cameron just brought elementary theatre to a whole new level, far from the awkward, amateurish, can’t-remember-my-lines performances from yesterday’s school kids in goofy costume. This production was sure to impress with official Disney soundtrack, professional looking costumes, great sound and lighting, props and more.

Ariel, Flounder and the Seagulls (Photo courtesy Leslie Solomon Inzlicht)

The lead role went to grade 4 student Sana Clarke (Ariel) who sang several numbers with her very beautiful voice beyond her young years. Her sidekick, Flounder the guppy, was ably played by Zoe Inzlicht, who pranced about with excitement and joy. Matthew Liebman (King Triton) was solid as the ruler of the seas as Ella Pariente (Ursula the sea witch) tried to steal away his powers with song and dance.

Hunter Saraga did a sensational job of Prince Eric, who, in the end, captured Ariel’s heart (although they never did kiss!).

Libby Tsabary, in the role of Sebastian the crab, was lively and humurous. All these lead performers were sensational and have many years of amazing theatre to look forward to at JPPS and Bialik.

Hats off to the entire unsinkable cast for wonderful song and dance.  Although I had no kids in the show (my daughter Nikki was stage manager behind the scenes) I attended with my wife, Judy, and our two other children who attend JPPS-Bialik, Tali and Jeremy, and a few of their friends, and we all had ear to ear smiles watching these adorable, witty and shining school kids.

Hats off to the artistic and production staff for reaching new heights in grade school theatre. And bravo to school principal Marnie Stein for her vision of empowering these young kids and her creative leadership in giving them confidence and a rewarding experience.

Cameron and the Cote Saint-Luc Dramatic Society are weeks away from what will surely be another blockbuster hit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, playing from May 31 to June 17. Tickets are on sale at www.csldramaticsociety.com.