MORRISBURG – The Municipality of South Dundas’ partnership with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has earned the local government some prestigious recognition.

At the recent Economic Development Council of Ontario (EDCO) Conference Awards, South Dundas took top honours in the Public-Private Partnership Award (population 10,000 to 50,000) category.

It’s the first such honour for the municipality.

Pictured with the Municipality of South Dundas’ Public-Private Partnership Award at the recent Economic Development Council of Ontario’s conference are economic development officer Rob Hunter (left), Councillor Marc St. Pierre, Mayor Evonne Delegarde, and CAO Shannon Geraghty. Courtesy photo

Mayor Evonne Delegarde, Councillor Marc St. Pierre, CAO Shannon Geraghty, and economic development officer Rob Hunter were in attendance to pick-up the hardware.

The win stems from South Dundas’ technology partnership with not only the school board, but Iroquois’ Ross Video. The agreement saw the company donate 30 high-powered Dell laptops to Seaway District High School to help strengthen engagement among students, getting them interested in digital literacy, coding, graphic design, and more. South Dundas, meanwhile, will chip in $10,000 annually to maintain the programming.   

Working together became the solution after South Dundas faced the prospect of losing two of its three public schools at the hands of consolidation efforts by the UCDSB.

Renewed and enhanced partnerships such as this one provides additional support to strengthen technology programming in the township, a prospect thought impossible in 2016 during the pupil accommodation review.

South Dundas’ pitch to review panel members and school board officials was that the municipality would ensure partnerships like this one were made to keep both Seaway and Morrisburg Public School viable.

“Winning this award is a real honour for our municipality, especially given that EDCO received [more than] 115 award submissions,” Hunter said.

Added Delegarde: “Council is very proud that South Dundas won this award. It would not have been possible without the efforts of the entire community who pulled together during this process – school family, residents, staff and council.”