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Posted: September 20, 2012

School District 5 has reason to celebrate

On September 11 School District 5 (SD5) began its first board meeting of the 2012/2013 school year with an awards ceremony to recognize a number of SD5 staff.

Board chair, Trustee Frank Lento (pictured above), began the proceedings by warmly welcoming new Superintendent Bendina Miller to the district, and congratulating her on receiving the 2012 Governor General’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne, the Diamond Jubilee Medal honours the significant contributions and achievements of recipients across the country.

Miller received the distinguished medal for her inspiring work, and leadership toward inclusive education for people with intellectual disabilities –a cause with which she’s been involved since 1968.

Frank Geitz receives his Diamond Jubilee Medal from MP David Wilks

Lento also recognized SD5 recipients Frank Geitz, a science teacher at Fernie Secondary School and retired Fernie teacher Mary Menduk.

Geitz is founder of the Fernie Judo Club and organizes the annual Fernie Judo Tournament. In addition Geitz is a founding member of the Fernie Mountain Bike Club, which has been instrumental in the construction of numerous trails and in establishing Fernie as a preeminent mountain biking destination in Western Canada.

Menduk is a leader in the visual and literary arts community in Fernie and an accomplished writer and poet. An advocate of healthy, balanced communities, Menduk remains actively engaged in her community.

Mary Menduk, centre, with City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano and MP Wilks

Trustee Chris Johns pointed out that board chair Lento had also received the prestigious medal.

“We’re not sure whether Frank received the medal for his countless contributions to hockey in this country or for the incredible work he’s done building playgrounds throughout the Elk Valley. Probably both,” he suggested.

Johns says the board couldn’t be more proud. “These are humble people. They spend their lives dedicated to improving the lives of others. That’s what makes them such great leaders in our district and we’re fortunate to have them.”

Lento and Miller were gracious in accepting the recognition, pointing out that the Diamond Jubilee Medal also belongs to countless others of equal dedication with whom they’ve worked alongside over the years.


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