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Photo of Andrea Paetkau
Welcome to Sprucedale Public School, home of the Sabrecats.
 
Sprucedale is a part of the Avon Maitland District School Board. We have just under two hundred students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. We are located in the hamlet of Shakespeare in Perth East. About half of our students walk to school from the adjacent neighbourhoods and the other half take the bus from the surrounding countryside.
 
At Sprucedale, we value character development, strong academic expectations and offer a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. We want each and every student to reach their potential and to find opportunities to explore their varied interests.
 
Principal Message,
 
It is a privilege to join this outstanding school. Mr. Rauser beamed with pride as he talked with me about the students, the parents/guardians and the staff at Sprucedale when I visited the school last week.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of this supportive school community. I know that it will be hard for everyone to see Mr. Rauser move on to a new school after five years, but I hope we will get to know each other well and form a strong relationship built on trust. Thanks to Mr. Rauser’s leadership and his focus on relationships, it seems we have a strong foundation on which to build!
 
A little about me...I have been with AMDSB for 14 years as a school leader and have worked in schools in both counties. I was away for a two year sabbatical in Brazil where I worked at a school until June 2020. Prior to that, I was at Central Perth Elementary School for five years. I grew up in Woodstock, went to school in Toronto and lived there for almost 20 years. I returned to this area in 2004 and have made Stratford my permanent home since. My husband and I are outdoor enthusiasts who like to travel and spend time with our four children. I love this region and very much enjoy working for this board. I have a passion for working with students with Special Education needs. I also enjoy supporting inquiry based learning. I believe the best way to engage students is to find ways to value and integrate their interests in the learning process.
 
After the past five months as principal at Avon Maitland Remote Learning School, I have had only virtual contact with parents, staff, and students, so coming to Sprucedale will be very refreshing (once this stint of online learning ends). The great thing about arriving when the staff and students are online is that I can offer what I have learned over the past several months while I have overseen students learn exclusively in a remote environment. Although nothing can replace in person learning, virtual learning can be rich and engaging. It takes creativity and a lot of persistence on the part of educators, students and families, but it can definitely be done. I will be working with staff to promote best practices for teaching and learning while we are learning online and I will be visiting classrooms frequently to start connecting with the school community.
 
I do hope that we will all get a chance to meet in person very soon. It may take several more months before things are back to normal like the pre-pandemic days where we could welcome families in the school, but until then, I do hope we can connect over the phone, by email, on Google Meets or at the upcoming virtual School Council meetings. 
 
Kind regards,
 
Andrea Paetkau