Principal's Message

August, 2022

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 fourth 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 28 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) and a daily Core French program for our grade one, two and three learners. We also have a Primary Special Needs classroom. 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.

Our website will soon have a welcome video for the 2022-23 year that explains and outlines the safety guidelines we have put in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Face masks continue to be encouraged but are not mandatory for students or staff. We will continue to respect the choices of our families and staff with regard to mask wearing to ensure that everyone feels welcome and respected in our building. The use of hand sanitizer and regular handwashing will continue to be enforced at the school and our custodial team will ensure the school is cleaned and sanitized regularly. All classrooms, library and our gymnasium are equipped with air purifying filter units.

Each new school year often brings with it new staff. This school year we welcome back Zameela Shaw who joins our Office Administrator, Christina Gluch in the front office as our Office Administrator Assistant ensuring our students and community are well taken care of.

This school year we welcome some new staff! Edward Shammas will be joining us as both a kindergarten coverage teacher and Arts teacher to all primary classes. Edward will also be one of our Designated Occasional Teachers (DOT). We welcome Loryn Barichello who is filling a Long Term Occasional position behind Samantha Haines who will be continuing to support the learning of students attending OCV. Abeer Mousa and Maria Lee join our amazing Educational Assistant team this year! Carolyn Brooker will be one of our French kindergarten teachers and Jill Hollingsworth joins our primary team. Mrs. Arielle and Mrs. Smith (ECEs) continue their maternity leave until the New Year and we are grateful to welcome Fatema Elenezi as one of the ECEs in to replace them. Neetu Moudgil will be joining the kindergarten team as an ECE and will also support our PM EDP program. I am currently staffing the other ECE (AM EDP) position. Finally, Mark Jefferies is our acting Chief Custodian and has been working hard throughout the summer to ensure our building is clean and ready to receive our students and staff. 

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. With more restrictions around gathering being lifted, we are looking forward to more school events that bring our community together. 

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. This year, our staff will be focussing on the Safety, Regulation, Belonging, and Positivity Paths. 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 close the learning gaps that have been created during this pandemic. All staff continue to learn new and effective ways to strengthen and develop the literacy and numeracy skills of all our learners.

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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