Monique Hughes’ motto is “Children need to be happy, safe and learning.” Ms. Hughes is a Resource teacher at Centennial Elementary School in Saint John. Her nominator and Principal Tina Estabrooks, says that Ms. Hughes, “Personifies inclusive practices at all times and in all aspects of her work.”
80% of students who attend Centennial Elementary live in low income homes. In addition to this, there are many students who struggle with a variety of challenges, which, due to their personal circumstances, do not receive the proper diagnosis. Many of the school’s population are also transient and it is common for these new students to arrive at the school without any information regarding their needs and abilities.
This may seem rather daunting to any teacher, but not to Monique Hughes. She is the first person to great each new student. She ensures that she, along with administration, and the classroom teacher are quickly and fully aware of the child’s academic and social aptitude and she moves quickly to develop a plan to ensure that the student feels secure and has success
She regularly visits their classroom and works closely with families and teachers to ensure that the student feels welcome and included.
Ms. Hughes belief that, “students must experience success to want to succeed,” is the underpinning of the learning plans that she develops for her students. She is committed to activities and programs that help ensure that all of her students are given the same opportunities to succeed. Ms. Hughes is also seen as a mentor in her field and is often invited to attend seminars to promote new initiatives and practices.
To Ms. Hughes, the development of the whole child is key to ensuring their success. It is for this that Monique Hughes was presented with the National Inclusive Education Award.