Government of New Brunswick



Tracy Ross

Tracy Ross is a kindergarten teacher at Centennial School who has been described as a strong advocate for her students and is “fierce in her fight to do whatever it takes to support them”. Tracy believes all of her students can succeed!

As a classroom teacher, Tracy carries children along a continuum of success. She creates spaces where students are confident, growing in ability, and motivated to learn. Her classroom is an eclectic mix of resources that support the intellectual, physical and emotional needs of all her students.

At the school, Tracy is the “go to” person when new initiatives are brought forth. As a former Education Support Teacher for literacy, Tracy approached her colleagues in a supportive manner and worked to support change on an individual basis.

Tracy quickly establishes a trusting rapport with the parents of her students and they recognize that their most precious treasure is in safe hands. With little assistance she takes children, many who lack school readiness skills, and moulds them into willing learners.

Describing Tracy, one colleague stated that, “Tracy is the most talented and professional educator I have ever known. Her commitment to this trade and her enduring approach to improvement challenges all who work alongside her”.


Shannon Hodder

Shannon is a kindergarten teacher at Loch Lomond Elementary School. Receiving students for their first year in public education can be both emotional and memorable. From going above and beyond for her students to her commitment to innovation and lifelong learning, Shannon personifies exemplary teaching. Shannon provides a safe and respectful learning environment for her students while offering learning opportunities that lend themselves to differentiated and child-centered learning. It is with great consideration that she plans lessons that appeal to a variety of learning styles and abilities. Her classroom is always buzzing with excitement.

As a school champion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) projects, her children regularly engage in cross-curricular learning activities. She has always incorporated technology in her classroom and supports innovation by focusing on projects that encourage critical thinking. She often shares resources and technology tips with fellow teachers, and others from the district often visit Loch Lomond School to check out the excitement that she has created.

Fellow teachers describe Shannon as having a natural ability to engage easily with others, in particular her students and their families. These relationships have been enriched over the years by her passion for learning, for literacy and for technology. Shannon contributes to all school events and is “not only dedicated to her students but to all students at Loch Lomond Elementary School”.


Susan Collins / Tracey Furlotte / Judy Haley

The Education Support Services Team at Milltown Elementary School focuses on all that they are able to accomplish with students in their care. This team is an example of a group of professionals, who work together, in close proximity with families, to manage the multitude of complex needs that our most fragile learners may possess.

Recently, this team worked closely with a young student to provide a bridge from home to school. The team was able to positively contribute to the life of this exceptional learner, taking care of all her requirements from conveyance, to programming and on-site support. This allowed the student to attend school and to interact with her age appropriate peers.

The team quickly established a rapport and bond with the family to ensure trust was in place for their child to attend school. They were able to provide a plan with internal and external supports and a gradual and successful transition into the school environment. This was done while meeting the needs of numerous other students at the school. Respected by parents in the community, this team is described by one parent as, “people who not only provide education and care for our daughter, but more like an extension of our family”.


Shelley O'Toole

Shelley is an Education Support Teacher for literacy and is currently supporting priority work associated with the 10 Year Education Plan. Shelley has been a literacy support teacher for numerous years, supporting schools from Jacquet River to Tide Head in the northern portion of the district. Shelley has been described as being innovative, supportive, responsive, and a natural leader.

A consummate professional, Shelley believes that each child is able to excel when appropriate learning targets have been established. She continually strives to support teachers through instructional coaching, gathering evidence to inform learning and by providing constructive feedback and support. Shelley’s approach with staff is positive and direct. One principal indicates that, “Shelley sees the big picture and she creates the small steps in order to get there”. Numerous teachers have benefited from Shelley’s support both in and beyond the classroom.

Shelley models life-long learning by seeking out opportunities to enhance her practices and by providing such opportunities for her colleagues. She has delivered countless professional learning opportunities to teachers to support literacy practices in the classroom.


Leisa Comeau

Leisa is an early learning and childcare educator at the Chatham Day Care Centre. She has been an early learning educator for the past nineteen years. Leisa’s work with young children demonstrates her commitment to New Brunswick’s Values-Based Curriculum Framework and best practices for young children. She regularly involves children in creative learning experiences that foster imagination, creativity and play such as an Outdoor Classroom and Around the World projects.

Leisa recently took part in a Bridging Project where she was able to work collaboratively with a Kindergarten teacher to share innovative early learning practices. In addition, she has worked with Early Childhood Care and Education NB (ECCENB), a provincial child care association, to train educators around the province in implementing the New Brunswick Early Learning and Child Care Curriculum Framework and has presented at conferences in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The parents of the children in Leisa’s care benefit from a strong relationship with Leisa, continuous feedback and support, and her commitment to their children. When one child was asked to describe Leisa, he said, “I really think she is the best teacher in the whole world” and parents would agree.


