New OECTA Provincial Executive Elected

TORONTO, March 11, 2013 /CNW/ - James Ryan has been elected President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2013, at OECTA's Annual General Meeting in Toronto.

Ryan has been a member of OECTA's Provincial Executive Committee since 2002, and previously served as President from 2009-2011. Currently serving as Past President on the Provincial Executive, Ryan is an elementary classroom teacher, working with special needs students in Toronto.

Joining President-elect Ryan on the OECTA's nine-member Provincial Executive Committee are:
Past President    Kevin O'Dwyer, Dufferin-Peel Secondary
First Vice-President   Ann Hawkins, Dufferin Peel Secondary
Second Vice-President   Warren Grafton, Waterloo
Third Vice-President   Marcie Tombari, Huron-Superior
Treasurer     Chris Karuhanga, St. Clair Elementary
Councillor     Andrew Donihee, Eastern Ontario
Councillor     Elaine McMahon, Ottawa
OTF Table Officer    Julie Pauletig, York

Additionally, the following five members were elected to the positions of Governor with the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF):

Chris Cowley, Brant Haldimand Norfolk
Reno Melatti, Windsor Essex Occassional
Julie Pauletig, York
Richard Schraeder, Niagara Secondary
Micheal Wozniak, Dufferin-Peel Elementary

OECTA represents the 43,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.


James Ryan - President Elect

James Ryan, a teacher from Toronto Elementary Catholic Teachers (TECT) unit, has taught in both the elementary and secondary panels, has worked as a special education resource teacher and taught in the adolescent psychiatric division at Sunnybrook Hospital.

Elected as a councillor to the OECTA provincial executive in 2002, Ryan has held all executive positions except Treasurer, and served on many committees, including Collective Bargaining, Educational Aid, Elementary Schools, Human Rights, Political Advisory, Professional Development, and Programme and Structures.

As President of OECTA he is a member of the Ontario Teachers' Federation executive and Board of Governors, the Canadian Teachers' Federation Board of Directors, the Canadian Labour Congress Executive Council, the Institute for Catholic Education, and the Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario.

Keenly interested in social justice and labour rights, Ryan has served as co-chair of the Ontario Coalition for Social Justice, and as a member of CTF's Human Rights and Diversity Committee, the Ontario Federation of Labour's Education is a Right Committee, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (Canada) Steering Committee, and the Canadian Labour Congress' Human Rights Committee.

Kevin O'Dwyer - Past President  

Kevin O'Dwyer, a teacher with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, will continue to contribute to the OECTA provincial executive in the role of past-president starting July 1, 2013. O'Dwyer is a secondary school teacher, most recently teaching at-risk students at Archbishop Oscar Romero Secondary School in Mississauga.

Throughout his career as a teacher, activist and OECTA leader, O'Dwyer has demonstrated his commitment to social justice and the broader labour movement Between 1992 and 2005, O'Dwyer served in every elected position on the Dufferin-Peel Secondary Unit executive and was president from 1999 - 2005. O'Dwyer has worked as an OECTA negotiator and counselor, and was first elected to OECTA's Provincial Executive in 2005.

Ann Hawkins - First Vice-President Elect

Since her teaching career began in 1972, Ann Hawkins has taught in both the elementary and secondary panels with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.  As a member of the OECTA Provincial Executive since 2008, and currently serving as second vice-president, Hawkins is passionate in her promotion of human rights and women's issues. She is representing OECTA at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women's taking place this week in New York.

Warren Grafton - Second Vice-President Elect

Though he lives in Brantford, Warren Grafton comes to the OECTA Provincial Executive from the Waterloo Unit where he has taught in the elementary panel with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board since 1992. Grafton has held several positions at the local unit level, including the role of president, and previously served as third vice-president on OECTA's Provincial Executive in 2009-10 and 2012-13.  Grafton currently teaches Grade 2 and 3 science, physical education and music at Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School in Cambridge.

Marcie Tombari - Third Vice-President Elect

Marcie Tombari has served as president of the Huron-Superior Unit in Sault Ste Marie since 2009. Tombari has served her unit in various capacities including vice-president (2006-09), chief negotiator (2006-12) and grievance officer (2005-09). She has participated in several OECTA committees including College Bargaining and Audit and is currently Chair of the Finance Committee. Tombari has taught in the junior/intermediate division at the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board since she began her teaching career in 1977.

Chris Karuhanga - Treasurer Elect

Chris Karuhanga has been a classroom and French as a Second Language (FSL) teacher for the past 22 years with the St. Clair Catholic District School Board. Prior to coming to Canada, Karuhanga taught in Uganda and Kenya for seven years.  Karuhanga has served on the OECTA Provincial Executive since 2004 and locally as president, chief negotiator and grievance officer with the St. Clair CDSB. He currently serves as first vice-president on the OECTA provincial executive and previously served as treasurer from 2004-07.  

Andrew Donihee - Councillor Re-elected

Andrew Donihee was first elected as councillor to OECTA's Provincial Executive in 2010-11.  He has taught at both the elementary and secondary panels and currently teaches Religion at St. Joseph's Catholic High School in Cornwall, the same school that he attended as a teenager. Donihee has been active in OECTA since 2005 where he served on the Eastern Ontario Unit executive and served on the Benefits, Collective Bargaining and Beginning Teacher committees.

Elaine McMahon - Councillor Elect

Elaine McMahon comes to the Provincial Executive from Ottawa where she has served as a unit executive member for over 20 years. McMahon has served as unit president since 2007 and as chief negotiator in 2008. She contributed as a member of the Amalgamation Task Force his past year and has been part of the Teacher Education Network since 2007. McMahon has taught at the primary/junior, intermediate and secondary levels.

Julie Pauletig - Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF) Table Officer Re-elected

Julie Pauletig began her teaching career in 1986 as an occasional teacher in Thunder Bay.  In 1988 she moved to Maple, Ontario and accepted a full-time position teaching senior Kindergarten at St. David Catholic Elementary School. She was soon an active member of the York Unit, serving on the collective bargaining team, as an association representative, chief negotiator and up through the unit executive positions to become Unit President from 2002-2006. Pauletig first served on the Provincial Executive as Councillor in 2007-08.  She has been involved with the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF) since 2009, as OTF Governor and most recently as OTF Table Officer from 2011-13.



SOURCE: Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

For further information:

Michelle Despault, Director of Communications 416-925-2493 ext 509,

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