OPSBA Awards – ET Fall 2017

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association offers six annual awards to recognize outstanding contributions to public education by individuals in Ontario.

The Award of Merit in Memory of Dr. Harry Paikin recognizes excellent service to public education from an active or retired trustee.

There were no submissions for the Award of Merit in Memory of Dr. Harry Paikin for 2016-17.

The 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.

The 2016-17 recipient of the Award of Merit in Memory of Jack A. MacDonald is Riley Beam, a grade 12 student at Chippewa Secondary School in North Bay. An outstanding student, Riley has earned the respect of school staff, board personnel and members of the community for her academic excellence, work ethic, maturity and leadership skills. She has served as a student senator, representing her International Baccalaureate school at the board’s student senate. A talented dancer, Riley has performed internationally and has shared her passion for dance with a local children’s musical theatre company as a performer and mentor for more than 13 years.

Certificate of Recognition

Rachel Stripp is the recipient of the 2017 Certificate of Recognition. A grade 8 student at Pineland Public School in Burlington, Rachel is recognized for her strong academic achievement and for her initiative in starting a number of school clubs aimed at helping the global community.

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.

Eileen Haven, recently retired as executive secretary for the Office of Superintendents, Lakehead District School Board, is the recipient of the OPSBA Award of Excellence for 2017. Haven was with the board for 25 years, nine of those with the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). She leaves a legacy of outstanding dedication and professionalism in support of the committee and staff and students, and in her community outreach on behalf of the SEAC.  

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.

Four members of the Lakehead District School Board community received OPSBA Achievement Awards this year: Martha McClelland, parent volunteer; Eileen Haven, retired as executive secretary;  Sheila Marcinyshyn, volunteer on the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC); and Kelly Matyasovszky, school volunteer and SEAC co-chair.

Martha McClelland initiated an “I Shine” character education program for girls in grades 4 to 6 at Agnew Johnston School in Thunder Bay. The positive impacts of this program have benefitted the entire school. Sheila Marcinyshyn has served on the SEAC board for more than 13 years and has been a strong advocate for students and families who struggle with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Kelly Matyasovszky is a parent volunteer who has made significant contributions as a school council member at Valley Central School in Slate River and at the board level with her commitment to Lakehead’s SEAC, where she recently assumed the role of co-chair.   

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.

Stacey Giffen, Jennifer Jager and Sonia White are itinerant teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students with the Upper Grand District School Board, working with the board’s Connect Hear initiative. Connect Hear supports students with hearing loss through group activities with other students who face similar challenges, giving them and their families a network and online community. The project was included in the video By Any Measure, released in 2016 by the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association – l’Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l’Ontario to promote inclusion in schools across Ontario.

Visit http://www.opsba.org/SitePages/OUR%20PRIORITIES/Accessibility-for-Ontarians.aspx to view the video in English, French, ASL or LSQ.

The President’s Award recognizes trustees who have given 25 years of dedicated service to public education. The award is presented annually.

The 2017 recipient of the President’s Award is Gale Simko-Hatfield, a trustee with the Greater Essex District School Board since 1991.