Janet Ruest

Year: 2017 – Province: British Columbia

Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Janet Ruest

Chemainus Secondary School
9947 Daniel Street
Chemainus, British Columbia V0R 1K1

Principal: Sian Peterson
School telephone: 250-246-4711
School email: chss@sd79.bc.ca
School website: chss.sd79.bc.ca

Subjects and grades taught:  Grade 9-12, Social studies, history, law

Janet Ruest is a high school teacher who fosters the growth of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, and encourages students to evaluate issues by examining the moral and ethical decisions made in the past.

Teaching approach

Board games, instant messages between historic figures, a rap with Hitler and Napoleon, This Land is Your Land rewritten from an Aboriginal perspective – students are encouraged to be creative and independent thinkers as they explore their learning. Assignments are often collaborative and develop out of student/teacher relationships.

Outstanding achievements

  • Ruest continuously brings the community into her classroom. Students interview and research war veterans, listen to stories from Aboriginal elders, members of parliament, municipal councilors and the Mayor, participate in mock parliaments, build Habitat for Humanity homes, participate in rainforest reforestation in Costa Rica and much more.
  • Students compiled a Veterans Memory Booklet based on interviews and research, which was presented to the local veterans at the Legion. The project culminated in a trip to the European battlefields, after which students recounted their own experiences at the Legion.
  • She was selected to attend the Teacher's Institute on Parliamentary Democracy, was a member of a pilot preparatory program for Chinese students considering education in Canada, travelled to the Galapagos Islands aboard Lindblad Endeavour and was responsible for contributing to the daily travel blog published by National Geographic.

Rave reviews

[Ruest] epitomizes the expression 'once a teacher, always a teacher': she sees a potential lesson plan in the most unsuspecting people and situations. (…) By providing choice and innovative assignments, Janet's students are able to work at their level, are engaged and eager to know what's next."

Colleague and parent

"Ms. Ruest's passion for history, geography and citizenship has allowed her to facilitate community partnership and a culture of citizenship opportunities. (…) Brining curriculum to life has always been a passion for Ms. Ruest."