Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great things...

The last few weeks of school before a holiday are always crazy.  Students and teachers are frantically trying to tidy up lose ends, and all members of the school community are slightly frazzled and looking forward to a break.  This year was just like every other, and I, for one, am very pleased to now be enjoying some "down-time", and reconnecting with my wife and children.

As busy as the past few weeks have been, however, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank and congratulate all of the people who have made them enjoyable, despite the frenetic pace.  There have been several spectacular events recently, among them:

The canned food drive organized by our Student Council.
As in every year, the month of December is full of socially-responsible efforts (including our school-wide Conference Day and Seniors Brunch), and the Student Council once again championed a canned food drive.  Every C block class for four weeks, students were asked to bring in donations that would be packaged up and sent to the Richmond Food Bank to aid people less fortunate.  Once again, Burnett students gave in record numbers, this time collecting over 16,000 items which were taken to the food bank.  Way to go Breakers!

The Winter Music Concert featuring the talents of the Burnett Music Department.

The annual concert brought in standing-room-only crowds of friends and family who were entertained by the Beginner's Band, Jazz Band and Concert Band under the direction of Burnett Music teacher, Ms. Sue Freeman.  The show was superb and left all members of the audience proud of the work done by these musicians, and the music performed helped people get into the festive mood.

Santa's Breakfast, also organized by our Student Council, was yet another December event where the entire school came together from 8 AM to 9 AM on the last day of school to share some Christmas and Holiday spirit and be entertained by the Jazz Band, Glee Club and make more donations to the Food Bank.  Staff and students were treated to a delicious breakfast put on by the Student Council.  The event set a great tone for the last day of school, and got people excited about the holidays!
The Edge Project, featuring the talents of the Burnett Drama Department, was hosted by the Green Thumb Theatre company and performed at the Roundhouse Community Center.  This high-quality, professionally-produced show, featured material written and performed entirely by students.  There were four schools from around the Lower Mainland (Burnett, Alpha, Seycove and Tupper), each performing five different scenes about teenage life.  It was an important, thought-provoking show, and speaking with the students after the show, one could see how justifiably proud of themselves they were.

I also had the pleasure of observing some amazing classes, as students performed in a mock-trial in Law 12, played some wildly engaging games of Jeopardy in a couple of Socials Studies 9 and 10 classes, and all Junior PE students performed their own creative dance projects for huge audiences in the gym on the last day of school.  In each of the classes I observed, I saw students completely engaged, being creative, courageous and respectful of one another.  Everything I saw reflects very positively on our staff and students, and our entire community should be proud of what is going on in our school.

Another fantastic month, where I got to see amazingly talented people working hard to produce stunning events.  I continue to be impressed by the courage and attitudes of the young people we have the pleasure of working with.  When I look back on my teenage years, I know that I was not as socially-aware as students today, nor did I have the confidence to perform on stage in front of my peers.  Kudos to all those involved, and I wish you all a happy holiday season and best of luck for the new year.  See you in 2012!

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