Julie L. Allain

Julie is a compassionate and inclusive educator at Riverview High School. She is a classroom teacher and has been a lead teacher for instructional practices and a vice-principal. Understanding the whole child, Julie creates a personalized approach that values academic achievement as well as a sense of belonging and personal fulfillment.

Julie was a founding member of a team of teachers who created a framework for assessment that promotes rigor, authenticity and personalization. She has also been instrumental in leading a school reduction in absenteeism of seventeen percent. Early in her career she helped found the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. Julie understands the needs of students from all walks of life.

Julie’s classroom practices focus on supporting all students with a gradual release of responsibility as they become independent learners. “Those that are ready, get that opportunity for more. Those that are not ready, get skillful support strategies and intervention.” Julie’s work in the classroom has been used as an exemplar for Universal Design for Learning. To quote one student, “when I need help…or anything…I go looking for her, no matter how busy she is, she will see me and do her best for me…I like that…even if it’s a course she doesn’t teach me!”


Sondra Kitchen

Sondra is a classroom teacher at Mountain View School and lead teacher for technology. She is involved with the provincial Learning Through Personalization (LTP) initiative and empowers students to take responsibility for their learning by providing them with the tools necessary to do so. Sondra researches and shares best practices and resources with staff. She has led one to one iPad use with students, Dojo awards to track and reward positive behaviours of students and Fresh Grade, where parents can see what their children are doing and learning at school.

Sondra’s classroom has been described as a warm and nurturing environment where students feel safe to take risks and share their learning. One student describes Sondra as, “a teacher who gives second chances”. Parents of this rural school praise Sondra for having high expectations, being kind, and for knowing what motivates their children to succeed. She provides targeted interventions in her classroom to students who require additional support and to others who may require additional challenges.

Sondra’s door is always open and she welcomes questions with a warm smile and a willing attitude. Colleagues describe her as an inspiration to her students and to fellow teachers.


Sonya O'Donnell

Sonya is an early learning and childcare educator at the Tiny Bubbles Day Care in Fredericton. Sonya has a degree in English and Psychology with a minor in math and has supported students as a tutor for numerous years. As an early learning educator, Sonya demonstrates an infectious love for teaching and is always willing to share ideas with fellow educators.

Described as being a “child magnet” with a gentle nature, Sonya connects with all young learners in her charge. By establishing such a rapport, she is able to optimize all teachable moments to encourage all learners to think creatively and independently. Parents of the children in her care trust Sonya and are confident that they are well taken care of and supported to thrive. They are, “loved, encouraged, challenged and supported”.

Sonya works with a variety of children and takes the time to understand their unique abilities and meets them at their level of learning. She is able to design personalized experiences for children that promote teamwork and success.

Children arrive home each day enthusiastic to share what they have learned whether it be a new song, to put their coat on independently, or to be able to say a new French word. When asked where they learned it, the answer is always the same, “Sonya taught me that.”


Valerie Marshall

Valerie is a teacher at Fredericton High School who has been educating students for over thirty years. She is well known and respected by students and staff for her cheerful demeanour, kindness, mastery in the classroom, and her dedication to education. Valerie has been described as a voracious reader who strives to remain current with research and best teaching practices. Certainly a model for others as a life-long learner!

In the classroom and within her Supplementary Position of Responsibility, Valerie is a strong advocate for students. She encourages fellow teachers to collaborate, to support critical thinking, and to support the many needs of students. Beyond the classroom, she contributes to the positive culture of Fredericton High School. She is the faculty advisor for numerous extracurricular events such as the Christmas Campaign, Remembrance Day Ceremonies, and Safe Grad, to name a few. Valerie has served as Chair for the diploma committee at the school’s graduation ceremony for over twenty years.

Valerie has been described as having a, “genuine interest and being in tune with department members and students”. Val, as she is referred to by her friends and colleagues has, “a warm smile, an open heart and an open mind”.


Jill Isherwood

Jill is currently an Education Support Teacher for Resource at the Harold Peterson Middle School in Oromocto. Jill has been described as a teacher with a unique and gentle approach to educating her students. Over the years, and in various roles, Jill has displayed unwavering commitment to her craft and to supporting students.

As a representative of the school-based Professional Learning Committee, Jill ensures that staff needs are well represented when creating plans for continuous learning. She has delivered and facilitated numerous professional learning sessions and consults regularly with other professionals to meet the needs of all students at the school. Jill has been described as a “pivotal member” of the staff who makes great strides to have students be the best version of themselves as possible.

Jill’s willingness to have difficult conversations, as well as the conversations of support and encouragement, has resulted in positive changes and milestones of growth for everyone involved. She regularly demonstrates to parents that she has their child’s best interest at heart. Her peers describe Jill as, “…making a meaningful difference in the lives of both her students and her fellow teachers”.