Sherry Gambin-Walsh – Provincial Inclusion Consultant for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living
On May 2010, I had the pleasure of presenting the Newfoundland and Labrador Inclusive Education award to Mr. Luke Neville, a very humble Phys Ed teacher from St. Peter’s Junior High in Mount Pearl.
As a mother of a 14 year old boy with autism, it was a remarkable moment for me personally. Inclusive Education is about how we develop our learning environments—schools, classrooms, programs and activities –so that all students learn and participate together. It is based on the firm belief that all students have value and can best learn in regular classrooms alongside students their own age. Inclusion also means that our schools help develop positive relationships and mutual respect between all students. In February, Luke, a teacher from St. Peter’s Junior High, was nominated for the Inclusive Education award, a national award from the Canadian Association for Community Living.
To turn the concept of inclusion into reality takes a tremendous amount of effort and dedication. Mr. Neville helped showcase St. Peter’s ability to embrace the spirit of inclusion at a Volley Fest in January of this year. He was described as a remarkable coach and an inspiration to the students. A teacher, who from his internship days always looked for ways to engage those who were reluctant to participate and who constantly, modified games and activities so that all students could experience success
The National “Inclusive Education Awards” are sponsored by the Canadian Association for Community Living and Inclusive Education Canada