High School Teachers & E.As
Updated: May 25, 2021
E.A.- Mrs. House
On the first day of school, I remember Kyle coming through the door with a look of, “Oh my God, what have I gotten into” on his face. You could see he was sizing me up. He had been used to the same E.A. Mrs. Gould, at his elementary school for TEN YEARS. I personally knew Mrs. Gould, from working together at another school and Kyle knew my husband while he was the Caretaker for a few years at his previous school. One day I asked Kyle, “Do you think I can pass the record of the time, you and Mrs. Gould?” I smiled and said, “Nope!” Now he had to start from scratch breaking in someone new.
Kyle and I were assigned to attend a computer class. He soon learned that I knew very little about them. He used to laugh at me because I was afraid to touch the keys in case he lost all his work.
Kyle soon learned that we could get along after all. When he got over his fear of having someone new, we got along great.
I remember the O.T’s and hearing aids as he kept telling them and me that he didn’t need them and to prove his point he didn’t bring them anymore. I guess he showed us all that he didn’t really “need” them.
Every time I saw Kyle, the girls were always flocking around him with his great hairstyles and personality. He was very popular with all of the students and the ones that worked with “special needs” students to earn credits. The Special ED Department became a very busy place, all because “everybody wants to talk Kyle” and used to tease Kyle that all the “women” were there because of him.
Working with Kyle was the best part of my day. He was always happy and made everyone laugh with a big smile on his face. He could be stubborn, but then again so could I. He knew what he wanted and worked hard to achieve it.
-Sent the letter by mail before passing July 28th, 2019
R.I.P. Mrs. House 🙏
Grade Nine and Ten English Teacher- Ms. Randazzo
I had the pleasure of having Kyle in my grade nine and ten academic English classes. A true joy to teach! He was always so eager and put 110% in all of his tasks! He came to class each day with a great big smile and his laughter was infectious and like no other! No matter what Kyle was going through physically, he always kept a positive perspective!
Best of luck!
Grade Nine Geography Teacher- Mr. Raso
I remember the very first day he walked into class grade nine Geography in Room 340 I remember very well that he was on time, which is good but I thought to myself, “Oh God I have to deal with this guy for the next five months.” I called him over and said, “Is there any way possible that you can get this class-switched?” I said, go talk to Mrs. Gera- the Resource Dept Head at the time and see if I can have some other EA. Kyle you can stay, Jim nothing personal but . . .
In that semester, to start off our class we always began our class with a prayer. In addition, I would read a reflection to inspire the students and sometimes just get them reflecting on the many facets of their life. You know, things like stories from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. I would read those daily, but once a week I would deliver a special reflection. I would read to them journals written by Don Starkell, the Manitoban, who alongside his two sons Dana and Jeff canoe to South America from Winnipeg. His stories were unbelievable yet true, fascinating and as you could imagine the experience of canoeing through the Amazon hair raising. There were no motels, hotels, inns or bed and breakfasts; just the canoe and some meagre supplies. Exhausting! Needless to say, I had the students looking forward to this once a week of reflection. I can still envision Kyle, who early on sat near the front on the right-hand side, totally tuned in and getting into the stories. Anyway, throughout the journals, there was always mention of their encounters with all kinds of creatures like giant anaconda snakes, pacas and so on. I would show Kyle and the others some pictures of these animals that accompanied the journals.
One day I went off on a tangent trying to explain what these animals were like and I ended up imitating a crested newt and three-toed sloth. Try to imagine, I’m doing my best to imitate without bursting out into uncontrollable laughter. I take my hand, put it over my head with my thumb on the top of my brow and the rest of my fingers pointing up as if they were hair spikes. Then I would get the veins in my neck to stick out and at the same time flick my tongue. For added special effects I would move my eyes and my head in a slow jittery manner. I remember, Kyle seemed to have found this hysterical because I saw him snap his head back in laughter and with a smile that ran from ear to ear. It is an image that is forever etched in my memory. It wasn’t the last time Kyle would laugh uncontrollably in our class, or throughout his high school days. He has this sharp and accessible sense of humour so I’ve always felt I could say silly or sarcastic things that would make him laugh. When I think of Kyle, attached to the moments I remember is his contagious smile or his distinctive laugh.
