Notre Dame students speak with Governor General

Notre Dame students speak with Governor General
Posted on 06/14/2019

photo of Notre Dame students speaking with Governor General Julie Payette via Skype call

Owen Sound - Students interview Governor General

On the morning of June 11, 2019, the Skype notification began ringing on Notre Dame Grade Five Teacher Marlene Deschenes’ computer.  This was no ordinary Skype call.  On the other end of the line was Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, the 29th Governor General of Canada

This call was months in the making.  The Grade Five students began learning about Payette earlier in the school year, having studied politics and learned about Payette’s achievements prior to being appointed to the Office of Governor General. 

The idea of sending a letter originated with the ‘Orange’ Reading Group in the class.  The group, comprised of five students, sent the letter to Payette on March 4, 2019.  After sending the letter, Deschenes and her students were informed by a representative from Payette’s office about a new initiative called “GGinteractive”.  This program allows students to speak with Payette by Skype and ask their questions. 

A total of 12 students were able to ask questions, focusing on topics ranging from Payette’s experience with space exploration to what advice she wished someone had given her when she was in fifth grade.  Another question was what her favourite part of her job as Governor General is, to which Payette enthusiastically responded “talking with you folks!”

The conversation lasted approximately 25 minutes. 

Deschenes was very impressed with how her students handled the endeavour.  “(The) kids have been really terrific” she said.  She also called Payette “such an amazing role model” and said the Skype call was “an honour and a memory these students will have for many years to come.” 

For more information about the GGinterative program (called eGG on the website), please visit: