The community of Valley East is the fastest growing section in the City of Greater Sudbury. We are also the community with the largest average number of people per household - a statistic which is indicative of the number of children living at home. As a result, Valley East is a place where schools are being built and expanded, not closed. We have a total of 15 schools serving the population, and a large number of our youth also attend schools in Sudbury. It is a booming community largely because our schools offer some of the finest experiences in the region.

Confederation Secondary School has had a large number of articles and features on Valley East Today over the years. For More>>>>>

 Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving Group From Confederation Secondary School Is Committed to Making A Difference In The Community

Austin Powell (Grade 11)
Amanda McCutcheon (Grade 11)

Hannah Merchant (Grade 11)
Ashleigh McBain (Teacher)

The Learning Clinic Radio Show, hosted by Robert Kirwan on Laurentian University's CKLU 96.7 FM included members of the Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving Group from Confederation Secondary School as special guests on the December 21, 2009 program. Ashleigh McBain, the Teacher Supervisor of the group, brought along three students to represent the close to 40 students who have signed up to participate during the inaugural year of this important extracurricular organization. All students were in Grade 11: Austin Powell, Amanda McCutcheon and Hannah Merchant. During the show they spoke about how it was the death of three young teenagers in a tragic accident in Valley East on June 21, 2009. Steven Philippe (16) and Jazmine Houle (15),  who both attended Confederation secondary school, were walking along the side of Hwy 69N in Hanmer with their friend, Caitlin Jelley (15), when all three were killed by an impaired driver. Students at the school have shown tremendous support for the activities being organized by the OSAID group as the students try to raise awareness among community members of the need for people to be more sensible when it comes to driving while being impaired in any way. They stated that while alcohol is often the root cause of accidents where impairment is a factor, cell phones, loud passengers, medication, and a long list of other things that can reduce one's ability to focus on driving.
If you are interested in downloading the radio program to your computer, just click here to get to the archives. 
Make sure that you have the date set at 2009-12-21; the start time set at 18:00; and the duration for 120 minutes. Then all you do is click on "download" and it will be saved to your computer in an mp3 format. Then you can enjoy the interview whenever you wish. NOTE: The archives will only be available until January 19, 2010.
Ashleigh McBain and several more of the students in the group were at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre on Saturday, December 19, 2009, creating awareness among the community of the dangers of driving while impaired from any substance. 
The group was set up in the Centre Court area of the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre all day long singing Christmas Carols for shoppers and drawing attention with "Charger" who was a huge hit with the youngsters.
"Charger" even had a chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus to give them his wish list for this year. Rumour has it that he wished for a city football championship in 2010.
A second display was set up just outside Cousin Vinny's Restaurant & Bar. The owners of Cousin Vinny's have pledged support for the group all year long in an effort to promote safe driving practices among adults in the community.

The purpose of OSAID is to make students aware of the choices they make when drinking and to make responsible decisions. The students from Confederation will be raising money all year long to send representatives to a provincial conference in Toronto on the first weekend of May 2010. There they will take part in developing leadership skills and be trained in approaching peers and the community with the issues and seriousness of impaired driving.

For more information you can go the the Confederation Secondary School web site or contact Ashleigh McBain at the school during normal business hours.

Confed’s Evolutionary Band Members Are Earning Their Education

Members of the Confederation Secondary School ’s Evolutionary Band, all consider their experience with the group to be memorable and very rewarding. They get to practice and rehearse for most of the school year to prepare for a Spring Tour of concerts and trips all over the region under the direction of Band Leader and Music Instructor, Norm McIntosh. Each year there is usually a major overnight tour that is the highlight of the season.

All of these activities cost money, and it is up to each member of the band to do their individual part to help raise the necessary funds. One of the major fund-raisers of the year is a raffle which will produce eight winners of beautiful prints by Gordon Drysdale. Students, such as Hailey Chinn, above, are responsible for using their creativity and initiative to find ways of selling tickets to the general public. Hailey is one of the students who have been seen selling tickets on the prints at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre recently. Hailey, who is in her second year with Evolutionary, is a member of the crew and is responsible for the sound board. “I’m not very good at performing or being in front of an audience, but I love music and wanted to be part of the band. When I got an opportunity to be part of the crew I took it and I love every minute of my experience,” Hailey explained. Besides the lead singers and instrument players, there are a lot of people needed behind the scenes to make sure that the set is properly constructed and the sound comes out just right. The nice thing about Evolutionary is that it provides so many young people with a first hand experience in the music industry so that they have a better idea of whether or not this is the kind of career they would like to pursue after high school.

If you have a chance to purchase tickets on the Gordon Drysdale prints, or if you wish to help the band out with a donation of any size, just contact Confederation Secondary School   and ask to speak to Norm McIntosh.

Amanda Kohls Helps Spread The Message In Honour of Steven, Jazmine and Caitlin

   Amanda Kohls appears to be a typical 19 year old college student. She grew up in Valley East , attending elementary school at Redwood Acres and Pinecrest Public Schools before graduating from Bishop Alexander Carter. Now she is pursuing a career in health care and will be entering the first year of Nursing at Cambrian College in the fall. She is currently working for Shoppers Drug Mart in Hanmer.
   The recent deaths of
Steven Philippe 16, Jazmine Houle, 15, and Caitlin Jelley, 15, troubled Amanda in much the same way virtually every other member of this community was upset. Amanda shared the overwhelming feeling that enough is enough. It is time to stop the madness of drinking and driving and get the message out in the public once and for all. 

   So when Amanda approached the rest of the Shoppers Drug Mart Hanmer staff with an idea to hold a barbecue fundraiser in honour of the three teens she received their full support. She then called around and gathered donations from over 65 businesses for the penny table. Under Amanda’s leadership, the store teamed up with Action Sudbury, Citizens Against Impaired Driving and put on a tremendously successful event on Sunday, July 5, 2009 , raising over $3600 to help Action Sudbury in their efforts to promote safe driving.
   Amanda is shown in the photo with her boyfriend on the left, Johny Goulard. Stephane Leblanc, a friend of Jazmine Houle, is shown in the background cooking some of the 600 hamburgers and 300 hot dogs that were sold during the day.

   Recognizing that she is now at an age where she will be faced with enormous peer pressure to hit the bars and taverns with the college crowd, Amanda has noticed that many people in her age group are being “smart” when it comes to drinking and driving. “When people go out for an evening in groups there is always one person who volunteers to be the designated driver. This person is responsible for making sure that everyone gets home safely and that no one drives after drinking. Many of us are also taking taxis to the bars when we go out for a night on the town. I think most of us are starting to take our responsibility seriously.”

   While there are still far too many people getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when they are impaired, the message seems to be getting out, especially to the young crowd. Amanda’s mission, however, is to do whatever she can to continue to get that message across to people of all ages. The barbecue on the first weekend in July will become a regular annual event in honour of Stephen, Jasmine and Caitlin. Each year the money raised for Action Sudbury will be donated in their names. Amanda hopes that there will be a time in the not so distant future when our roads and highways will be safe again.

   Amanda and her good friend, Danielle Beaulieu, appeared on the weekly radio program, The Learning Clinic, hosted by Robert Kirwan, on July 20. Amanda and Danielle spoke at length about their feelings regarding drinking and driving. They also shared some insightful information about their own career aspirations and some of the issues they have faced in school and in life in general.  
   Amanda wished to extend her sincere appreciation to the hundreds of people who stopped by to support the barbecue and she also wanted to thank everyone who volunteered in any way to help out.


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