In 2017, the College celebrated 20 years of protecting and serving the public interest. During those years elected and appointed Council members have been actively engaged in the self-regulation of the teaching profession in Ontario. Council consists of people who are knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to governing the profession.
Our 37-member Council governs with transparency and accountability. Giving advice and making decisions with intention is grounded in leadership that is thoughtful, strategic and prudent.
In the summer of 2017, the College held focus group sessions with College members and the public to gauge their knowledge of the College’s mandate and to hear how our services can more fully meet their needs within our role as a regulator of the teaching profession.
We conducted these sessions in English and French in Ottawa, Kingston, London, Sudbury, Toronto and St. Catharines, cities chosen to reflect different geographical regions, demographics and languages.
Our engagement process was designed to:
- gather insights into what members and the public know about the College, and how they have learned about the organization;
- identify future professional advisory topics and better understand which subjects College members and parents find important and why they resonate; and
- gather opinions about the College’s current communications tools and services, and determine how we can refine them to meet our audiences’ needs.
The feedback helps the College’s Council and staff act with increased insight, agility and efficiency.
By better anticipating forthcoming needs and changes, Ontario certified teachers and the public can both be better served.
Championing Future Teachers
We were delighted this year to recognize three accomplished and committed teacher candidates with our annual Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship Program, which honours excellence in teacher education and financially assists future teachers.
Devan Kernaghan is this year’s recipient of the Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education. He has gained a reputation for being resilient, generous, empathetic and highly motivated. Kernaghan overcame a brain injury while playing football in high school and continued on to succeed both academically and in varsity sports. As an academic assistant and peer tutor, he is known for his meaningful contributions to the campus community.
Nicole Billington is the recipient of the Ontario College of Teachers Primary/Junior or Junior/Intermediate Scholarship. Described by her professors as a patient, passionate and dedicated leader with a kind heart, she has been actively involved as a tutor and teaching assistant. She worked in a psychology laboratory as a research assistant focused on children and maltreatment.
She also supported a children’s organization by volunteering in its theatre program for children and teens with autism. Through the same organization, she helped care for hospitalized newborns.
Kara Nagel is the recipient of the Ontario College of Teachers Intermediate/Senior Scholarship. She is known for her compassionate and spunky personality and for building connections with students so they feel included and respected. She persevered through many life challenges including homelessness and mental illness to become a great advocate for mental health.
I offer my sincere thanks to those Council members who served on the scholarship subcommittee and read many compelling applications before offering their recommendations.
Highlighting Dedication in Service
The year saw several departures and appointments within Council. Those who concluded their distinguished service with us include appointed members Marie-Louise Chartrand in October and Robert Gagné in November.
Claudia Patenaude-Daniels, OCT, was appointed to replace elected member William Ngassam, OCT, who left Council in the fall of 2016.
In addition, public members Marlène Marwah and Michelle Miner-Seal were appointed in November 2017, Jean-Luc Bernard, OCT, was reappointed for an additional year and Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad, OCT, Godwin Ifedi and Ronna Warsh were reappointed for three more years.
Council members and College staff show commitment to the profession every day through the expertise and care they bring to their duties.
I offer my gratitude to all of them for the many ways in which they contribute to the public interest.
Angela De Palma, OCT