Moves Mountains Breakfast
The Moves Mountains Breakfast originally came from Ernest Manning High School who do something very similar. I took the idea and made it suit our school and what I wanted to recognize in student achievement. I decided to name it Moves Mountains after our motto: We Move Mountains.
The Moves Mountains Breakfast celebrate students who have demonstrated exemplary qualities in compassion, leadership, citizenship, determination, or personal integrity. Each teacher chooses a student to receive this recognition because they have achieved their personal best despite obstacles that may have been in their way. What makes this tribute unique is that it goes beyond the academic or extracurricular endeavours that are more often recognized.
Each student receives a hand written letter from the teacher that nominated them and teachers must stand up in front of the entire group and explain to everyone in attendance why they chose to nominate that student.
Our daughter, was nominated to receive the Moves Mountains Award. As my husband and I sat through the breakfast this morning and listened to all of the teachers speak so passionately about their students, we couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly grateful. When we look back to her Grade 4 year in public school and remember the sad, confused, timid, shy, uncertain little girl who slid through the school year in silence, and contrast that little girl with the one of today, we are blown away!
We have so much to be grateful for…starting with meeting Mr. van der Meer the night of the open house that we attended back in 2009 [2008?]. As we wandered around the elementary school after the presentations, we peered into his classroom and found him just finishing up speaking to another family. We latched onto him and he spent a while talking to us about Rundle, what he thought Rundle could offer our daughter, why he believed Rundle worked so well, etc. I believe it was his first year at the school, and his honesty really hit home with us. He didn’t gloss over the fact that he found it intense at times, draining, frustrating–but you could also see in his face that he felt inspired by his students and that he loved his job. We went home that night and filled out the paperwork to register her at Rundle. We remember thinking “Wow, if this is the sort of teacher she will have, then let’s get her here yesterday!” We hoped she would have him as her Grade 5 teacher, but she landed instead in Mr. Bucher’s class and what a blessing that was! Mr. Bucher is an amazing, sweet, gentle teacher who made school safe and fun and interesting again…but mostly safe. I’ve used that word to describe Rundle many times. She felt safe at school and that was an unbelievable gift.
I remember visiting the school for a parent/teacher interview with Mr. Bucher and coming out of the classroom afterwards to find Mr. V. sitting on the floor in the hallway next to our daughter having a conversation. I was so touched that he would do that…and I remember that even though she was still obviously feeling very shy, she was quite enjoying her time with him.
Since then, the relationships that she has developed with all of her teachers has helped her begin to spread her wings (I guess she, like her best friend, is also wriggling her way out of her chrysalis 🙂 ) and her Dad and I can’t wait to see the beautiful butterfly she will become. She has a great deal of work ahead of her, and we’ll do everything we can here at home to help her.
We are grateful to all of her teachers [past and present]: Mr. Bucher, Mrs. Whiting, Ms. Scott, Mr. Mellor, Ms. Kopp…and we are aware that it’s not just the teachers that we see, but all of the teachers and staff at Rundle who play a role in our daughter’s education. That’s what makes the Rundle experience so powerful. We want to thank all of the them.
We could see the stress on Jason Roger’s face this morning as he announced that we had to wait for the plates to be delivered to the school. That little mishap actually fit quite well into the overall scheme of things. We’re always telling our daughter that we were not put on this Earth to be perfect. Perfect would be boring. We’re here to learn, to grow, to adapt, to evolve and to make the best of whatever is thrown our way. The breakfast was wonderful!
We’re sorry to hear that you are resigning…NOT retiring…but we wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Thank you for having the courage to put your heart and soul into making your visions for Rundle come true.
At Rundle Academy, the Moves Mountains Breakfast is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate students who have achieved their personal best despite obstacles they may have encountered. Through hard work and determination, these students truly demonstrate the personal integrity and character to achieve anything they desire in the future. By bringing these students together with their peers, teachers, parents and administration, they realize that others have noticed their accomplishments, are incredibly proud of them, and feel privileged to be a part of their lives. Upon walking into the breakfast, the overwhelming excitement and emotion is palpable and creates a contagious atmosphere that is inspiring for all involved. As a Rundle teacher, I am grateful to Terry Hoganson for bringing such a positive, encouraging event to our students.
Randy Bucher – Elementary Teacher
As a teacher who had never participated in the Moves Mountains Breakfast before, it really was a truly amazing experience. It was refreshing to hear my fellow colleagues speak passionately about students who inspired and impressed them throughout the year. Looking around at the faces of the parents, student recipients and teachers presenting, I could feel the energy, the enthusiasm and the genuine emotion that came from recognizing students who truly deserve to be acknowledged for the challenges they have overcome, and the success that they have gained through their dedication and hard work. The breakfast itself was delicious and a rare opportunity to communicate with the parents in a more relaxed atmosphere. I believe that this breakfast only encourages these deserving students to continue to ‘move mountains’ because of the direct and very personal recognition.
Shilo Coleman – Junior High Teacher
I have had the honour of being involved in the Moves Mountains Breakfast for the last 2 years. In that time, it has become the most important event that Rundle Academy hosts in a school year. Students who are not typically gifted in athletics or academics are rewarded for their work ethic, positive attitude, and caring nature. The handwritten letters that are presented to the students are a personal memento that will be treasured forever, and the speeches at the breakfast itself are very emotionally moving. Every time it happens, it rekindles my love for teaching and my drive to make a difference in the lives of students. I hope it also inspires students to achieve their goals and to know that someone notices and cares about them.
Josh Barry – Senior High Science Teacher
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