|"Find Your Voice And Inspire
Others To Find Theirs"
Steven R. Coven, Author of The 8th Habit
In his new book, The 8th Habit, Author
Steven R. Covey, widely acclaimed for his best selling book, The
7 Habits of Highly Effective People, states that "Voice is
your unique personal significance - significance that is revealed as
we face our greatest challenges and which makes us equal to them.
When you engage in work that taps your talent and fuels your passion
- that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by
conscience to meet - therein lies your voice, your calling, your
This article is in recognition of the
tremendous contribution that the Northern Ontario Council of
Teachers of English have made over the years by inspiring young
students to express their ideas through poetry. Congratulations to
NOCTE and best of luck to all current educators as they
"inspire others to find their voice".
ARE THE ONLY FORM OF IMMORTALITY THAT WE CAN BE SURE OF"
The anthology which is shown above, published in
2004, is a compilation of student poetry published in Northern
Lights from 1970 to 2003. Each year the best poems submitted
from thousands of students throughout the north were published
in previous editions of Northern Lights. This last edition
contains examples of winning verses from all of those previous
In her epilogue to the final edition, Eve Kendel, the NOCTE
Chair and Coordinating Editor of Northern Lights Final
"To read poetry is thoroughly entertaining, a special
delight, a rewarding experience. The perusal of this text
brings forth humorous, nostalgic, lifetime remembrances. May
it stir readers to write their own feelings and emotions.
There are no good-byes. Poetry will continue to affirm the
human spirit in words that show individuality and yet. prove
that all humanity is connected.
NOCTE is proud and delighted to preserve for future
generations the wit and wisdom of writers who have so well
caught the spirit of Northern Ontario."
On behalf of the Northern Ontario Council of Teachers of
English, Eve Kendel also wanted to express her extreme
gratitude to the Retired Teachers of Ontario Project - Service
to Others Committee for providing a grant which was used to help publish this final edition of
Northern Lights.Without their support, this beautiful
anthology would not have been possible. The books that were
printed were donated to all participating schools, to public
libraries, to senior homes, patrons, etc. The remaining books
are being sold to cover the final expenses.
Kendel passed away in August 2007. This site is a
testament to the tremendous contribution she made to
BRIEF HISTORY OF NORTHERN LIGHTS
Anthology of Student Poetry
In 1969, several teachers of English toyed with the
notion that student writing required a vehicle for communication of
such to a larger market than the classroom teacher. Hence, a number
of "pioneers", namely Don Scott, Bernie Fleming, Sister
Maris-Stella, Peter Evans and the Riddles, formed the Northern
Ontario Council of Teachers of English. One of the Council's initial
objectives was to develop an anthology of student poetry...Northern
Below you will find a group photo taken during one
of the meetings of NOCTE.
Poetry was accepted from any student from across
Northern Ontario. The first anthology was published in 1970 and 15 poems were
Since it's humble beginnings, until the 34th and
last edition was published in 2003, the area was enlarged to include
poems from students as far west as Sault Ste Marie, north to Timmins,
and east to North Bay. There are eight categories, from class poems
to senior high school student poetry. Each school was invited to
submit its best poems each year prior to the mid-winter break.
Following two days of judging, the final poems in each category are
put into print.
The poets who appear in print were recognized at a
special presentation "Poetry Showcase". They were each
asked to read their poems and were presented with a copy of the
anthology along with a certificate of recognition. The poets who
excelled in each category were also presented with a trophy.
According to Sister Maris-Stella, President of the
Ontario Council of Teachers of English, Midnorthern District, in her
preface to the first edition of Northern Lights, "One of the
principal objectives in sponsoring this contest was to give tangible
indication of our concern and interest in creativity in English for
all students across the K-13 and post-secondary spectrum. We hoped the contest would
give "grass roots" support to both teachers and their
students in the fostering of creative expression. Another purpose is
to promote interest on the part of teachers in the work that NOCTE
is trying to do. A poetry contest might be the most effective way of
bringing NOCTE and its potential use as an organization to the
attention of educators in Northern Ontario."
Over the years, the strong
support from the School Boards, the Principals, Teachers, Patrons,
Parents and especially the talented Students helped create a most
memorable experience. RTO/ERO District 4 also lent a helping
hand. Sincere thanks are extended to all concerned.
|From the very first
||To the very last
Brian Giffen, Age 10
Alexander Public School, Sudbury
Sean Sullivan, O.A.C.
St. Charles College, Sudbury
A flutter of a bat's wings
Breaks the eerie stillness of the forest.
The soft padding of paws
Upon the cool forest floor
Echoes through the silent darkness.
The sharp stare and glimmer of golden owl eyes
Pierce the beckoning darkness.
They seem to say
"We are supreme, this is our domain."
Any unwary traveller would be terrified
With the surroundings.
The trees rule supreme.
The forest awakens.
Day has come.
Deep within me
Under the smiles,
Rests the silent emotion.
Rarely rearing its head,
Repressed deep within my heart,
Bubbling up periodically
And brutally smashed down.
A tiny flame burning
Around the heart,
Tightening like a vise:
The silent emotion.
The loneliness and pain,
Grieving for my fallen brother.
If only he could've flown.
SISTER MARIS STELLA AWARD
|The recipients of the Sister Maris Stella Award
for 2004 are shown in the above photo. From the left: Doreen Bertrand, Eve
Kendel, and Cy Power.
The Sister Maris Stella Award is given...
- in recognition of the responsible and influential role that school
teachers perform in encouraging students to write and appreciate
poetry as a creative art form;
- to honour those school teachers who, through their leadership and
sustained effort, have made an outstanding contribution towards the
encouragement of poetry writing by the students throughout Northern
- to stimulate interest in planning, implementing, and supporting high
quality programs in the English language which are essential to an
effective educational program.
|Eve Kendel presents a copy of the final edition
of Northern Lights to Mayor John Rodriguez.
|Above, Eve Kendel receives her Sister
Maris Stella Award from Michael Barry.
Below, the group of members of the NOCTE gather during the Christmas
Dinner celebrations to share memories of over 34 years of promoting poetry
writing among young students in Northern Ontario. From the left: Ann Dube,
John Kovalchuk, Eve Kendel, Dr. Laurence Steven, and Mayor John Rodriguez.