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For Immediate Release
Thursday June 23, 2022 |10:00 a.m. | Windsor and Essex County

The Windsor-Essex Country Health Unit (WECHU) is excited to celebrate École secondaire catholique l'Essor for achieving Gold status in the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) Healthy Schools Certification Program for the 2021/2022 school year. This certification process recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community.

During the 2021/2022 school year, 252 schools across Ontario participated in OPHEA’s 4-Step Healthy Schools Process to work towards a Bronze, Silver, or Gold level of certification. École secondaire catholique l'Essor from the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence were honoured with receiving the OPHEA Gold Status certification, and were the sole recipient of certification within our region for the 2021/2022 school year. 

Photo of L'Essor staff being presented with the Gold Status OPHEA certification

From left to right:

Mark Couture, Conrad McCall, Grant Rivard, Kelly Lawrenson, Geneviève Chevalier

Under the direction of Vice Principal Grant Rivard, the school formed the OPHEA Healthy Schools Certification Committee. This group consisted of staff and students from Student Council, the school paper, l’Envol, and clubs Allions l’Essor,, as well as the History & Environment groups. Their primary focus was the topic of mental health. This focus allowed the school to highlight existing supports for students, and engaged students in mental health initiatives by hosting school presentations, participating in the #JeSuisÀTonCôté campaign, and creating gratitude and positive affirmation murals, just to list a few.

“Mental health needs have increased during the pandemic. Students need to be equipped with stress management strategies and know the organizations that are there to support them in times of difficulty and crisis” said Vice Principal Grant Rivard. "We are proud to receive gold certification and the recognition for continued efforts in the development of the wellbeing of all of our students."   

The WECHU recognized this achievement of École secondaire catholique l'Essor with a commemorative plaque. The school’s commitment and dedication to promoting a healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of building a broader healthy community.

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