VANKLEEK HILL — A cooperative education teacher with the Upper Canada District School Board has been honoured by Cadets Canada.
Ron Holla, a teacher at Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute, was recently presented with the Commanding Officer’s Coin. The citation honours an individual whose service to Cadets goes above and beyond their expected duties. Holla, a Cadet Instructor Cadre Officer, was recognized for developing the Upper Canada District School Board Cadet Co-operative Education Program.
“It was cool and I was quite surprised,” he said. “It really was unexpected.”
Holla played a key role in establishing the summer program, run through the TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education. The program allows students to benefit from military and leadership training, while gaining two cooperative education credits. Depending on their branch of Cadets – Sea, Air, or Army – students take three or six-week summer training courses such as marksmanship, basic and ceremonial drill, basic aviation, sailing, seamanship and band. Courses are offered across the province at places such as HMCS Ontario in Kingston, CFB Trenton, and the Connaught National Army Cadet Summer Training Centre in Nepean. Apart from the specialized training enjoyed by students, the program emphasizes physical fitness, responsibility, devotion to duty and other skills that will benefit them for years to come.
Working with the military and the Board, Holla first piloted the program in 2012. He started with just seven students. Since then the program has grown. This past summer 270 students participated.
The honouree is also well known locally for his former longtime role as head of Tagwi Secondary School’s student co-op work placement program.
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