HALIFAX, June 9, 2014 /CNW/ - Margot O'Leary, a school guidance
counsellor at Glace Bay High School, is the 2014 recipient of the
Lieutenant Governor's Teaching Award. In a ceremony held today at
Government House, Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant presented O'Leary with her award,
a specially designed Nova Scotian Crystal sculpture and a framed
certificate to recognize this achievement.
"Teachers have a profound influence on the lives of young people and the
wider community," said Lt.-Gov. Grant. "It is my privilege to recognize
Ms. O'Leary's extraordinary commitment to the youth of our province and
to the teaching profession as a whole."
O'Leary has been a guidance counsellor at Glace Bay High School since
2009, where she has provided leadership for the school's Gay Straight
Alliance (GSA) and education against drugs Group (LEAD) and is a
liaison for Free2BU program that works with at risk youth to promote
self-esteem and good decision making skills.
"Teachers can and do make a difference," said O'Leary. "We identify
situations where we can help and provide guidance and support. We make
students feel like they belong, that they are worthy, that they are
important, and that they have great potential. Simple acts of kindness
go a long way. Saying hello in the hallway, calling the student by
name, showing an interest, or taking a moment with a student after
class makes a difference. To paraphrase the late Maya Angelou, 'A
person may forget what you taught them but they will never forget how
you made them feel.'"
O'Leary's passion is creating a safe, supportive and welcoming
environment for all students to learn and grow. In her role as one of
Glace Bay High's guidance counsellors, she has developed programs and
networks that promote mental health. Through support from the Cape
Breton District Health Authority she has helped to create a youth
advisory committee that identifies needs in the school community and a
mental health awareness group that hosted a day-long event promoting
better understanding of mental health issues. O'Leary has also worked
on developing anti-violence and anti-bullying programs for the school
and one of her student leaders, was recently honoured with a Lieutenant
Governor's Respectful Citizenship Award.
"I am so pleased to be presenting this award to Margot," said NSTU
president Shelley Morse. "She exemplifies the positive impact teachers
have on students, schools and communities. Her dedication to the
profession and to the well-being of her students is an inspiration to
all. She truly reflects the outstanding work done by our teachers each
A Glace Bay native, O'Leary began her teaching career in Halifax County
in 1980 as a French teacher. Since 1990, excluding one year at Breton
Education Centre, she has been a part of the Glace Bay High School
community, where over the years she taught history, global geography
and French courses and served as the school's French Department Head.
O'Leary has a Master's Degree in Counselling from Acadia University.
Her first degree is from Université Sainte Anne, where she also earned
a specialty diploma in teaching French as a second language. She also
completed diplomas in Curriculum and Family Life Studies from Cape
Former Lieutenant Governor Myra A. Freeman, CM, ONS, MSM in partnership
with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union instituted the Lieutenant
Governor's Teaching Award in 2005. His Honour, Brigadier-General the
Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of
Nova Scotia re-established this award in 2013. Each year a teacher is
selected to represent the teaching profession in Nova Scotia. To be
eligible, the teacher representative must be a member of the NSTU and
be a currently active teacher or administrator in the public school or
Community College system.
SOURCE: Nova Scotia Teachers Union
For further information:
NSTU Public Relations Coordinator
479-4708 cell: 497-0194