Nominator: Melanie Paquet
Nominee: Robert Heffernan
Award: 2019 Co-Curricular Impact Award
Robert Heffernan is an extraordinary physical education leader at Riverside Public School. He has been employed at Riverside for 14 years and held titles ranging from classroom teacher, prep teacher, and now phys. ed guru. He has a special and calm manner of showing great amounts of community spirit. Students, whether they are in his class or not, respond to him in a fantastic way.
Rob, also known as George or Captain Clean, enthrals students and encourages them to keep their classrooms and the school clean. Rob’s student “side-kicks” are able to spy their way into classrooms to check on cleanliness in order to eventually climb up on stage at our assembly and present the coveted Spick and Span awards. Even though this isn’t his curriculum domain, Rob is always finding new and exciting ways to develop and build relationships with both staff and students.
Rob has a certain way with all students. Kids come in from recess thrilled to have been dancing with Rob and his boombox when he is on outdoor duty. One day in March this year, a grade one student came in claiming he “was dancing his butt off out there”. On inclement weather days, Rob uses his own time to open up the gym for students so they can take part in organized play and interact with students they may not have otherwise had gym time with. He instills a sense of lifelong love of physical activity balanced with sportsmanship.
As the head of physical education, Rob courageously takes on the large task of arranging all of the details involved with planning four separate trips to Arrowhead Provincial Park for our skiers and cross country runners, all the while exuding a calm and confident sense of leadership.
Considering much of his winter activities for students involves skiing on Riverside Public School trails, he is often found on holidays or weekends with his family, properly maintaining and grooming our trails. These are the sort of things that show how Rob really cares.
Rob is a person of genuine compassion, respect, and leadership and he does this with a calm and reassuring demeanor. You can’t help but breathe better when Rob is around. And for that we thank you and congratulate you for your 2019 Co-curricular Impact Award of Excellence.