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South Branch Music Teacher Earns Director’s Award For Merit

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A Kemptville music teacher is being recognized for her hard work and dedication to her students.

Joanne O’Connor is the latest recipient of the Upper Canada District School Board’s Winter 2021 Director’s Award for Merit – which recognizes employees who bring the best of themselves to the workplace on a regular basis.

The South Branch Elementary School teacher says it’s an honour to be recognized by the board.

“In the midst of some disappointments, and trying to keep kids engaged, finding out about this award was a lovely brightspot, and it’s been a wonderful boost,” O’Connor said. 

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When it comes to teaching music through COVID-19, O’Connor got creative while bringing her music program to the students. 

Her program caters to the needs of her students and quickly provides uplifting and caring feedback to help kids feel as if they are part of the school atmosphere.

O’Connor says she knows every student’s name and she strives to ensure they all have a reason to believe in themselves. 

While it’s been an adjustment to teach classes remotely, she says seeing the smiling faces of all her kids every day is what makes it all worthwhile. 

“Even when we’ve just been on screen together, I’ve been so heartened to see how excited they are to come to music class,” O’Connor said. “Those are the things you hold onto when it’s really difficult, so I feel very lucky.” 

O’Connor says she feels very lucky to be in a school that’s been well-supported all through the pandemic.

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