Former Chief Justice and Principals awarded for their contributions to public education

    TORONTO, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - Tonight at a ceremony at the Toronto Sheraton
Centre Hotel, the Ontario Principals' Council (OPC) will honour four
individuals for their ongoing support and dedication to public education in

    The OPC Outstanding Contribution to Education Award will be bestowed upon
the Honourable Roy McMurtry. During his term as Chief Justice of Ontario, Mr.
McMurtry established the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN), to bring
together the education and legal communities. McMurtry's goal was to provide a
better understanding to students about the role and importance of the justice
system and to reach out to youth who felt alienated from the legal system.
Today, OJEN sponsors over a dozen programs that have helped thousands of
students in Ontario learn more about our legal and judicial systems.

    The Honorary Life Membership is awarded to those who have provided
exemplary service by advancing or upholding the purpose of the OPC. It is
being awarded to Blair Hilts, Joan Mantle and Jack Martin.

    Blair Hilts served as the OPC Provincial President during the 2006-07
school year. A school leader since 1999, Blair lobbied strongly around the
issue of safety and supervision in schools. Earlier this year, under Blair's
leadership, the OPC released a set of supervision standards to ensure schools
were adequately supervised and students were safe. Although the OPC continues
to lobby for the standards to be endorsed and funded, the Ministry of
Education has dedicated additional funds to school boards so they can hire
more adults in schools.
    Blair also advocated on behalf of OPC Members on various issues including
instructional leadership, Principal Performance Appraisals, the New Teacher
Induction Program and the Role of the Principal.

    Joan Mantle and Jack Martin were two of the earliest principals to
establish the OPC. When principals and vice-principals were legislatively
removed from the teacher federations in 1998, Joan and Jack were part of a
group of principals that looked at establishing their own professional
association. Travelling throughout the province, Joan and Jack helped devise
the vision for an organization that would focus on professional development,
advocacy and peer support. Through their efforts, the OPC was established in
April 1998, providing one provincial body for Ontario's public school leaders.
Joan Mantle and Jack Martin were two of the key players that were instrumental
in the success of today's OPC.

    "Principals, vice-principals and students throughout Ontario have
benefited from the outstanding leadership that these four individuals have
provided," said Lisa Vincent, President of the Ontario Principals' Council.
"We are honoured to grant these awards tonight, and I thank Blair, Jack, Joan
and Mr. McMurtry for their contribution to public education in Ontario."

    The Ontario Principals' Council is the voluntary professional association
representing 5,000 principals and vice-principals in Ontario's public
elementary and secondary schools. Established in 1998, OPC advocates on behalf
of public education and provides professional supports to its Members.

For further information:

For further information: Peggy Sweeney, (416) 322-6600 (office), (416)
573-2261 (cell)

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Ontario Principals' Council

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