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Sinclair Laird marks Black History Month with ‘Leadership and Perseverance’ assembly

Montreal - Thursday, February 27, 2020
Students from Grade 5 and 6 classes at Sinclair Laird Elementary School in Park Extension joined four senior English Montreal School Board (EMSB) administrators February 19 at a special occasion to mark Black History Month. Under the theme of “Leadership and Perseverance,” Principal Derrek Cauchi invited Director of Human Resources Ann Watson, St. Raphael Elementary School Principal Gail Callender, James Lyng High School Vice Principal Marilyn Ramlakhan and Rosemount Technology Centre Vice Principal Joe Anne Désir to share their stories with students. They described the people and events that influenced them, what courses their lives, education and careers took them – and most impactfully, answered questions from the students in a true Q&A format.

Here are some of the messages they shared:

Gail Callender

“The power of education is what inspired me to go into teaching.”

“Knowing how to read and write – there’s power in that.”
“Why is the Ruby Bridges’ story an important part of history? Because it made the case that all children have the right to receive a quality education.”

Marilyn Ramlakhan

“My parents were unable to pursue an educational path in Trinidad. But I was passionate about school [in Montreal]. I moved along through elementary, then high school and pursued higher education. I learned French. I persevered.”

“I wanted to become a teacher because it allowed me to give back.”
“Being at James Lyng every day, I try and make a difference in a student’s life. I want to show them they can get through the barriers.”

Joe Anne Désir

« Je suis retournée aux études pour poursuivre mon développement professionnel. »

« Être capable de s’exprimer en différentes langues est une richesse. »
« Suivez votre passion. Vous avez tous et toutes la possibilité de faire une différence dans le monde, à votre façon. »

Ann Watson

“I was influenced by family members who were great leaders. Several of went to war for their country. I look at that as being so committed, and it shows empathy. This is what inspired me to work with people.”
“To show integrity, be committed and have empathy – these are things I aspire to be.”