Everyday Heroes: Carmelina Dervent, Jennifer Eaton Koch, Luke MacDonald, and Debbie Wiggans

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We are honoured to present this week’s Everyday Heroes for the 2023/24 school year.

Our everyday heroes are the epitome of compassion, devotion and care, transforming everyday tasks into extraordinary impacts.

Their subtle yet powerful actions not only elevate the experiences of colleagues but also enrich the lives of the students we proudly serve. They are more than just supportive adults or empathetic peers; they are the vibrant pulse of our educational community, profoundly touching the lives of all they encounter.

Our everyday heroes come in all forms, quietly making a difference in our schools and board offices, yet very often they overlook or downplay their own actions.

This week we are celebrating Carmelina Dervent, Jennifer Eaton Koch, Luke MacDonald, and Debbie Wiggans.

Carmelina Dervent

carmelina Carmelina is a RECE at Monsignor Leo Cleary CES. Carmelina was nominated by a colleague, who said:

“Carmelina is an incredibly dedicated RECE in our school. She constantly goes above and beyond to ensure all of our students have a faith-based educational experience within PVNC. Her patience, sense of humour, love and laughter can be seen (and heard) throughout the school at any given time. She is our Faith Ambassador, spearheads our food drives and charitable works, and lives our Catholic Faith in everything she does. Carm is always available to lend a helping hand wherever needed and is dedicated to her students. She thrives in the classroom and takes genuine pleasure when a student achieves any milestone, great or small. The students love her and always look to her for guidance and support. We are blessed to have Carm as a member of our team here at MLC.

Jennifer Eaton Koch

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Jennifer is the Board’s Religion and Family Life Learning Consultant. Jennifer was nominated by a colleague, who said:

“I first became aware of Jen when we both worked at the same high school. I was new to the school and did not know who she was or her position but that didn’t matter as whenever we passed each other in the halls or when she came into the office where I worked, she was always friendly and cheery with a warm smile. At the end of the school year, it was announced Jen was moving on to the CEC and so was I! Very kind words were used to describe her and the long list of jobs she did for the school and the students. Jen was obviously amazing. When starting our new jobs here at the CEC, it was wonderful for me to have another familiar face in the building. Jen is very busy with her new position and I’m sure her work is still amazing. But, I would like to nominate Jen for who she is as a person; her contagious cheery disposition and her ability to make you feel included and part of the group. I’m not often visible in my new role, but Jen makes sure I am included and thought of. It always brightens my day to have her pass by and offer a warm greeting. Thank you Jen, for being a bright light.”

Luke MacDonald

luke macdonald Luke is a Teacher Librarian at St. Stephen CSS. Luke was nominated by a colleague, who said:

“Mr. MacDonald is truly an exceptional teacher who embodies the qualities of an outstanding leader, coach, and cheerleader all rolled into one. As the lead teacher of the chess club and the mastermind behind various engaging games, he has demonstrated remarkable planning skills, ensuring that each activity is not only educational but also enjoyable for every student involved. His enthusiasm is contagious, creating an atmosphere of excitement and curiosity in the Learning Commons. Mr. MacDonald goes beyond traditional teaching roles by seamlessly transitioning into the role of a coach, guiding students not only academically but also personally. His ability to motivate and uplift students makes him a true cheerleader for their success. Catch him each Friday when he posts his “Freestyle Friday” on Instagram at ssroyalslc, a weekly rap to entertain our community. With a perfect blend of leadership, coaching prowess, and infectious enthusiasm, Mr. MacDonald stands out as an educator who goes above and beyond to create a positive and enriching learning environment for all students at St. Stephen.”

Debbie Wiggans

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Debbie is an EA at Notre Dame CES. Debbie was nominated by a colleague, who said:

“Debbie is always going above and beyond in her role as an EA, and in the support she offers students and staff in our school and the Board. She genuinely cares for the students at Notre Dame and is adored by all of them. She is kind and compassionate and takes the time to listen to everyone she interacts with. Students often try to invite Mrs. Wiggans to their birthday parties or ask her to come to their houses for tea parties because they can’t get enough of her. Debbie runs our school’s breakfast program and willingly shops for groceries during her own time because the program is so important to her. She can often be found at school after her shift has ended to make sure the breakfast club is ready to go, bringing the classroom bags home for washing or to prepare activities for the students she works with. In her spare time Debbie often volunteers her time to help her past colleagues in the Board and recently supervised St. Mary’s Secondary students getting volunteer hours at the Santa Claus parade. Debbie offers respite support during weekends and summers and always has a big smile on her face when describing the adventures she has. She is our school’s Everyday Hero and makes Notre Dame a better place for all of us.”


We would like to thank Carmelina, Jennifer, Luke and Debbie for their commitment to creating a culture of faith, hope and love to ensure equity and well-being at our board.