Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
The following is the award citation for Danielle Hourigan who received a 2011 graduate student Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal at Spring Convocation in June 2011.
Danielle Hourigan leads by example, applying her positive spirit, love for learning, sound judgment, humility and above all, enviable energy, to everything she undertakes.
She was able to complete her Master’s of Education, while continuing to fulfill her extensive teaching and administrative duties at Hillfield Strathallan College in Hamilton.
Hillfield’s Director of Academics, Brenda Zwolak, describes Danielle as a gifted teacher who reaches “each child by listening to their interests, skillfully observing their engagement with work, guiding them to new challenges and supporting their talents.”
Her enthusiasm spills over to a range of other duties including serving as School Life Coordinator of the Montessori school, and being responsible for Hillfield Strathallen’s Summer Camps — a program that creates innovative leadership training for 20 senior student volunteers and paid counselors.
On top of that, Danielle contributes to the life of the College in many other ways. She coaches basketball and soccer. She also leads the production of the college’s major musical productions.
In the wider community context, Danielle has served as a volunteer consultant with the Canadian Council of Montessori Educators, and spearheaded many local and global fundraising campaigns in support of the United Way, the Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Olive Branch.
Her major research project applied the study of Learning Organization theory to the Montessori teacher experience, providing an innovative approach to address the educator’s role in their community.
As her referees observe, juggling workplace needs, personal and family commitments and dedication to life-long learning and personal development is very challenging. Danielle has managed this but emphasizes her family’s role in her success: they have reinforced in her the importance of a life guided by courage, caring, pride and integrity — and leading by example.
Please join me in congratulating Danielle for being recognized with this very special honour.