Peel board names new elementary schools for Chris Hadfield and Nelson Mandela

TORONTO, March 25, 2014 /CNW/ - At the Regular Meeting of the Board on March 25, the Peel District School Board announced the names of four new schools expected to open in fall 2014—two of which will be named after retired Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, and the late former South African president, Nelson Mandela.

"We're very excited to open four new elementary schools in Peel, and especially honoured to have two of them named for such inspirational leaders," says Janet McDougald, chair of the board. "Hadfield's achievements in space and on Earth have encouraged people to push boundaries and strive for the impossible, and Mandela's unwavering devotion to democracy, equality and learning continues to inspire around the globe. Both of their visions and influence will be reflected in all aspects of school life."

Hadfield, now retired, flew as the first Canadian mission specialist, the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit, and the only Canadian to ever leave a spacecraft and float freely in space. During his final mission, which ended in spring 2013, he gained popularity around the globe by chronicling his time aboard the space station. His tweets, photos and conversations from space inspired students around the world to learn more about space and Earth.

"Education and opportunity for young Canadians are very important to me personally, and top-notch schools are at the very centre of that," says Hadfield. "As a proud product of a Southern Ontario education, I commend the Peel board on their past excellence and their imperative to constantly improve, as evidenced by the Bring Your Own Device program. I look forward to the school's opening, and to the generations of Canadians that will learn, grow and prepare for life inside its walls."

Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and philanthropist who served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation through democracy. He passed away in December 2013, but his legacy lives on in all of us.

"Mandela's democratic vision was about making it possible to give our youth a fighting chance - that is, the opportunity to try. Education is still the foundation of this opportunity. The most basic building block that holds that foundation together is still education," says Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. "At the dawn of the 21st century, in a world where knowledge truly is power and education is the key that unlocks the gates of opportunity and success. We all have a responsibility as parents, as caregivers, as educators, as leaders and as citizens, to instil in our children the critical drive for literacy and learning so that we can give them the chance to fulfil their dreams. The Peel board is doing exactly this through its pursuit of educational excellence and the honouring of the legacy of a great statesman."

Nelson Mandela Public School will be located at 10125 Chinguacousy Rd. in Brampton, and Chris Hadfield Public School will be located at 465 Fairview Rd. in Mississauga.

The board of trustees also approved the naming of two additional elementary schools:

  • Countryside Village Public School, located at the intersection of Wardenwood Drive and Dolbyhill Drive in Brampton
  • Ross Drive Public School, located at 40 Ross Dr. in Brampton

The Peel board serves more than 153,000 students in kindergarten to grade 12. Operating 242 schools in the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, the Peel board is the largest employer in the Peel Region.

SOURCE Peel District School Board

For further information:

Media contact: Janet McDougald, Chair of the Board, 905-278-1402
Reference: Brian Woodland, Director of Communications, 905-890-1010, ext. 2812