At one point, during our grade nine Geography class I believe, Kyle made it known to me that he was playing Sledge Hockey. Periodically throughout his season, I would ask him how he and his team were doing. Kyle mentioned to me that he had an upcoming game at Chedoke Arena on Hamilton’s West Mountain. I decided that I would go and watch him play him even though he was a Leafs fan. This game was on a Saturday around lunchtime and they played either Niagara Falls, NY or Buffalo. I’m pretty sure it was the American team. I remember Kyle’s mother and Nonna were at the game and to see that support for Kyle, I thought was pretty heartwarming. I was also impressed to see how quick the game was and couldn’t believe how some of the players on both sides were whipping the puck with their wrist shots. Kyle was in the midst of all that as he played a regular shift that game. Watching from the stands and focused on Kyle, I could sense his excitement while participating; all for the love of hockey. The game didn’t go too well for Hamilton on the scoresheet and if my memory serves me well, a 5-1 loss. I was a bit concerned for Kyle after his team’s defeat to this American team. I was thinking on the way home from the game, man if the Leafs play like that tonight Kyle’s going to take a second beating in one day. Seriously, in retrospect, the outcome of that game was really not all that important to me. It may be selfish on my part, but it couldn’t have made me happier knowing that I gave a little bit of support to an unforgettable- for the right reasons and one of the most sincere individuals I have ever taught!
P.S. It is obvious that Kyle is a staunch Leaf fan but I refuse to, and will never hold that against him.
E.A.- Mrs. Stevens
Kyle, you were the first student I bonded with that I kept in touch with throughout my career. You are one of the people who inspired me to continue working in a high school setting. You were the first student I truly advocated for in a way that opposed what specialists wanted for you in regards to communication. I fought for you to have a choice and I still continue to this day to refuse to force students into doing things they are old enough not to do. It’s always important to me that you have the power to make as many choices as you can. Since working with you I have always had a passion for working with teens. Your appreciation always made me feel valued in my job. I hope I always helped you feel valued in your daily school life.
Fond Memories: When Kyle and I were leaving Religion class one day for the bus to go home. The hallways were empty. I said to him, “Kyle, nobody's looking, would you let me hop on the back of your power wheelchair and take me for a ride?” Kyle looked at me with his priceless smile and said, “Be my guest.”
I knew of Kyle when I was supplying at his elementary school. I always saw him running and playing sports in the playground with his classmates. However, I never got a chance to work with him until he came to high school. I fought to get a chance to work with Kyle.
I remember Kyle and I often waited outside of the classroom until the teacher came to open the door. Sometimes, we would wait for several minutes in the hallways and have a variety of conversations, like about hockey- we both loved and played it, and pointing out the cute ones with a nod and enormous smile on his face. Kyle often said, “I wish they could see past me in the wheelchair and see what kind of person I am.” I would say “the right girl would see you and your personality.”
We don’t speak often but I always appreciate the times we do and I remember working with you were some of my fondest memories from working at STM. Now you’re older than I was when I worked with you. I feel very honoured to be a small part of your book.
E.A.- Mrs. Langille
What I most remember about you is your SMILE. No matter what was going on in your life, the pain you would feel when you got Botox in your legs, your smile is always infectious and contagious. Everyone nicknamed you “SMILEY.” Every time I would see you, say “Hey Smiley,” your smile would shine. I know life hasn’t always been easy for you, but you never complained. This always amazes me, I talked about you at home a great deal. I told my children how amazing you were.
I first met you in your elementary school, I was just supplying at the time. I was happy when you came to St. Thomas More. I started working with you giving you your lunch. You were so easy to be around, friendly and always smiling. Sometimes you would get frustrated, but you were never in a bad mood. We spent a lot of time together as I accompanied you while you had your lunch. We would go for walks, sometimes in your wheelchair and sometimes you would walk back and forth in the halls. You spent a great deal of time with us adults.
Sometimes you would talk about girls and you wished to have a girlfriend.
I remember you inviting me to your Sledge Hockey games, myself and several other E.A’s would all go to watch you play at Chedoke. You loved it and we all loved supporting you.
