Cathy Nevins 1997-1998
Writing my final President's message for the Crucible gives me occasion to pause and reflect on the year that has passed. 1997-1998 presented many challenges both to educators and to your STAO Executive and Board.
In November, the success of SCI-TECH 97, the annual STAO conference in Toronto, was threatened by the uncertainty of provincial turmoil. Proudly, STAO came through with a conference that was in keeping with the tradition of excellence that STAO members have come to expect. Co-chairs Kyn Barker and Ed McArthur, along with their very dedicated committee members, rose to the occasion to produce an exemplary professional- development opportunity for science and technology participants from across the province.
With the release of the Pan-Canadian Common Framework of Science Leaming Outcomesfor Grades K-12, came criticism from journalist David Frum who suggested that Canadian students were being excused from learning science content. STAO responded with a letter expressing the value of the creation of such a national vision for science education which puts an emphasis on scientific literacy.
The expected release of the Ontario Cufficulum grades 1-8, science and technology document in November was delayed, which disappointed many educators. Only in April did the document arrive in our schools.
STAO will be present and involved in training opportunities presented by the Ministry of Education. In keeping with our vision to assist and support our members, we will develop and provide workshops and sessions on the new policy document at local, regional levels as well as provincially over the next few years as the implementation phase unfolds.
STAO is involved in supporting a bid to the Ministry of Education for the Development of the Science Course menu at the secondary level. Secondary School Reform will be important for all of Ontario and STAO intends to support its members in the areas of Curriculum and Professional Development.
As I end my year as President I want to acknowledge all that STAO has given me on both a professional and personal level over the past several years. It has been my honour to serve the membership of STAO.
I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Executive and the Board of STAO for their support and friendship as I have leamed the magnitude of the role that being the President of such an organization entails. I have leamed that when the good of this organization remains the priority, clarity and focus in difficult decision-making ventures becomes less of a challenge. STAO is a solid group of individuals who, together, strive for the increased excellence of this organization.
I want to thank Brenda Kosky and Shayla Gunter at the Crucible office for their gentle reminders about deadlines for articles and their endless patience as they work alongside many to create the outstanding quality magazine we have come to expect from STAO.
Finally, my sincere thanks to our members for continuing to remain committed to the organization and to science education for o'ur students.
On behalf of your Board and Executive, I wish you a restful summer to rejuvenate and to allow yourselves time to prepare for the excitement that will be ours in science and technology education in the new school year.