Feature

Annual Meeting 2008: ETFO Aims to Close the Gap

  • Dr. Jean Augustine (centre) is shown with Alice Pitt, dean of education at York University, and ETFO President David Clegg, as she accepts ETFO’s $100,000 donation to support the Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment. The purpose of the endowment is to study social justice and equity issues such as homelessness, racism, poverty, and violence, and their impact on the academic performance of urban students.

Dr. Augustine, Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner, outlined to delegates some of the challenges facing foreign-trained professionals in Canada who are unable to find work in their field. The Fairness Commission works with regulatory bodies to ensure that the credentials of internationally trained professionals are evaluated fairly and transparently.

“We all have to recognize our responsibility to build the kind of Canada that we want,” Dr. Augustine told delegates. A former teacher and elementary school principal, Dr. Augustine was an MP for 12 years, and served as the minister of state for multiculturalism and women’s issues from 2002 to 2004.

Community Activists Honoured

Heather Menezes received the  Humanitarian Award for an ETFO Member. Menezes, a Toronto teacher, founded Horizions Children’s Centre to help orphans and street children in Sandema, Builsa District, Ghana.
More information about the centre is available at horizonscentre.org.

Carrie sinkowski was recognized for her community work in sexual violence prevention, anti-poverty activism, and community development. She is a member of RISE (Rural Initiative for Social Equity), and a founder of BUMP (Busting Up Myths about Poverty) and Spotlight on Poverty. Sinkowski received the award for  Women Working in Social Activism.

The Hamilton-Wentworth Council of Home and School Associations created Walk-In Closets to provide clothing, toiletries, school supplies, and food for students and families in need. They have raised funds to help high school students living on their own, and have also set up a Graduation Walk-In Closet to provide students with formal wear and accessories. Representing the council, Sandra Binns accepted ETFO’s award that recognizes  InnovativeProjects on Behalf of Children Living in Poverty.

Fred and Bonnie Cappucino received ETFO’s  Humanitarian Award for a non-ETFO Member. The Cappucinos helped found Child Haven International, which works in four countries to assist children and women who are in need of food, education, health care, shelter, clothing, and emotional and moral support. In addition to raising their own two children, they adopted and raised 19 children. Information about their work is available at childhaven.ca.

Celebrating Contributors to ETFO 

Judy Perkes, first vice-president of the Waterloo Teacher Local, received the  2008 President’sAward. 

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As you read this I trust you will be settled into the new school year.