Ryan Tootill and Janique Bigras

Ryan Tootill and Janique Bigras
Posted on 03/17/2023
Celebrating Staff LogoEvery week we celebrate SMCDSB staff members who have been recognized by a parent, student or colleague.

This week we are celebrating Ryan Tootill, a teacher at Ryan Tootill St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School. Ryan was nominated by two parents who said:

“I would like to nominate Mr. Ryan Tootill as an exceptional educator. It became apparent very quickly that he goes above and beyond for his students, showing great care for their individual needs and helping to cultivate their confidence. He is organized, creative and fun. He has had a huge impact on our son and made his Grade 1 year one to remember. Mr. Tootill clearly takes pride in his work and does all of the extras that make him so deserving of recognition.”

“I am writing this email today to recognize the exemplary contribution this teacher has made towards the learning of our children at St. Gabriel the Archangel. Mr. Tootill continuously keeps parents involved with his emails of what the kids do during the week and shares priceless pictures of classmates having fun. I have never experienced this at all. Mr. Tootill goes above and beyond with a passion for learning and educating the next generation of students.

Words cannot describe how proud I am to have Mr. Tootill as my child’s teacher, but also how much he cares to teach/educate/motivate his students.”

Janique BigrasThis week we are also celebrating Janique Bigras, a French teacher at The Good Shepherd Catholic School. Janique was nominated by two colleagues, who said:

“Janique does an amazing job of providing opportunities for French to be an integral part of our school community. For example: during our Remembrance Day assembly, all of her classes had learned the same poem and recited it together as part of the ceremony. During the Christmas concert, her classes had all learned a French carol, which they all sang to kick off the concert. Finally, during parent night she set up a French Café. With the support of other staff, Janique donated and created a delicious café full of baked goods, coffee, tea and juice. All families were welcome to visit and select a treat and drink IF they ordered in French. It was simply amazing to walk by and not only see the students showing off their French skills but also parents speaking entirely in French!

In her French classes, she has students learn through games, crafts and dramatic play. At recess, she runs various initiatives where students learn a new skill while speaking French (sewing mittens from repurposed wool, knitting and crocheting Bonhomme de Neige belts during winter carnival, making Christmas gifts for families).

This year, Janique took on her largest undertaking for our school community: the 'Eco FunDrive'. With her amazing leadership and dedication, The Good Shepherd school was able to donate 1500 pounds of goods to be reused and repurposed at Value Village.

Janique demonstrates our school motto "We at the Good Shepherd witness Christ through loving, learning and serving God" daily within her classes, the hallways, her recess activities and community building events.”

“I have been working with Janique for a little over five years. Her dedication to her students, colleagues and school is unmatched. She goes above and beyond to ensure her students remain engaged and involves them in leadership roles in social justice issues. Janique taught her classes how to knit and sew hats and mittens. All items made were then donated to a local community group.

Janique is instrumental in ensuring that French extends outside the classroom and is woven into the school fabric. Whether it be hosting a "Winter Carnival", decorating the school with artwork or preparing a song for the Christmas concert, French is always clearly represented within the school.

Janique is an incredible colleague. She is compassionate, selfless, caring and not only teaches but lives her Catholic faith each and every day. She is a role model for many of her students and an inspiration for many of her colleagues. For all you do in our community and school, we thank you.”

We would like to thank Ryan and Janique for their commitment to Catholic education at our board.