PRESIDENT'S AWARD: RIAN MCLAUGHLIN
Rian McLaughlin from the Hamilton-Wentworth Occasional Teacher Local received the prestigious annual President’s Award at the ETFO Annual Dinner. President Sam Hammond recognized McLaughlin for being the longest-serving member of the ETFO Provincial Executive and for her advocacy related to mental health, social justice, equity and unionism. McLaughlin has served her local in many capacities, including president and chief negotiator. She has also served as the president of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation. She was the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and ETFO Local Leader of the Year in 2005. In summing up, Hammond stated: “In her many roles … Rian has modelled the leadership and values that are the foundations of our teaching profession.”
HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP: DORIS YUE
Honorary life memberships are a high form of recognition awarded to retired members and staff who have given noteworthy service to the federation. This year’s recipient was Doris Yue, who provided dedicated service to the teachers of Ontario for 44 years in various staff roles.
ANTI-BIAS AWARD: VELVET LACASSE
Toronto teacher Velvet Lacasse was awarded the Anti-Bias Award for her work in creating multi-faceted curriculum and lesson plans focused on social justice, equity, environmentalism and community activism. ARTS AND CULTURE
AWARD: BARBARA STEED
Peel teacher Barbara Steed won the Arts and Culture Award for her extensive work in inspiring student artists to take their art beyond the classroom and developing public displays of student art. HEALTH AND SAFETY ACTIVIST
AWARD: MICHAEL SHILLOLO
Simcoe County occasional teacher Michael Shillolo was presented with the Health and Safety Activist Award for promoting health and safety issues for occasional teachers through training and advocacy on such topics as classroom security and safety plans.
HUMANITARIAN AWARD FOR AN ETFO MEMBER: KATHY LUCKING
Upper Canada teacher Kathy Lucking received the Humanitarian Award for an ETFO Member for her leadership in funding and building schools in rural Madagascar. The Madagascar Project provides education to 450 children in six school buildings every day.
HUMANITARIAN AWARD FOR A NON-ETFO MEMBER: NOELLE PAQUETTE (POSTHUMOUSLY)
ETFO honoured the legacy of Noelle Paquette, a Sarnia teacher who tragically lost her life in 2013. The legacy is Noelle’s Gift, a fund that provides support to local children and families in crisis. It reflects Paquette’s dedication to helping students in need.
MEMBER SERVICE AND ENGAGEMENT AWARD: TRILLIUM LAKELANDS TEACHER LOCAL AND WATERLOO REGION OCCASIONAL TEACHER LOCAL
ETFO recognized two teacher locals with its Member Service and Engagement Award. Trillium Lakelands Teacher Local was recognized for unprecedented union solidarity during politically turbulent times. Waterloo Region OT Local was recognized for establishing a permanent home and encouraging a high degree of member participation in just six years. NEW MEMBER AWARD: KELLY MERRIFIELD Bluewater teacher Kelly Merrifield was presented with the New Member Award for significant contributions to her students, community and union. These include a summer literacy camp, an exemplary play-based Kindergarten classroom and strong union involvement.
RAINBOW VISIONS AWARD: DEBBIE SAMSON
Waterloo Region teacher Debbie Samson was presented with the Rainbow Visions Award for her work in establishing one of the first gay-straight alliances (GSA) in Ontario middle schools. She is a longtime advocate of social justice and equity in education.
WOMEN WORKING IN SOCIAL ACTIVISM ON BEHALF OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN AWARD
Kisha McPherson and Lynne Williams, founders of The Power To Be International, received ETFO’s Women Working in Social Activism on Behalf of Women and Children Award. They were honoured for the development of programs to build the capacity of underserved children and youth in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Jamaica.
WRITER’S AWARD: BARBARA BROCKMANN
Ottawa-Carleton teacher Barbara Brockmann received the ETFO Writer’s Award for her book of five plays that brings wartime history alive for students in grades 5 to 12. Barbara’s Remembrance Day Plays for Schools and Communities was first published in 2010 and is reviewed in this edition of Voice.
WRITER’S AWARD – WOMEN’S PROGRAM: DEANNA PECASKI MCLENNAN
Greater Essex County teacher Deanna Pecaski McLennan received the ETFO Writer’s Award – Women’s Program for publishing work that inspires child-led inquiry, discussion and research in Kindergarten. Her article Bird Feeding: Giving Flight to the Imaginations of 4- and 5-Year-Olds appears in two publications.
COMING IN 2015: ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AWARD
For information about ETFO’s awards and scholarships, go to etfo.ca/aboutetfo/awardsandscholarships/pages/default.aspx.