C.C. McLean teacher receives prestigious award from Rainbow District School Board

From left, RDSB board chair Doreen Dewar presents Dan Smith his award alongside Director of Education Norm Blaseg.

GORE BAY—Dan Smith, a teacher at Charles C. McLean Public School, has received a prestigious award from the Rainbow District School Board (RDSB).

“It was wonderful to be recognized for something that I love doing,” said Mr. Smith on receiving an Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program award. “It is quite an honour.”

RDSB paid tribute to its employees and community partners on Wednesday, May 22 with the presentation of several awards.

“With the presentation of these awards, we continue a rich tradition of honouring excellence in Rainbow schools,” said Board Chair Doreen Dewar. “We are proud of our employees and community partners for their commitment. On behalf of the board, I would like to congratulate all award recipients with their outstanding achievement.”

“The contributions of our individual award recipients vary, but they all have one thing in common,” said education director Norm Blaseg. “They are dedicated employees and dynamic educational partners who go above and beyond the call of duty to reach minds and touch hearts in our school and the communities that we serve.”

“A respected teacher with the board since 1995, Dan Smith is the epitome of leadership and dedication. Dan has a true love for sports and physical fitness and he values overall sport development in youth. More importantly, he recognizes that participation in sports has a positive influence on students, from physical, social and academic perspectives,” a release notes. 

“Dan works diligently with students to help them apply the skills they learn in school, placing a strong emphasis on resiliency and commitment as the foundation for hard work and success. He also builds strong relationships with students, parents/guardians, colleagues and administrators,” the release continues. “In his 24 years as an educator, Dan has coached and convened a variety of tournaments and teams including basketball, 3-pitch, flag football, volleyball, soccer, cross-country running and track and field. He also gives generously of his time to organize and train volunteers for sporting events, giving students access to a variety of opportunities. On a board-wide level, he has been a member of the Island Schools Sports Committee and a member at large on the SDSSAA’s (Sudbury District Secondary School Athletic Association) executive and Transfer Committee for many years. For his exceptional leadership, Dan Smith is most worthy of the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program.”

“It is quite an honour and quite humbling,” Mr. Smith told the Recorder. “At the same time I’m very proud of the success we’ve had at the school. A lot of our student/athletes have gone on to elite level sports after having started at C.C. McLean. They always come back and share their experiences and knowledge, someone like Joseph Maxwell comes to mind; which is a great motivator for our young students. This is not just the students who are great athletes, but who have a healthy and active lifestyle. I take a lot of pride in the students developing a real appreciation of having an active and healthy lifestyle.

“When you look at the record book for athletics for all the elementary schools within the Rainbow board, C.C. McLean is one of the top five among all of them in terms of athletes having set records in track and field,” Mr. Smith pointed out. “For instance, Sophie Hietkamp broke a 44-year-old school board record last year.”

“It is not all about the success of the students in athletics, but that they become great people, adopt well to working as a team and having respect for each other,” continued Mr. Smith. “This is what drives me to coach seven to eight sports each year. It regenerates my enthusiasm. I wouldn’t have become a teacher and a coach without the experiences that my own coaches and teachers provided when I was in elementary school. All of this really motivated me to become a teacher and a coach.”