Mississauga teacher receives award for excellence

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Donna Foulkes, a secondary school teacher at West Credit Secondary School in Mississauga, was honoured with the OTIP Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Secondary Teacher Category at a ceremony in Toronto yesterday.

Donna, who teaches business in Grades 9 to 12, has developed a unique, innovative program, "Under one woof," which has been an overwhelming success. "Under one woof" is a four-credit coop/business package and, as the name implies, involves human's best friends—dogs. Dogs belonging to staff are in the school three times a week. Students are responsible for walking, playing, cleaning up, teaching basic obedience and so on. They learn about dogs and their behaviour; however, they also learn financial literacy through budgeting, accounting, product inventory and how to interact with clients and their pets. The program's success is evident in the achievements of students with the greatest learning difficulties, an increase in attendance and increased social engagement of students with other students. Donna brings knowledge, compassion, patience and humour to her classroom. These are also the qualities which she instills in her students.

The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) and the Ontario Teachers' Federation co-sponsor the OTIP Teaching Awards for excellence in teaching in the publicly funded school system. Three awards are presented: secondary school teacher, elementary school teacher and beginning teacher. Anyone can nominate a teacher in Ontario's publicly funded schools, including public, Catholic, and francophone school boards.

More information and a video honouring Donna are posted on the Teaching Awards website: teachingawards.ca.

About OTIP: Creating Insured Members for Life. At OTIP (www.otip.com), we not only understand the education system, we believe in it. OTIP has been committed to providing quality insurance benefits and advice for the best value since 1977. Across all lines of insurance, OTIP provides coverage to over 160,000 education employees in the province. Owned by Ontario's four education affiliates (AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF) and directed by a Board of Trustees, OTIP was built on the belief that educators would be better served by a not-for-profit insurance advocate that was part of the education community. This remains our philosophy today. 

The Ontario Teachers' Federation (www.otffeo.on.ca) is the advocate for the teaching profession in Ontario and for its 160,000 teachers. OTF members are full-time, part-time and occasional teachers in all publicly funded schools in the province – elementary, secondary, public, Catholic and francophone.

SOURCE: Ontario Teachers' Federation

For further information: Patricia Wilkinson-Bizjak, Director, Corporate Affairs and Communications, OTIP, 519.574.4997, 1.800.267.6847 ext. 2615, pwilkinson-bizjak@otip.com; Rhonda Kimberley-Young, Secretary-Treasurer, OTF, 416.966.3424, 1.800.268.7061, rhonda.kimberley-young@otffeo.on.ca


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