Algoma District School Board approves three new student trustees for 2022-23

The Algoma District School Board has approved the appointment of three student trustees for the 2022-23 school year.

Teagan Britten from Michipicoten High School in Wawa, Ava Engel from Korah Collegiate in Sault Ste. Marie and Nevaeh Pine from White Pines, who will be the Indigenous student trustee, will step into their roles on Aug. 1.

For more information, please see the press release included below.

The Algoma District School Board (ADSB) approved the appointment of three Student Trustees for the 2022-23 school year. They are Teagan Britten from Michipicoten High School in Wawa, Ava Engel from Korah Collegiate and Nevaeh Pine from White Pines as our Indigenous Student Trustee. All appointments are effective as of Aug. 1, 2022.

Teagan Britten is a Grade 11 student at Michipicoten High School (MHS). Teagan has taken on a leadership role at her school over the past two years, despite the pandemic. She has been a pivotal member of the MHS Student Senate and was a key coordinator of the Senate-led Mental Health Week held at the school earlier this year. Teagan is involved in extra curriculars within her community of White River as a figure skater. She has also volunteered her time at events in both White River and Wawa. In addition to volunteering, she holds two part-time jobs while maintaining a strong academic standing.

In her role on Student Senate, Teagan has been focused on creating and holding events that are easy to access by students in the hopes that students will become less intimidated to show their school spirit. Teagan believes she has seen a positive change this year and that students have become more comfortable participating in events like Box Sled Races and the Mascot Shuffle for the BonSoo Olympics.

Teagan would also like to focus her efforts on helping to address student stress levels. She recognizes that many students can be overwhelmed especially with the challenges of both on-line learning and the return to in-person learning. She hopes to focus on initiatives that take student well-being into consideration, much like the Mental Health week she helped to coordinate. She also hopes to use her voice to advocate for additional course options to be added to her school so students can have a broader choice of in-person classes.

Ava Engel is currently a Grade 11 student at Korah C&VS where she is involved in the school’s Basketball and Curling teams, Colts Cabinet, Korah Ambassador, and Student Senate. As a Student Senator, Ava represents other students’ interests and opinions at planning sessions. She volunteers to lead school wide events, coordinates and delivers prizes, develops and leads theme weeks, mentors younger aspiring student leaders and has been a student leader herself, speaking to parents and potential Korah students during grade level assemblies and open houses. Ava encourages younger students to get involved in community activities. She is a great contributor to the Colts Closet and Colts Cupboard in keeping it organized and supplied for her peers.

Ava has shown great initiative and creativity in supporting both staff and student wellbeing, promoting positive school culture, and focusing on the morale of all during these unprecedented times. She has been the student-lead on several Korah Kindness initiatives and is organizing a “Sunshine Cart” to spread kindness out of the blue to staff and students. She is quickly becoming someone Korah staff turn to in leading various events or activities.

Ava has identified three priority areas of focus that she would like to build on during her time as a Student Trustee, including mental wellness, improved access to supportive materials available through school sponsored benevolent programs, and improved school/community involvement.

Nevaeh Pine is currently a Grade 10 student at White Pines C&VS and is a member of Garden River First Nation. She served as Vice Chair of the ADSB Northern Indigenous Youth Council (NIYC) for the 21/22 school year and will be the ADSB Indigenous Student Trustee and NIYC Chair for the 22/23 school year.

Nevaeh is passionate about human rights and raising awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWAG) of Canada. In 2019, Nevaeh’s oral on this topic earned her first-place honors at the Provincial level of the Royal Canadian Legion’s public speaking competition. She has been a guest speaker for various audiences including Anishinabek Police Services, Sault College and Algoma University. She has been asked to speak about cultural awareness and the importance of the Jingle Dress at Garden River First Nation events and at the Passport to Unity event. Nevaeh represented ADSB by writing and presenting a speech on Racism for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

Nevaeh has been an active part of White Pines’ Student Senate and has been responsible for writing funding proposals for initiatives such as The Clawset (a community clothing donation room). She helped to organize a day-long Mental Health Workshop at the school in 2021. Her roles included contacting and introducing guest speakers, helping to organize work shop topics for students and staff and helping to design a t-shirt for the event. She continues to come up with ideas – like spirit days each Thursday – to help re-engage students in the school community. Nevaeh shared that through her experience with public speaking “…I have learned how powerful using your voice can be and the impact it can have. I believe all voices are important. I hope to inspire others to use their voice and ideas and become engaged in advocating the needs of indigenous students.”

Current Student Trustees Annika Morrison, Shail Giroux and Indigenous Student Trustee Manook Wilson will complete their terms on July 31, 2022.

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