Hawthorne Village Ranks in the Top 25 in Canada

Yep, you heard it right. Hawthorne Village Public School has been ranked in the top 25 schools in Canada. That is an amazing achievement in itself, but for a school to be at that level in its 2nd year of operation is worth a second look. We are quite familiar with HVPS as its where Anthony has been going to school since senior kindergarten. Every expereince we’ve had with the school, the teachers, the volunteers and any events held there have been nothing short than outstanding.

This article appears in todays Milton Canadian Champion. HVPS is home to many great teachers (not that all teachers arent great!) including a teacher of the month Mrs Sheldrick.

Enjoy…and congratulations to Grant Clatworthy…the Principal of HVPS…GREAT JOB!

School ranks among top 25 in country
Melanie Hennessey

Published on Aug 17, 2007

When it comes to learning institutions in Canada, Hawthorne Village Public School gets an A.
The local school was ranked as one of the top 25 in the country in the recent edition of Today’s Parent magazine, placing in the ‘all-round cool schools’ category.

“It’s exciting,” said Hawthorne school principal Grant Clatworthy. “The most satisfying part is it indicates parents are satisfied with the school.”

The article says, “While it’s not technically an arts school, Hawthorne weaves the arts into traditional curriculum areas daily and co-curriculars are crammed into every possible time slot — whether it’s basketball at 8 a.m., Lego robotics at 10:55 a.m. or clay class at 3:30 p.m.”

It also goes on to note, “Many of the school’s language classes integrate drama or visual arts, helping kids to express their comprehension of material they’ve read.”

The story highlights the Arts Beats assemblies the school holds once a month. Clatworthy explained the assemblies give students a chance to present something they’ve been working on, such as poetry, a drama presentation or even a musical/dance number on recycling.

“It’s designed to provide an opportunity for kids to showcase the learning they’ve done through the arts,” he said. “And the kids have become really appreciative of each other’s presentations. They show a lot of respect.”

The magazine highlights the school’s “creative and industrious” teachers, “encouraging” principal and the estimated 200 parent volunteers that help make things happen.

Clatworthy emphasized that his staff works extremely hard from day to day.

“It’s really a big team effort,” he noted.

The school opened its doors in September 2005 on Bennett Boulevard with a vision of rejuvenating the arts in students’ lives. It made a point of bringing on staff members who have backgrounds in the arts.

Even the school’s design helped contribute to the arts focus, such as the specially designed music room with vaulted ceilings to allow sound to escape.

Burlington’s Alexander’s Public School also made the top 25 this year in the ‘overcoming a challenge’ category, since it had to deal with a construction delay by operating in three different schools.

Today’s Parent readers nominate the schools for consideration on the list.

Melanie Hennessey can be reached at mhennessey@miltoncanadianchampion.com.

Mrs Lesley Sheldrick Teacher of the Month

First off I got a couple of emails from some rabid Flyers fans for the post yesterday. It looks like the team DIDNT lay down, and caused a few more grey hairs to pop out of my head last night. At least the Leafs won and two more wins to go. Lets cross our fingers against the Islanders.

I wanted to publicly acknowledge Mrs Sheldrick, who is Anthony’s grade one teacher, who was given the title of Teacher of the Month by the Champion. I can speak from experience over the last two years (she taught his SK class as well the previous year) that she is an exceptional teacher. She had made an impact on Anthonys life and he loves being in her class.

One of the main things that stands out about her is when you see her in the class with the students, she treats them as “real people” and talks to them instead of talking down to them. Ive seen teachers in the past who treat the children as if they are just kids, but Lesley talks to them like equals, and pushes them to want to do better with their school work and be better people.

Congratulations on being Teacher of the Month. As many parents have said, we only wish there were more of you to go around.

Here’s the story from the Champion.

Teacher of the Month: Learning a two-way street, says Sheldrick
Hawthorne Village teacher beloved by young pupils

Grade 1 teacher Lesley Sheldrick will be the first one to tell you she learns just as much from her students as they learn from her.

“One of the key lessons I’ve learned is to be willing to try new things and that it (sometimes) takes a long time to reach our goals and that’s okay,” said the Hawthorne Village Public School teacher.

Her enthusiasm for her job is infectious, and she obviously takes it very seriously.

“I hope I raise them like their moms and dads would — to be great people,” she said.

Sheldrick was chosen the Champion’s Teacher of the Month for April after receiving an impressive nomination package from parent Kim Anderson, whose son Joshua is in Sheldrick’s class.

Along with Anderson’s complimentary letter was another letter from an appreciative parent, plus 14 letters and pictures from adoring students.

Anderson didn’t mince words in expressing her admiration for Sheldrick.


“Very few times in one’s life does a special person come in and touch the lives of so many people in so many important ways. Mrs. Sheldrick is one of those special people,” she wrote in her nomination letter. “The children are truly blessed to have such a caring, kind, thoughtful teacher who goes way above and beyond her job description.”

Joshua wrote that he likes his teacher because of the “really fun stuff” she does.

“She is very kind and caring and we all love her,” he wrote.

Fellow student Mackenzie Woods had this to say about Sheldrick: “(She) is the best teacher because when my baby sister was born she made sure I knew that I was special too.”

Keagan Flower said Sheldrick smiles a lot and reads them lots of books “so we can be smart.”

Anderson added that the teacher can often be heard saying the children she teaches are her life.

Sheldrick confirmed that to be the case, explaining she doesn’t yet have children of her own. Although she recently moved to Burlington, it wasn’t unusual when she was living in Milton to drop by unannounced at a student’s birthday party or sporting event; students at that age get excited at seeing their teacher outside of school, she said.

This year has been a great one for the class, because it’s the second year she’s taught them, moving with them from kindergarten to grade 1.

At a time when students are often rather nervous about starting all day, every day school, Sheldrick’s presence comforted them and gave them a sense of consistency, she said.

“Grade 1 can be pretty scary. They were already comfortable (with me), so it helped ease the transition,” she said.

Being with the students for two years also allowed her to form solid relationships with students’ parents, which is extremely important, she added.

Before her days at Hawthorne Village, Sheldrick taught kindergarten in Oakville for five years.

She obviously has a special love for younger children.

“There’s something magical about them,” she said of grade 1 kids, who are six and seven years old.

Teaching them so early in life is a special privilege because it sets the tone for the future, Sheldrick said, explaining if they come to love learning in grade 1, that’ll likely carry on as they head into the higher grades.

Some people mistakenly think grade 1 teachers are little more than glorified babysitters, but Sheldrick said that’s not the case. Her students learn everything from reading and writing to math and science.

“There’s a lot of content,” she said.

Despite the occasional misconception, at the end of the day Sheldrick said she knows she’s doing what she was meant to do.

“When they look into my eyes and say they get it, it’s the best feeling in the world… I just love my job.”

Stephanie Thiessen can be reached at sthiessen@miltoncanadianchampion.com.