Your parents and Nonna made you great lunches, I was always amazed when she made your wraps so tight and none of the food would fall out. You spoke about your family often and I remember coming to your house and we went for a walk.
Fond Memory: What stands out the most was the trick you and Mr. Friend played on me. You knew how much I hated mice. You had Mr. Friend put a plastic mouse in my tea mug in the cupboard. When I went to get it, I SCREAMED and almost threw the cup with the plastic mouse in it across the room. I couldn’t even be mad at you. What a jokester you were. You loved laughing and having a good time. I loved working with you and my fondest memories of being an E.A. are while working with you at S.T.M.
Everyone that met you loved you, we all had such a good time. I am proud to say I know you, and you may not realize but you are my hero and my inspiration.
Civic Teacher- Mr. Luvisa
Kyle, my friend, has certainly impacted my life. From the moment you entered my classroom, I marvelled at how happy and resilient you were. You never let everyday stuff get you down and knock you out, which seems to be the case with most people. When I became a Librarian the following semester, you would visit my office during your lunch and we would just enjoy our daily conversations. I enjoyed every moment and shared some good laughs!
Having said that, I also want you to know that as brave and adventurous as you are, I also think the god damn perm you had a few years back was hideous! Who does that to his hair!? But that’s what I love about you . . . you are you . . . you do what you want, no matter what the world may think!
You are the only student that I keep in touch with from high school . . . I really enjoy hearing from you and keeping in touch!
Head of Special Ed- Mrs. Gera
Well, in 99% of your cases it was to make sure you always did your best and unfortunately you had to prove to everyone how intelligent you really were and that included me but not for very long because I could see through you. I knew you had potential and I knew I had to push.
You see when I first met you in elementary school I really felt like the school was doing a lot of your work for you and they were not treating you like a “regular” student and they were letting you have lots of fun and enjoy yourself . . . and not reaching your potential. I was having a difficult time believing that some of the work was actually yours. I, on the other hand, had plans for you. I felt like you did have a lot in you to give. We only had four years to get you ready for the world!
Oh, boy was I wrong once I actually got a chance to work with you and see what a wonderful young man you were. So we pushed you! Kyle, you were a wonderful student who always worked hard. You had to prove to some of the teachers that you were intelligent enough to pass their course and you did! I was always so proud of you! I always asked my staff to challenge the students to always do their best . . . again, we only had four years to prepare you, as best as we could for life outside of school.
It’s very ironic but thanks to technology you and I were able to keep in touch all these years and be good friends. The ironic part was the fact that you were not interested in technology when you entered High School you had no use for technology because you didn’t want to be different but in actuality, it was the technology that allowed you to keep in touch with friends and make new ones. It was in technological studies that you sought a career path for yourself in your College years!
The moral of the story, listen to Mrs. Gera she knows all LOL. Perhaps “I could see the future!”
It was my job to make sure that the teachers and the E.A’s realized that you needed to be pushed in order to succeed. Just like any other student and I believe it worked. I am so proud of you today. You are such a wonderful young man and I thank you for teaching me many things and that extends to the E.A’s as well! You helped me to help others. It was always my policy to treat every child as if they were my own and you were definitely one of mine during those years that you were in my care at St. Thomas More.
You are very blessed to have such a wonderful family who is always behind you and those of us in education that believed in you!
Good luck with your book Kyle. I am so glad that we have become friends after all these years!
E.A.- Ms. Ryan
Mmmm, what comes to mind when I think of Kyle Scott? First, the most magnificent smile that literally brightens the darkest days. It was my first impression of you and I think one of your most memorable traits.
When we met, you already had established close personal relationships with many of the students, who in my opinion were the “cream of the crop.” You belonged with them and had just as much potential. As I got to know you, I learned of your wicked sense of humour and really learned what a unique young man you are! I looked forward to having classes with you and being able to assist you in stretching your mind, and reaching goals toward your future. I knew that you would never be the type of individual who hid away from the world, and I always believed the world deserves to know you. When I watched you work on AutoCAD, I saw so much potential for you!
I think we had great chemistry in the classroom. We had similar energy and both liked to smile. I think my biggest problem with you in the classroom was trying to get you to stop talking- always talking! LOL.
