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Reader Dully Katzef would like to nominate Marc-André Thibault, music teacher at École secondaire de la Cité-des-Jeunes, teacher of the year and citizen of the year. (Photo courtesy of Dully Katzef)
Reader Dully Katzef would like to nominate Marc-André Thibault, music teacher at École secondaire de la Cité-des-Jeunes, teacher of the year and citizen of the year. (Photo courtesy of Dully Katzef)

Marc-André Thibault – A Model Citizen

Dear Editor,

We live in a world of each for his own; a sad trend that materialism and advanced technology has bestowed upon us. This sad fact glorifies even more a man who has been dedicating his last twenty odd years to generations of lost teenagers. His name is Marc-André Thibault, he is a music teacher at École secondaire de la Cité-des-Jeunes.

It is no secret that teenagers are somewhat lost; they’ve always been. Even the best of parents find it hard to give their own kids a sense of direction. How do you deal with rebellion? School, being an academic institution, is seldom the place where teens find solace, especially when most teachers do not connect with their students. On the contrary; they are often perceived as the enemy.

But then, there is Mr. Thibault, or Marc-André as some of his students refer to him. A man who’s passion is music, and rather then being selfish and do no more than his job requires, as many teachers do, he chooses to do so much more: he gives those lost teenagers an invaluable treasure: he gives them hope. He shares his passion with them, his time, his love, until they become so absorbed in his love of music – that it becomes their own. Many of these kids go through high-school simply because it allows them to be a part of Mr. Thibault larger family: his Harmonie Avancée. Many continue their higher academic studies in music, just like their teacher: Marc-André Thibault.

To me, this man is a hero. If I ask myself: what would have become of some of his students had he not given them a chance to be a part of his harmony, had he not allow them to gain a sense of purpose, while developing their self esteem in the most crucial years of their life – The answer is: they would have been a part of the lost generation.

Teachers are not supposed to take the role of the parents, they are not expected to install values in the minds and heart of their student: they are paid to give them skills. Mr. Marc-André Thibault does both: he makes the kids work hard for their instruments, earn their concert tours, value the opportunity he is giving them – and they love him for it. It turns them into better people, as well as better musicians. It makes them better citizens, and for that – society should be grateful.

If I was the minister of education, I would crown Mr. Marc-André Thibault as the “Teacher of the year”. If I was the mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, I would award Mr. Marc-André Thibault the “Citizen of the Year”, or a distinguished citizen of Vaudreuil-Soulange. Perhaps if we recognize more publicly model citizens such as Marc-André Thibault, we would encourage others to follow his steps.

 

Dully Katzeff

Saint Lazare

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