After an already varied career in education, teacher Jill Patmore has accepted the Director of Student Services position for the Southwest Horizon School Division. Patmore received her education degree at Mayville State University in North Dakota and then moved to San Francisco where she taught in Hayward at Bret Harte Middle School for a year. From there she moved to Melita and taught there for a year, moving to Deloraine School the following year. After two years teaching in Deloraine she headed east to Carleton to take her Master of Arts in English. Then it was back to Deloraine School where she has been teaching English and sharing a Grade 7-12 Resource position with Donna McGregor for the past four years.
Patmore played an integral role in establishing a Social Justice Club at Deloraine School. “When I started teaching at Melita, I worked with Deb Leslie who was passionate about Social Justice issues. That was the year our division partnered with Plan Canada for the ”Because I am a Girl” where we raised funds to help build a school for girls. We started a Social Justice club at Melita that year to raise funds for that project. That was also the first year it was announced that WE Day (through Free the Children) was going to come to Manitoba.” So, when she came to Deloraine School she started a Social Justice Club for kids interested in going to WE Day and take part in the related follow-up activities. “I’ve always been incredibly lucky with how involved and aware our student population is at Delroaine School. Some of our presidents have been Sydney Laval, Madi Edwards, Shay Mangin and Tori Maxwell. They came with ideas, passions and leadership abilities that I have piggy backed on. They have made my job very easy and enjoyable.”
Besides teaching English, Resource and Social Justice, Patmore is passionate about volleyball and has coached the Varsity girls’ team through the years at Deloraine School. Coaching will have to take a back seat for the next few years as she takes her Masters of Education in Special Education and gets a handle on her new responsibilities and commitments as Student Services Coordinator. “This has definitely been one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I have put hundreds of hours into my volleyball program and I’m so proud of it and the girls that have gone through it. The relationships that I’ve developed through my time with volleyball have made the teaching aspect of my career enjoyable. However, I know that there are people who will step forward and take it on that will be equally passionate. The girls are committed, focused and talented. I know that whoever takes over coaching will have an incredible experience with those young ladies. I will be at every game I can attend and look forward to giving my thumb a rest from all of the clicking I do during games,” she joked. Patmore is very approachable and enjoys an excellent rapport with her students and staff. She says leaving the comfort of Deloraine School is not going to be easy. “The administration, staff and students have always supported my ideas and initiatives, even if it meant some extra work for them. And there’s been some really important initiatives into staff and student wellness, inclusion and social justice that our school has really focused on that students have bought into and supported. The staff at the school is incredibly invested in student success and I was lucky in my resource position to help facilitate their vision for how to help students achieve success.” The good news is, because of the successes at Deloraine School and the support she received, Patmore feels like she could try her ideas at the next level and support staff and students across a broader spectrum.
What exactly is Student Services? Southwest Horizon School Division defines it as such:
“Student services are staff and services provided by the school division to meet the needs of students who have exceptional learning, social/emotional, behavioural, sensory, physical, cognitive/intellectual, communication, academic or special health-care needs. They are coordinated by the [Director of] Student Services. Southwest Horizon School Division provides a variety of services for students who require special consideration over and above regular classroom programming.”
Patmore’s goals for the next few years are to develop relationships with administration, staff and students across the division as she takes on her new role of Student Services Coordinator. Another goal is to finish her Masters in Special Education. And after that? “I think the great thing about the field of education is that it is a reflection of the society we live in. It is constantly changing and adapting as we learn more. There is no year that is the same as the year before, no student the same as another. I guess my long term goal is to be receptive to those changes and continue making sure that students are receiving the best tools, lessons and skills we can give them to be successful for whatever path they choose once they graduate.”