Fond Memory: The more I got to know Kyle, the more I had a hard time getting him to stop talking. Kyle was always talking and yet some people thought he was the quiet one. One day, Kyle kept continuing to talk and I started doing the “Austin Powers” hand puppet to say “shhh!” Kyle was trying to tell me something quietly, but I kept giving him the hand puppet. Finally, Kyle blurted out saying, “I have to go pee!”
I think all the staff had a great rapport with you. I always think of the conversations you must have heard in those years. Always listening and being around so much of us.
Honestly Kyle you are a beautiful young man. You seemed to come from a place of love, respect, and acceptance. I think the support of your family and friends made everyone work even harder for you. We could all see such value in you as an individual.
My cousin over from England and I brought him in to see you. I have always been so proud of Dan. He actually grew up in a different school from his twin in the English system then. Do you remember he would literally fall down and just get up? He was my hero. He travels on his own, has a career, wife . . . anyway I wanted him to inspire you, however, I believe he also walked away being inspired by you.
You have a very strong inner light. A warmth that draws people towards you. Your friendly, intelligent, insightful and humorous ways make you a student that will always have a place in my heart. With great respect and admiration; Good luck with your first book.
E.A.- Mrs. Cino
Every time I saw Kyle, he brought a smile to my face! I had the pleasure to work with Kyle in his grade ten Civic/Career course, and at the beginning of our journey, we hit a wall. I remember you giving me a hard time when I pushed you to work. Your S.E.R.T, Mrs. Gera had told me to push you- not to let you slack. She believed you weren’t working to the best of your ability and you were holding out on us. She knew there was more to you! She was right and I pushed you, then you complained about me! Actually tried to get me reassigned to another student. I was actually horrified that you didn’t “like” me. Once we worked things out, we got along great.
Then one day I caught you “rolling your eyes” at certain staff members who thought they were funny, but never really were! It made me laugh that you saw right through them! Right then, I knew we would be great together! I remember your sense of humour was incredible and we shared so many laughs. You pulling pranks on teachers or coming out from corridors to startle me!
When the S.E.R.T told me that you requested me to be your E.A. for the AutoCAD course, I was happy. Of course, you wanted me! Who else could put up with you and Mr. Carboni together in one room?
I remember how determined you were to learn the AutoCAD program, that I too learned it; at home, Mr. Carboni gave me a copy of the program to download on my home computer, in order to better assist you.
I remember the two of us laughing our butts off when Mr. Carboni asked, “How are you going to sit on that toilet?” after he looked at your first design.
I remember feeling so proud of all your hard work and determination to complete a task- AutoCAD or sometimes to not work at all- Science and Religion classes you would always manage to sway me into a conversation about something...then I’d realize what he was doing to me. I would say, “Hey, we’ve got work to do!!!” Kyle would always laugh.
Fond Memory: In Kyle’s graduating year, his last period of the day was GLE class. Which was basically, a class to do your homework. Because Kyle was so adamant about getting his homework during school or in a class, once period five came he barely had much homework left to do. Because Kyle and I had to speak to each other, his teacher allowed us to use a small room in the Library. When Kyle didn’t have any homework to do, we would have conversations with so many laughs. Mr. Luvisa, the Librarian, Kyle’s Civic teacher often saw us through the windows “laughing our heads” and slightly opened the door, asked, “What’s going on here?!” We would both say, “Oh nothing, just doing homework.” with a giggle on our face. Mr. Luvisa would just shake his head and laugh. Sometimes he would join us with a few laughs.
You taught me so much about overcoming obstacles and perseverance. I will never forget the day you stood up! I’m sure my mouth was on the floor! Then . . . you took a few steps . . . that was it! Tears in my eyes! The injections were working!
I loved that you were so interested in my daughter and what she was like and what she was up to. Always asking about her.
I loved watching you play Sledge Hockey and brought my family to a couple of games! Very impressive!
We became friends over your high school years, and I still consider you a friend today!
Kyle, please know that you’ve made an everlasting impression on me! I love you and the young man you’ve become!
TDJ- Technological Design Teacher- Mr. Carboni
If I were to pick two words to describe Kyle, I would say: incredible and inspiring.
