TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Catarina Vindasius, a secondary school teacher at East Elgin Secondary School in Aylmer, was honoured with the OTIP Teaching Award for excellence in teaching in the Secondary Teacher category at a ceremony in Toronto yesterday.
Catarina has been the driving force behind ASPIRE, the Arbeit Schule Program in Rural Elgin, an innovative alternative education program to assist high-school aged Mennonite students to achieve their OSSD while staying true to their cultural traditions of working for and in the family. Her enthusiasm and drive has resulted in a program that has grown from 100 students to 240 over the course of one year. Catarina worked with parents, board personnel and colleagues to ensure the success of the program. She is constantly finding new programs and innovations to meet the individual diverse needs of the students. Catarina has established a partnership with the local YMCA and Farmtown Canada which offer counselling and support to teenagers. As well, she has worked with local businesses to encourage co-op and volunteer placements for students in the program.
"Catarina feels it is her job to carry out her students' dreams until they can carry it for themselves," stated one of her nominators.
More information and a video honouring Catarina are posted on the Teaching Awards website: teachingawards.ca.
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.
Winning teachers are hosted at a fall awards ceremony in Toronto where they are presented with a personal award of $1,000 and a Certificate of Recognition. Their schools are recognized as well with a $1,000 prize and a Certificate of Recognition.
OTIP is a non-profit organization serving education employees and their families with reliable, affordable insurance and financial solutions.
The Ontario Teachers' Federation 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
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