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McGuinty Government Recognizes Recipients Of First Premier’s Awards For Teaching Excellence

by NationTalk on April 24, 2007719 Views

Outstanding Teachers, Principals and Education Support Workers To Receive Awards

QUEEN’S PARK, April 20 – Fifteen teachers, principals and education support staff have been named as the recipients of the first Premier’s Awards for Teaching Excellence, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced today.

“I want to congratulate these outstanding educators. Their dedication, creativity and commitment have a real impact on their students, schools and communities,” said Wynne. “These award recipients are role models who truly deserve to be recognized for the contributions they make in our publicly funded schools.”

The 15 awards recipients from across the province will receive awards in 10 different categories, including outstanding new teacher, excellence in special needs and contribution to school leadership. “Each of these educators has been a tremendous influence for good in the lives of our kids, day in and day out,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty. “I am pleased to have this opportunity to thank them – for helping their students build opportunity, develop their own potential and discover an enthusiasm for learning that will last a lifetime.”

The awards honour exceptional teachers, principals, vice-principals and education support staff. Response in the first year was great – a testament to Ontario’s many fine educators, and a measure of the respect Ontarians have for the people who teach and support Ontario’s students. Award recipients will be recognized at a special event celebrating their achievements on May 2, 2007.

A selection panel reviewed and assessed the nominations to select the award recipients. The panel was chaired by Seamus O’Regan, co-host of CTV’s Canada AM, and included a teacher, principal, student and parent.

“I would also like to congratulate the more than 1,000 educators from across Ontario who were nominated for these awards,” said Wynne. “The principals, teachers and support staff in our publicly funded education system deserve our recognition and respect for the important work that they do to help Ontario’s students reach their full potential.”

The McGuinty government has also demonstrated its respect and support for educators by providing funding for more teachers and more professional development, and by ushering in an era of peace and stability with four-year collective agreements.

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The Premier’s Awards for Teaching Excellence honour exceptional teachers, principals, vice-principals and education support staff across the province. In this first year of the award, 14 educators in Ontario have been recognized for their outstanding contributions in 10 categories. In addition, a custodian from North Bay will receive a special recognition award for his exceptional efforts to support student learning in his school community.

AWARD RECIPIENTS

Outstanding New Teacher – Celina Cada-Matasawagon, Teacher, Urban Aboriginal Alternative School, Ottawa (Ottawa Carleton District School Board)

Celina Cada-Matasawagon increases opportunities for her Aboriginal students to build their self-esteem and pride in their heritage. She has organized several trips and helped find classrooms for students evacuated from Kasheshewan. In addition, she has developed courses that incorporate culturally relevant material, such as outdoor education credits that include dog sledding and winter camping.

Outstanding New Teacher – Carla D’Elia, Teacher, Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School, Stoney Creek (Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board)

Carla D’Elia has brought social justice issues to life for her students. Under her leadership, her school raised $10,000 for the Dominican Republic Educational and Medical Supplies project and took a group of students to the Dominican Republic to help build a home. She has supported numerous clubs and teams, and organized a volunteer convention to connect students to community organizations. She also developed a health care program and turned a classroom into a medical teaching environment.

Parent and Community Involvement – Jerry Powidajko, Principal, Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School, Malton (Peel District School Board)

Students at Principal Jerry Powidajko’s school represent over 20 linguistic groups. He has created new opportunities to engage parents and the community in student learning and embraced the school’s cultural diversity to reach struggling students. His efforts include hosting a cross-cultural celebration and reaching out to faith organizations in the community. Under his leadership, literacy scores have improved significantly and suspension rates have declined dramatically.

Excellence in Literacy – Ruby Charron, Teacher, Monsignor Uyen Catholic School, Chatham (St. Clair Catholic District School Board)

Primary teacher Ruby Charron’s lessons are outstanding in challenging all of her students to reach their full potential, including gifted students and those with special needs. She draws upon a rich variety of methods, many of which she has designed herself, to reach her students and engage parents in building student literacy. She is a valuable mentor for other teachers across her school board, eagerly sharing her expertise and model lesson plans.

Please visit here to view full list of recipients.

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For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister’s Office, (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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