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Bud Halpin

From left, SDSS Principal Melissa McEwen, students Bailey Bissonette, Caleb Stewardson, Conlan Kriza, teacher Bud Halpin, students Desmond Imeson, Walker McNabb, and OYAP Coordinator/Facilitator Dave Barrett.

In recognition of their outstanding mentorship to local students enrolled in the skilled trades, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is pleased to announce the 2018 Barbara Wright Award winners.

In a Bluewater District School Board media release, this annual honour is named after former OYAP Coordinator and Facilitator Barbara Wright, a longtime advocate and passionate supporter of skilled trades related programs for students in Bruce and Grey counties.

Two recipients are determined by a selection panel of education and community partners, who review nominations received from students, staff, and other stakeholders in the categories of Mentor in Education and Mentor from the Community. Nominations reflect the extent to which the mentors have provided sponsorship, encouragement, and support for apprenticeship and the development of local students in the skilled trades.

The 2018 Mentor in Education has been awarded to Bud Halpin, Construction Technology Teacher at Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) in Port Elgin. For several years, Halpin has provided students with opportunities to participate in an off-site construction program allowing them to immerse themselves in the trades in collaboration with various community partners. Student build projects have included a workshop at the Southampton Cemetery, pavilions at Fairy Lake and Coulter Park, an outside classroom at École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School, a school house at Grey Roots Museum and Archives, accessible beach boardwalks, and a Habitat for Humanity project. Halpin has also developed a Specialist High Skills Major program for SDSS in Construction.

By instilling a growth mindset in his students, they are empowered to believe in themselves and develop the confidence to persevere and do their best. His class motto is: Safety, Education and Community.

The 2018 Mentor from the Community has been awarded to Richard LeBlanc of Dunn’s Electric in Owen Sound.

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