Everyday Heroes: Mark Joly, Tara Shepherd, and Stephen Bird

EH Banner June 2

We are honoured to present this week’s Everyday Heroes for the 2022/23 school year.

Every week we celebrate PVNC staff members who have been recognized by a parent, student or colleague as an Everyday Hero. Every school and every department in our Board has an Everyday Hero who expresses their kindness, courage and love through simple, ordinary actions that uplift the lives of the people around them and the students we serve. An Everyday Hero is a caring adult, an empathetic colleague, somebody who simply makes going to work each day worthwhile.

This week we are celebrating Mark Joly, Tara Shepherd, and Stephen Bird.

Mark Joly

Mark Joly Mark is the principal at Holy Trinity CSS. Mark was nominated by a colleague, who said:

“The nomination from Holy Trinity is our beloved Principal, Mark Joly, who inspired all staff and students to live by the great motto of our school, “Create, Love, Act.” With a combined teaching experience and leadership experience of over 31 years, he is a pillar in our community, our board, and our school. He always makes everyone feel as though they matter. Mark’s schools over his impressive tenure were not merely places of work for Mark – they were places he loved with all his heart. Mark is an everyday hero because he is an unsung hero who lives in humility. He deserves to be recognized with this award, especially as he prepares to finish his tenure as Principal and a Catholic Educator for over 31 years. Mark lives his Catholic faith by practice and leads by example. He regularly teaches our students about the concept of “intentional courtesy”, which is something Mark models on a daily basis. Mark’s wish is that everyone leaving HT this year will give thanks for the relationships they have had, the opportunities they have had to learn and grow spiritually, academically, and socially. Through example, he inspired each graduate to leave Holy Trinity with a desire to live in the light of the Gospel, to protect our Earth and to seek justice for those who lack a voice. Each morning, Mark ends the morning announcements with his tag line, “stay classy”. His legacy will live on with the many staff and students who were lucky enough to cross his path during his career.

Tara Shepherd

Tara Shepherd
Tara is an EA at St. John CES. Tara was nominated by a colleague, who said:

Tara always goes above and beyond. She is full of energy and gives a lot of her own time to develop strategies to help with students. Tara has a smile and friendly words for EVERYONE! She is always willing to lend a hand and go that extra mile. She cares deeply about each of the students she works with. She brings a vast knowledge of special education and Child Development to her role each day. We truly appreciate her efforts for our school community.

Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird
Stephen is a maintenance worker across PVNCCDSB. Stephen was nominated by a colleague, who said:

Steve Bird, aka “Birdman”, is an absolute all-star employee and is known to staff from all corners of the board as Mr. Fix-it. Steve has been dedicated to the maintenance department for over 20 years, in various roles from custodian, carpenter and most recently locksmith. Throughout his career with the Board Steve has always gone above and beyond. He is an innovator and often contributes creative ideas to complete projects.

Not only is Steve outstanding at his job he is also a wonderful person. When you see the Board van outside your school you hope it is Steve because then you know your day will be brighter. Steve has a quiet way of filling you with laughter and love with his unending jokes and infectious smile.

Without a doubt it is safe to say that Steve Bird has left his mark within our schools and the Board office, as an outstanding worker and a wonderful friend.

We would like to thank Mark, Tara, and Stephen for their commitment to creating a culture of faith, hope and love to ensure equity and well-being at our board.