Everyday Heroes: Taya Heigh, Doug Gibson, Ryan McNamara, and Kendra Morello

everyday heroes march 8

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 Taya Heigh, Doug Gibson, Ryan McNamara, and Kendra Morello.

Taya Heigh

Taya Heigh Taya is an EA at St. Paul CES in Peterborough. Taya was nominated by a colleague, who said:

Taya has been an EA for over 25 years. She has worked at many different schools and St. Paul’s is very lucky to have her employed at our school for the majority of her career. Her kindness and big heart are just two of her qualities that make her an awesome educator. She is dedicated and works very hard to assist the many children in her care everyday. She also helps other employees manage the students and is always there to lend a hand when a student is refusing to come in from recess or when a student just needs a short break out of the classroom. She is always volunteering her own time to help make our school breakfast program run smoothly. She comes to school early to assist in the kitchen daily and bakes some weekends so our students can enjoy muffins. She is very patient with the students, staff, and the school community. She serves our school with a smile on her face daily. She has made a huge difference in the lives of all her students. She makes coming to work everyday enjoyable for not only the students but the staff too. It is my pleasure to collaborate and educate our very special students, when I know I can get advice and suggestions with some of the children in our care. Taya is so deserving of the honour of being an Everyday Hero!

Doug Gibson

Doug Gibson
Doug is a Preventative Maintenance Worker for the Board. Doug was nominated by a colleague, who said:

Doug deserves recognition for his tireless efforts in maintaining our schools so that everyone has heated classrooms in winter and cool classrooms where available in the summer. Not many people see how much effort is put into continually changing the filters that help maintain clean air throughout our schools. When things break down Doug is the first person there either fixing the problem before many are either aware there is an issue or calling in contractors to make sure school and the classrooms can carry on. He is an early riser and many times is in and out of the schools before staff and students arrive for school. If your classroom was warm today, if your bathrooms and sinks worked today please thank Doug Gibson.

Ryan McNamara

Ryan McNamara Ryan is a Teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas CSS. Ryan was nominated by a colleague, who said:

“Ryan McNamara is an exceptional example of what it means to be an educator, and he demonstrates his commitment and passion each and every day through his positive interactions with both staff and students. For Ryan, teaching is not just a job – but a true calling. Ryan tirelessly dedicates his time and energy to extracurriculars, such as coaching the school’s golf team and the Senior Girls Volleyball team. As well, he brings so much laughter and joy and school spirit by dressing up as Santa every Christmas as part of our school’s “Be An Angel” fundraising – plus, it’s always a big hit with the students (and staff)! He is always willing to lend a hand when needed, and often goes above and beyond to support his colleagues. His empathy and kind nature are an asset to our school community. He has formed so many meaningful connections with students, who respond positively to his genuine and generous teaching style. He works hard to ensure his lessons are engaging and stimulating for all students. Ryan brings an authentic energy to every interaction and he is an incredibly valued member of our team. Thank you, Ryan, for all that you do!”

Kendra Morello

Kendra Morello
Kendra is a Teacher at St. Catherine CES. Kendra was nominated by a colleague, who said:

Kendra is a shining example of a hard worker and goes beyond the extra mile for her students and colleagues. She is very dedicated to her work and always achieves her goals. She is very flexible when it comes to changes to a schedule or helping someone out with duties within the school. She has built so many outstanding relationships with her students of all grades with her coaching of several sports teams (Volleyball, Baseball, Dance and the Musical). She’s very active within the community when it comes to teaching skating or volunteering at festivals. Kendra these are just some examples of why you are an everyday hero in our eyes at St. Catherine.


We would like to thank Taya, Doug, Ryan, and Kendra for their commitment to creating a culture of faith, hope and love to ensure equity and well-being at our board.