The View from Vista Hills @viswrdsb

Lee McWebb and Ty Rutherford I leave very little to chance when heading off to do a presentation at a new school. Well in advance, I GoogleMap the destination and plug in the hour I'm leaving in order to estimate the travel time as accurately as possible and then build in some extra time in case of unforeseen traffic issues, etc. Then, on the day of, I connect the iPhone to Bluetooth in the rental car, fire up a podcast and let Siri talk me to my destination. That's what I did last Friday on route to a couple of school presentations in the Waterloo Region District School Board. But in the final 10 minutes of my journey to the first school I began to wonder if I had needed the digital assistance at all - everything was looking very familiar. Had I actually been to Vista Hills Public School before? No! The route was taking me right past Edna Staebler Public School, where I'd presented back in November. A right turn past the school, a left turn at the edge of the subdivision, up the hill and into the new Vista Hills community. And there is was - possibly the grooviest public school architecture I'd seen in a long time. Brand spanking new and looking like if it hadn't been a building it would have been a beautiful design for a colour printer!

The presentation went very well and the students were terrific. One of my favourite things in the presentation is when I ask if anyone knows what makes a tree green and a very small hand goes up and a little person says "chlorophyll?". Vista Hills did not disappoint! The performance pocket featured two performers playing Voyageur, student Ty Rutherford and teacher Lee McWebb. Ty worked through an instrumental version of "Dust in the Wind" and then Lee played the school song, "You Can Be a Hero", which he wrote (seems Lee has a bit of a sideline writing songs for a bunch of area schools!). He had everyone singing along and clapping along in a way that was reminiscent of the clapping in Queen's "Radio Gaga" video! It turns out that this was actually Lee's second time playing Voyageur the first being at Tony McManus' guitar retreat in Elora back in 2011!

I was proud to be able to wrap up what was a pretty great week for Vista Hills. On Monday, teacher Tania Bumstead received the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM. Congratulations Tania!

Many thanks to teachers Tina Giannopoulos and Kristin Rahian and principal Don Oberle and to all the staff and students at Vista Hills.

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