Incredible because Kyle every day manages to show you that he can do something you didn’t think he could; inspiring because the light in his eyes and the will in his soul push everyone to be the best they can be.
I watched him work the computer keyboard and realized the challenges he had. Kyle showed me that he was bigger than that when he produced AutoCAD drawings and handed them in. I think my best memory came when I took my classes to the Toronto International Autoshow. There we were, in front of the school, school bus ready, students boarding and then there was Kyle. I started thinking about what would have been the best way for us to get him on the bus. While I was doing that, he got up from the wheelchair, got some help and got on the bus on his own. I was speechless! And then I remember saying to him: “I see what is going on here, you had me fooled! All this time I thought you couldn’t walk and instead, there you are!” We both had a good laugh.
This story really depicts Kyle: he does what you think he can’t do. He’s bigger, stronger, better than anybody could ever imagine!
I will always be grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to teach him.
He will always be my most inspiring student.
E.A.- Mrs. Martyres
It is an honour to be doing this for you. I am proud of all your achievements and so very happy for you. As a student at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, you always kept a happy face. Greeting everyone each morning with a big smile and such positiveness. I was given the privilege to be your Educational Assistant in a couple of classes throughout your studies at St. Thomas More High School.
Your determination and hard work were so evident throughout your years at S.T.M, that even on tough days when faced with challenges you fought through it all to accomplish your goals. That summer when I accompanied you to Mohawk College to complete your entrance Math Exam, it was an exciting and nervous time- you came out of there with flying colours and a big smile on your face!
Lunchroom Supervisor- Sharon
When I started working with you giving you your lunch, you were so easy to please. We talked about every topic you can think of. You loved making everyone laugh and played pranks on them. You have a delightful sense of humour!
When Kyle was telling me that he played Sledge Hockey, it sounded like an interesting sport. My family and I attended every home game of each season. For the most part, to cheer you on! I have watched the Sledgehammers gone from being the last team to a CHAMPIONSHIP team. I watched you steal the puck so you could score, even witnessed a few good body checks and a few goals of course!
My saying to society: They are more than meets the eye! (in other words, what you see is NOT what you get). Every person is different in some way. We are people too, we have feelings, and a beating heart. Yes, we may be in a wheelchair, communicating our own way, but we are part of society like everyone else!
S.E.R.T & GLE Teacher- Mr. Sartor
Kyle, you may be in a “wheelchair.” However, you touch so many others with your quick wit, and a devilish sense of humour and that smiling face.
You in truth Kyle you had a profound effect on me. I remember watching you in the Resource room. Always a great attitude, funny and engaging. Many of the students and staff could use the gifts you have!
You see some teachers like me suffer in silence, anxiety, depression etc. But engaging in a conversation with you helped tune down my anxiety. You see I suffer from anxiety and depression at times, as well as losing most of my sight. So I loved talking to you, joking with you and watching you thrive in this world. Your laughter upbeat way had a great effect on me. You see teachers learn from their students and I really mean that.
Don’t ever change the way you are! You’re an inspiration for all! And no I am not sending “twenty bucks, twenty bucks, twenty bucks!”
I am very proud of you as a student, a friend and a survivor!
You are a Champ!
S.E.R.T- Mr. Mombourquette
I have fond memories of you navigating your wheelchair into the S.E.R.T’s office in the special education room, to greet me- that was quite a feat in itself because the room was always crowded with people, boxes and activity! I was always very interested in hearing about your Sledge Hockey games. I remember once speaking to you about girls. You were a good looking young fellow, and always had a good eye for the opposite sex. I believe I told you to, “guard your heart.” And by that I meant, don’t get hurt entering into a relationship with a girl. You probably thought I was an old fogey, not understanding the heart of a young man. But I did! I liked you and didn’t want you to have a broken heart.
But our conversations were not simply platonic or superficial. It wasn’t just, “how are you doing or how’s the weather?” You were an honest young fellow and you opened up to me quite easily. My Catholic faith has always been important to me, and I related that to you. You were receptive to hearing about GOD. I remember once you told me that you had a beer after a Sledge Hockey game. And I chided you about that!
God Bless. . .