A vice-principal with the Near North District School Board is among six Canadian educators who will take part in a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Cheryl Sheffield is the vice-principal at Parry Sound High School and two years after being selected to be part of the expedition, she is finally on her way. COVID-19 put the 10-day exploratory trip on hold after Sheffield and 49 other educators from other nations were picked for the nature expedition. The group of 50 educators will join naturalists, scientists, explorers and photographers with National Geographic on what the Near North board calls the “opportunity of a lifetime.” The educators are taking part in the trip under the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship which is a professional development program for pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers. Sheffield will get to the Galapagos Islands on the National Geographic Endeavour II and is looking forward to encountering giant tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins and sea lions in their natural habitat. “I’m hoping to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and come to know more about the theory of evolution by exploring the incredible archipelago, famed for its unique flora and fauna,” Sheffield said in a news release issued by the school board. Sheffield also hopes to get a better understanding of conservation efforts to protect wild spaces and wildlife within the Galapagos region and how those efforts may be similar or align with the Georgian Bay Biosphere and other environmental efforts in the region. One of Sheffield’s goals is to inspire students, colleagues and communities with what she learns so that people care more about the planet and take action on global issues. When Sheffield gets back, she will assume a leadership role that supports National Geographic’s education initiatives for a two-year period. This means Sheffield could be involved in holding webinars, mentor other educators and also share her experiences with students and educators with the board.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget