The Ontario Public School Boards' Association offers six annual awards to recognize outstanding contributions to public education by individuals in Ontario.
Award of Merit in Memory of Dr. Harry Paikin recognizes excellent service to public education from an active or retired trustee.
Howard Goodman, a former trustee for the Toronto District School Board, is the recipient of this year's Award of Merit in Memory of Dr. Harry Paikin. Working at both the school board and the provincial levels for over 10 years, Goodman brought many important education issues into the public forum, highlighting the value of trustees to the general public.
Between 2003 and 2014, Goodman sat on a number of key board committees and initiated projects to benefit students and champion equity and social justice. He drew on his strong business background to identify and implement a number of sound financial strategies at the board.
At the provincial level, Goodman's efforts have strengthened the role of school board trustees within the education sector. With OPSBA and affiliated stakeholders, he lobbied successfully against a number of proposed legislative provisions detrimental to school boards and trustees. At the same time, his Education Day initiative, implemented through OPSBA, promoted democratic debate between trustees and local MPPs during election campaigns, putting education issues front and centre with voters. With characteristic candour, he was a strong advocate for public education in the media.
Award of Merit in Memory of Jack A. MacDonald honours a student who maintains an excellent academic record while making an outstanding contribution to his or her school and community.
Two students have been awarded the Award of Merit in Memory of Jack A. MacDonald for 2014-15: Charmaine Holland, from Fort Erie Secondary School (District School Board of Niagara), and Tristen Stinkowji, from Englehart High School (District School Board Ontario North East). Both have outstanding academic records and are highly respected within their schools and communities for their exceptional leadership skills.
Charmaine Holland has been a strong advocate for social justice during her high school years. In addition to her work with the local chapter of the charity Me to We and the school's Friends of Fort Erie Secondary School, she formed an organization pairing student volunteers with seniors in a local retirement home, forging solid intergenerational relationships between the two groups. She has been active on a number of sports teams and is an accomplished musical performer. Charmaine plans to study medicine at university.
Tristen Stinkowji is a talented athlete, helping her school to a number of sports championships and awarded for her own contributions to basketball and volleyball teams. She has served as an assistant coach to younger students at the school, as well as to middle-school students learning these sports. She is known for the positive approach she brings to any task, academic or extracurricular, and for her many charitable volunteer activities.
The OPSBA Award of Excellence is given to honour the highest overall service to public education by non-teaching staff, parents, volunteers and community partners involved in education in member boards.
Paul Amano, from Lakehead District School Board, is this year's recipient of the OPSBA Award of Excellence. He is also a recipient of the OPSBA Achievement Award.
For a number of years, Amano, who owns a sled dog kennel in a community northwest of Thunder Bay, has been a popular guest speaker in Thunder Bay schools. Using his expertise managing sled dog teams, he teaches students important lessons about teamwork and the value of each member of the group - including those with challenges. The history of the North was built on the work of sled dog teams, as they carried communications and vital goods and services between communities. Amano is dedicated to sharing the cultural importance of this now-popular winter activity with students and members of the broader community.
The OPSBA Achievement Award recognizes outstanding contributions to public education of non-teaching staff, parents, volunteers and community partners involved in education in member boards.
Elizabeth Andros, Lakehead District School Board, is also a recipient of the OPSBA Achievement Award.
Elizabeth Andros is a dedicated and compassionate Aboriginal achievement tutor at Sir Winston Churchill CVI in Thunder Bay. Known also for her extended knowledge and experience, Andros gives fully to her students, providing food and warm clothing, advocating on their behalf and giving them confidence in their ability to succeed. As a result, students in her care have shown exceptional improvement, in many cases going on to provincial and national recognition.
The Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award is given to an active or retired member of the teaching profession to honour outstanding service to public education.
There were no submissions for the Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award for 2014-15.
The President's Award recognizes trustees who have given 25 years of dedicated service to public education and is presented annually at the Public Education Symposium in January.