By Sue Tiffin
School’s out for summer, and when Archie Stouffer Elementary School students return, they’ll see familiar faces in new positions.
Current vice-principal Mike Gervais has been appointed ASES principal and current Trillium Lakelands District School Board curriculum consultant Lauren Alleway has been appointed ASES vice-principal while current ASES principal Dawn Sudsbury has been promoted to district principal of curriculum in the 2022 to 2023 year.
Alleway laughs that she has “worn every single hat out there.”
She fell in love with learning herself in Grade 2 because of her teacher, and said that when she did become a teacher herself, she quickly learned of the new opportunities that education can bring.
In 2005, Alleway began teaching for Trillium Lakelands District School Board, working at Cardiff Elementary School as a resource teacher. Since then, she’s had roles as a reading intervention teacher, prep teacher for music and science, from kindergarten all the way to Grade 8 and besides teaching at Cardiff, has also taught at ASES, and both elementary schools in Haliburton, Stuart Baker Elementary School and J.Douglas Hodgson Elementary School, wearing multiple hats at multiple schools – an experience she said was amazing.
“Not everybody gets that opportunity and I think that opportunity has really helped me develop a really deep understanding of the diversity of the communities in Haliburton Highlands,” she said. “I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to meet so many students from so many different areas, and work in so many different positions from classroom teacher to resource teacher.”
Alleway has also been a teaching learning coach and this year, a curriculum consultant for the school board. She notes that while change can be difficult, it has always led to new learning.
“With every change in my career I’ve always seen it as an opportunity to learn a new role and develop a greater perspective for the education system,” she said. “This opportunity as a vice-principal is actually going to allow me to have a greater impact on students, but also educators in supporting them with their own learning, and then supporting our communities as well. As much as I loved being a classroom teacher, I just really look at this as that new opportunity to have a greater impact, but also another learning opportunity for myself.”
Outside of school, Alleway is typically outside with her family camping and hiking, and also enjoys gardening and reading.
Alleway said it’s great that she and Gervais are meeting together in their careers, after starting out together in Cardiff.
“We’ve always supported each other throughout the changes in our careers,” she said. “Like myself, he has worn many different hats. It’s really great just to be able to work with somebody who is so supportive, and we really look forward to working together as a team here.”
Mike Gervais has been working for TLDSB – and living in Haliburton County – for the past 18 years.
Like Alleway, Gervais began his career at Cardiff Elementary School, where he taught Grades 6, 7 and 8. To be closer to home, he then transferred to JDHES in Haliburton, where he was a classroom teacher, Practical Academic and Life Skills teacher, and the school’s vice-principal. For the past three years, he’s been vice-principal at ASES.
“Having the opportunity to work as a vice-principal at Archie for the last three years has given me the opportunity to get to know our students, our families and connect with our community partners,” Gervais told the Times. “My experience working in special education and on the curriculum team have provided me with a solid foundation to support learning for staff and students in the building. I am passionate about education and enjoy connecting with our students and fostering positive supportive relationships to ensure their growth and success.”
Throughout the summer, Gervais will be spending time with his family – including his children Annika and Linus – and his wife, Haliburton Highlands Secondary School teacher Karen Gervais. The family is active, and enjoys camping, mountain biking, trail running, tennis and anything outdoors.
Come September, he’ll be welcoming students back to Minden’s school.
“I am excited to continue our learning journey in math and reading,” he said. “Our educators had a tremendous impact this year and significantly closed learning gaps that resulted from COVID closures. We believe that Archie Stouffer School is a cornerstone of the community and look forward to welcoming families back to a variety of functions in the school.”