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2020 Honoured Educators

Posted on 07/12/2020
This is the image for the news article titled MARCELLA MORRISEAU

Mrs. Morisseau was born and raised in Medicine Hat where she attended Elm Street Elementary School, Crestwood Elementary School and Alexandra School.  She graduated in 1979 from Medicine Hat High School.  She would begin her post-secondary education at Medicine Hat College for two years then transferred to the University of Lethbridge where she completed her Bachelor of Education Degree in 1983.  Mrs. Morisseau would start her teaching career in 1983 as a substitute teacher for Medicine Hat School District 76.  In September of 1985 she began her first teaching assignment at Elm Street Elementary School teaching a grade 4/5 class.  She would remain at Elm Street Elementary School for the next 5 years.  Following her time at Elm she would move on for 1 year at Central Park Elementary School, and Montreal Street School for the next 5 years.  Mrs. Morisseau’s remaining years of teaching were at Southview School where she taught for 23 years until her retirement. 

Mrs. Morisseau attributes a variety of individuals as having a significant influence in both her personal and professional life.  Her mother and grandmother were strong women who would leave an indelible mark on her as she was growing up and she views them as her first educators through her home and church.  Mrs. Morisseau was a constant learner who took on the ideas and beliefs of others to guide her teaching practice.  Her classrooms were grounded in the idea that students required consistency and structure, so students clearly understood what was going to happen, why it was going to happen and what would be achieved because of it happening.  Correcting student behavior was about consequences not punishment. She also believed that all children have dignity and worth and they have 4 universal needs and values – belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. It was these ideas and others the led to her foundational idea that a teacher must connect to the whole child, and to treat them as she would treat her own children.  In the end establishing meaningful relationships with her children and families to build trust would ultimately provide her students with the supports they would need for success.    

Mrs. Morisseau’s teaching practice reflected several principles that would guide her in her classroom.  She would say that, “Every child can learn; therefore, I have high expectations for them to do their best. Every child can succeed. It was my job to figure out what they need to succeed and try to give it to them.  I need to be on their journey to take them from where they are starting from, build on their strengths, and move them forward. We need to celebrate their strengths and their struggles.” 

Looking back at her career highlights she fondly reflects on working with colleagues on various projects, attending the school district Summer Academy, attending the Summer Institute for Elementary Teachers in Ottawa, and “being a classroom teacher!” She was also an active teacher outside the classroom serving as an ATA representative for most of her career, being a member of the Early Childhood Education Council as well as an active community member in the Lutheran Church’s various groups and choirs. She was also a soccer, hockey, volleyball, basketball, badminton and lacrosse mom.  Today Mrs. Morisseau enjoys her retirement reading, baking, gardening, traveling and mostly spending time with her husband, mother and enjoying her grandchildren.

A meaningful quote for Mrs. Morisseau comes from Maya Angelou “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better do better.  I expect that from myself and my students. To me it means work hard, be a lifelong learner, try new things, not everything new is better, and don’t give up.”  Mrs. Morisseau was a teacher who was a continuous learner, always evolving her practice as she learned more about learning and the art of teaching.  This quality would stay with her right up to the last day of teaching as she retired.  Medicine Hat Public School Division is very pleased and proud to recognize Mrs. Marcella Morisseau as one of our 2020 honoured educators of our school division.



PAT GRISONICH

Mr. Pat Grisonich graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1985.  He continued his formal education completing a Master’s Degree in Arts and Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2006.  Mr. Grisonich began his teaching career in 1985 at Saint Thomas Aquinas Elementary School.  From there he would go to Saint Mary’s Junior High School where he served as a Vice Principal and school counsellor.  He then moved on to McCoy High School as a Vice Principal and in 2007 he would join Medicine Hat School District 76 as a Vice Principal at Crescent Heights High School.  In 2013 Mr. Grisonich became the Principal at Crescent Heights High School until his retirement in 2017. 

Fostering and building powerfully positive relationships has been the foundation of Mr. Grisonich’s personal and professional life.  Through those relationships with his family, friends and colleagues, Mr. Grisonich has left a legacy in the many lives he has touched.  He would say that many people have had a significant impact on his personal and professional life including his parents, brothers who are both educators, administrators in the Medicine Hat Catholic School District, and his teacher colleagues and administrative team at Crescent Heights High School.

Mr. Grisonich’s school leadership reflected an undying commitment to provide the best possible learning environment for all students both socially and academically.  He believed that the power of relationships is the single most important influence he and all educators have to positively impact students’ school lives and their lives outside of school.  That is reflected in his commitment to ensuring that every person, student, parent, community or staff member who entered the doors of his school would be welcomed because they sincerely mattered to him and all his staff.  His strong commitment to relationships is based on a sense of optimism that no matter the challenge, solutions could be mutually found to support all members of his school community.  For him it is all about partnerships with parents and community to make the school a better place.

Mr. Grisonich believed that school should be the second greatest place for students to be, second to home and family. It should be a place of community, where students experience success both inside and outside the classroom.  While academic achievement is of upmost importance, so too are the many opportunities for students to explore their many talents in various ways that serve to inspire and build a community within a school. Mr. Grisonich was an energetic and passionate supporter of the arts, sports, clubs and student leadership within his school.

Some of the highlights of his career included student graduation; a special time marking student achievement and a significant transition for both students and their families. He also enthusiastically led and supported Blue Day at Crescent Heights High School, another example of his leadership building community.  The opportunity for Crescent Heights High School to host the athlete villages for the Alberta Winter Games and the Alberta Special Olympics was also a high point in his efforts to be connected to the broader school community.  His most significant highlight was the individuals he worked with, his brothers as educators, his dedicated teachers and staff and administrative colleagues in his schools and throughout the school division.

Mr. Grisonich’s retirement continues to be a busy time.  He accepted a new challenge taking on a position at Medicine Hat High School as a welding instructor until June 2020.  He continues to be actively involved in various community projects and plans to continue with a role in education in some capacity.  He also is taking time to do some travelling and camping with his wife Kristin and spend lots of time with his dad and family. 

Mr. Grisonich is described as a person with constant energy, a positive approach to life, who is supportive, loyal, a dedicated teacher and administrator, with a passionate commitment to service for others. Medicine Hat Public School Division is very pleased and proud to recognize Mr. Pat Grisonich as one of our 2020 honoured educators of our school division.

 
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