Principal's Message

August, 2023

Welcome to General Vanier Public School!

I am honoured and privileged to have this opportunity to introduce myself and share my enthusiasm about being your school’s Principal for the fifth year. Before coming to General Vanier in September 2019, I was the Vice Principal and Acting Principal at Blossom Park Public School. The first 12 years of my 29 year education career was in Toronto (Scarborough) before moving to beautiful Ottawa in 2005. I have taught in all three divisions (primary, junior and intermediate) as well as in Special Education (LST/LRT) and as an Instructional Coach for both school boards. Being a learner and supporting the learning of others is an ongoing passion!

We are a small but mighty school with Kindergarten to grade 3 classes. We are an English only site with a bilingual Kindergarten (by-weekly schedule for two of our 3 classes) and a daily Core French program for our grade one, two and three learners. Many of our students and their families are multi-language users bringing a rich diversity to our school. At General Vanier, our students are known as ‘Soldiers of Kindness’ as we all believe it is our responsibility to spread kindness and compassion so that every person in our school feels welcomed, valued and respected.

Each new school year often brings with it new staff. This school year we welcome back Samantha Haines who joins our primary teaching team. In our main office, we welcome Basma Elshowaihdi who will be the Office Assistant with Christina Gluch our Office Administrator.

This school year we welcome some new staff! Erika Hirtle and Soheila Farazjoo join our amazing Early Childhood Educator team and Ilhan Hassan joins our Educational Assistant team. This year’s School Council executive members are Catherine Burke (Chairperson & Treasurer) and Christine Leger (Secretary). Our School Council is always looking for new members and volunteers. Elections for the executive members will take place in late September. 

I believe that student well-being and academic achievement are mutually supportive. This year, our staff will continue learning about and using the resource, The Third Path: A Relationship-Based Approach to Student Well-Being and Achievement by Dr. David Tranter.  This resource will help us to ensure all students feel safe, welcome and included. As educational researcher Alfie Kohn states, “If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” When parents and the school community work in partnership, a safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environment is created for our children. We look forward to building these strong partnerships with you to support the learning of all our students.

Our staff will be working together to implement the new Ontario Language Curriculum (grades 1-3) this year as well as continue to implement effective literacy and numeracy instructional strategies that will build a strong early learning foundation for our primary learners. Throughout the year, our staff engages in ongoing professional learning to be the best educators we can be for your children.

I continue to be so grateful for your support and look forward to either welcoming back or meeting you and your children as we work together to foster the development of respectful, caring, responsible, anti-racist and self-directed learners.


Christina Rathier

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