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Awards Programs

Former Hamilton-Wentworth DSB Trustee Judith Bishop accepts the OPSBA President's Award in 2015.The Ontario Public School Boards' Association Awards Program strives to recognize some of the outstanding contributions made by individuals across Ontario to our educational system. While it is impossible to honour all those special people who make a difference, the recipients of these awards represent the many people who work behind the scenes and make our schools and educational system better.

The OPSBA awards honour dedicated people who demonstrated their own commitment to public education and showed us the way. We congratulate the 2019 recipients of these awards.

Online Nomination Form


Jack A. MacDonald Award of Merit

The recipient of this student award is selected on the basis of a sound academic record throughout their career, accompanied by outstanding community service and leadership. This year's Award of Merit was presented to Hannah Burrows, Osgoode Township HS, Ottawa-Carleton DSB. A Certificate of Recognition was awarded to the following students:

  • Sean McCloskey, Madawaska Valley DHS, Renfrew County DSB
  • Stephanie Hrynkiw, Balaclava ES, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB

OPSBA Award of Excellence and Achievement Award

These awards are presented by local boards to volunteers for outstanding, exemplary and/or unique contributions to the overall well-being of the school or community through in-school, board-wide, extra-curricular and/or volunteer activity. This year's Award of Excellence was presented to Sandra Binns, Parent Representative, Parent Involvement Committee, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB and Canadian Home and School Federation.

OPSBA Achievement Awards were presented to the following individuals:

  • Colleen Kappel, Superintendent of Education, Lakehead DSB
  • Liz Tod, Chair, SEAC, Lakehead DSB
  • Christopher Gamble, Volunteer, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB
  • Sandra Binns, Volunteer, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB
  • Rita Goverde, Child and Youth Worker, York Region DSB

Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award

The Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award honours a trustee who has served a Northern Ontario public school board. Nominations are reviewed at the end of June and presented at the Northern Region Meeting and Program in October. Judging for the award takes place in September. The 2017 recipient was Trustee Wanda McQueen, Algoma DSB.

President's Award

The President's Award recognizes persons with 25 years of service in public education. The 2019 recipients were former trustees Graham Lidstone, Algoma DSB, and John Hendry, Waterloo Region DSB.

Dr. Harry Paikin Memorial Award

This award is given to an active or retired public school trustee for outstanding service as a public school trustee. The 2019 recipients were retired trustee Gerri Gershon, Toronto DSB, and Trustee Jan Johnstone, Bluewater DSB.

Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award

The Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award is given to an active or retired member of the teaching profession for outstanding contribution to education in Ontario. This may consist of constructive participation in education affairs over a number of years or for work on some recent and specific project which has had provincial impact. The 2018 recipient was Bernie Andrews, Professor/Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. There was no recipient in 2019.

Additional Information

For further information, contact webmaster@opsba.org.