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Area principal honoured
Riffou can attest to Mr. C's ability to connect on a personal level, not just with the students but also with his staff.
to them eye to eye. He's very much a teacher in all that he does."
"Mr. C," as the staff and kids call him, has made big contributions to his school. He regularly offers help to staff with such mundane tasks as creating powerpoint presentations or cooking, and is an active spiritual leader, preparing liturgy and prayer celebrations and networking with the community's church leader so that kids can get consistent messages about faith and education from the major influences in their lives their school, and their church.
Calcafuoco says the reward comes when the time, energy, and nurturing that was invested comes back later, a reminder of a positive connection or a good influence in a young person's life.
"Kids are so involved with different things, there's so much going on around them. As an instructor you just need to be aware of the whole person, not just educating them with the facts and figures but really getting to know who they are and how to move forward in life."
And he's made Our Lady of Mount Carmel feel more like a tight knit community than strictly an institution of learning.
He helped 20 odd students scan 12 photos each so that they could make calendars for their parents, recalls Riffou. And he's set up a wall of fame for students to display their works of art.
"Their model then was, 'Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge,'" says Calcafuoco. "And that really stuck with me. Before you even begin, you have to have goodness, you Nike Sneakers Black have to know why you're doing things for people, and that model has stuck through my years."
He helped reintroduce the Rainbows program for grieving children at the school and was also involved with bringing in the Roots of Empathy program, which involves teachers and students in discussions about the values of empathy and compassion.
With a career spanning nearly three decades, Calcafuoco has had plenty of life and professional experience to lend him knowledge in his job as principal.
This ability to really listen is even more necessary in an age of distraction and a world that moves by so much faster.
"I think the most import thing nowadays is to be able to listen, to really listen. Sometimes we take that for granted. It's not until we stop listen and share with each other that we come to understand that person more.
"I think very much we don't feel the push so much as guidance. We're not pushed as staff, more of a sense of, 'Come along with me.' We're guided through our work, and that's very helpful. It makes for a very pleasant learning environment."
could be anything sharing a good moment, sharing a particular time in their life where they're troubled or confused."
The little things make a big difference when it comes to interacting with young people, and Calcafuoco makes time for the little things.
Ciro Calcafuoco, who has been principal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Amherstview for four years, was bestowed the award after being nominated by several of his staff, including teacher Lucy Riffou.
Riffou says Calcafuoco has done all of these.
But he says that he continues to return to a saying he learned when he was going to high school at St. Mary's College in Sault Saint Marie.
The Contribution to Catholic Education Award is meant to recognize those who have made significant and visible contributions to the school system, to staff, and to students.
"If you can leave a mark there for kids and know that maybe down the road whatever you said or did for them may help them, that's the beauty of education. We're all lifelong learners, that's the joy that I get out of teaching and being in this profession."
"The kids feel it, everybody feels it. He does so much more than sit at the office at the front of the school."
"We really have a sense of belonging," says Riffou. "He's really developed a sense of community among ourselves and in the community at large."
are the wonderful things. Years go by you get students coming back and thanking you for things you may have forgotten, but they haven't," says Calcafuoco.
"I think it all started after an assembly, and Mr. C said 'You guys are awesome.' A little fellow in Junior Kindergarten said, 'So are you, Mr. C!' and that just got us thinking wow, we really should nominate him," says Riffou. "We heard there was this opportunity, so we got together and brainstormed all these special things big and small that he has done for us."
With a basis of goodness comes Calcafuoco's desire to connect with the people he works with, and the youth he guides through his job.
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