Award-Winning Leader To Chair Premier's Education Awards Panel



    Nomination Deadline Is January 28

    QUEEN'S PARK, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - Akela Peoples, President and CEO of Youth
in Motion, will chair the selection panel for the Premier's Awards for
Teaching Excellence, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced today.
    "These awards are a wonderful way to thank the teachers, principals and
support staff who make a positive difference in the lives of students every
day," said Wynne. "I'm thrilled that Akela Peoples - who has helped inspire
thousands of young people across Canada - will help us celebrate their work."
    The awards recognize exceptional educators and support staff and the
contribution they make to student success. Anyone can nominate school or
school board staff in Ontario's publicly funded education system. Nominations
close January 28, 2008.
    Peoples is an entrepreneur, visionary leader, trainer, author and
motivational speaker. In 1997, she founded Youth in Motion, an organization
that offers highly sought-after career and personal development programs for
young people including motivational career conferences, mentoring programs and
a national awards program called Top 20 Under 20.
    "I believe education is one of the most important career fields to work
in today," said Peoples. "Educators and support staff play a critical and
important role inspiring and motivating young people and I am honoured to have
this opportunity to help recognize some of these incredible individuals
working in Ontario schools."
    The selection panel, chaired by Peoples, will also include a teacher,
support staff member, principal, student and parent. There are just two weeks
left to nominate; award recipients will be announced before the end of the
school year.
    To find out more and download a nomination package, visit
www.ontario.ca/teachingawards. Information kits have also been sent to every
publicly funded school in Ontario.
    "The awards give us the chance to celebrate the incredible impact these
individuals have in our classrooms and communities," said Wynne. "I encourage
everyone to take this opportunity and nominate an outstanding educator or
support staff member who makes a difference."

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

               2007-08 PREMIER'S AWARDS FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE
    

    The Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence celebrate exceptional
educators and support staff and the contribution they make to student success.

    Who is eligible for an award?

    Teachers, principals, vice principals, education support staff and school
board staff in Ontario's publicly funded education system can be nominated for
an award.

    Who can make a nomination?

    Anyone can make a nomination, including students, parents, educators and
members of the community.

    Where can nomination forms be found?

    To download a nomination form or find out more information, visit the
Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence website at
www.ontario.ca/teachingawards. Information kits have been sent to every
publicly funded school in Ontario.

    When is the deadline for nominations?

    The nomination deadline is January 28, 2008. Award recipients will be
recognized before the end of the school year.

    Who is on the selection panel?

    The selection panel includes a teacher, support staff member, principal,
student and parent. Together, this diverse group maintains the integrity of
the selection process, evaluates nominations and recommends who may receive
the awards.
    Akela Peoples is the chair of the panel. Peoples is an entrepreneur,
visionary leader, trainer, author and motivational speaker. In 1997 she
founded Youth in Motion (www.youth-in-motion.ca), which offers highly
sought-after career and personal development programs including motivational
career conferences, mentoring programs and a new national awards program
called Top 20 Under 20.
    Peoples holds two undergrad degrees and a master's degree in educational
administration and she is featured on U of T - OISE's website as one of their
inspiring alumnae. In 2005, she was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful
Women in Canada by the Women's Executive Network. She was the youngest ever
recipient of the YWCA's Women of Distinction Award in 2002 for
Entrepreneurship. Peoples has also received many awards for her leadership in
education including the Toronto Sun's Women on the Move Award.

    
    What are the award categories?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CATEGORY        WHO IS ELIGIBLE?                 PURPOSE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Teacher of     All elementary and    Celebrates teachers who have a
    the Year       secondary teachers    contagious enthusiasm for learning,
    (5 awards)                           create innovative opportunities
                                         that motivate students to learn,
                                         and make an exceptional contribution
                                         to the school community.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New Teacher    Elementary and        Honours new teachers who have a
    of the Year    secondary teachers    boundless energy and passion for
    (3 awards)     with up to three      teaching, collaborate with other
                   years of teaching     teachers, and have a positive impact
                   experience            on students and the school
                                         community.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Excellent      All support staff     Celebrates a support staff member
    Support Staff                        who shows an outstanding commitment
    (3 awards)                           to supporting students. A positive,
                                         helpful and caring attitude is
                                         essential, together with the belief
                                         that every student can succeed.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Excellence in  -  One award for      Recognizes:
    Leadership        elementary and     -  a teacher who champions a vision
    (2 awards)        secondary             of teaching excellence, and who
                      teachers              inspires others to get involved
                   -  One award for      -  a school or board leader who sets
                      vice-principals,      high expectations for teaching
                      principals,           and learning, and guides his or
                      supervisory           her team through challenges.
                      officers and
                      directors of
                      education
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Team of the    A team of three or    Honours team members who take on new
    Year           more who have worked  challenges, build strong
    (1 award)      together to achieve   partnerships and work
                   a common goal.        collaboratively to achieve a common
                   Teams can include     goal.
                   educators, support
                   staff or both. They
                   can work in a board
                   office or a school,
                   or in different
                   schools and boards.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lifetime       All educators with    Recognizes an outstanding individual
    Achievement    at least 25 years     who demonstrates exceptional
    (1 award)      of experience         leadership, is a role model for
                                         other educators, and makes a
                                         significant and lasting impact on
                                         the school community.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Who should be nominated?

    There are many ways to be an outstanding educator, and as many reasons to
nominate someone for a Premier's Award. For example:

    -   a teacher who turns math concepts into more than numbers and helps
        students build strong problem-solving and math skills
    -   a support staff member who helps students with special needs succeed
        in school and life
    -   a principal who fosters a culture of equity, diversity and respect,
        making all students feel welcome
    -   a teacher who transforms students' lives and makes a profound and
        positive impact on students' intellectual, social and emotional
        development
    -   a social worker who builds strong relationships with parents and the
        community to help students learn
    -   a supervisory officer who guides their team through challenges and
        empowers others to take risks.


    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress
    




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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