Ontario's top teachers a whirlwind of talent

    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Three teachers who just never stop will be
honoured October 2 as Ontario's best at the annual OTIP Teaching Awards
Ceremony in Toronto.
    The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) sponsors the awards which are
administered by the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF).
    "To do a job with skill is an accomplishment. To do a job with zeal is a
gift," says Randy McGlynn, Chief Executive Officer of OTIP. "We are all
beneficiaries of the tremendous energy and dedication offered to our children
by this special group of teachers."
    The recipients include a high school teacher who works stock car racing
into the curriculum, a special education teacher who uses grocery shopping to
complement academics and a new teacher who found a way to offer after-school
activities for kids who had been going without. Grade 3 teacher Alicia Gunn
captures the honourees' common trait. "My passion is interacting and having
fun with the kids," she says.
    At the same time, Gunn insists on instilling an understanding of social
justice in her classroom. "We need to feel safe to take risks. We need to feel
safe to learn together."

    The 2008 honourees have made that happen. They are:

    -   Elementary teacher:   Maureen Hogan
                              Developmentally delayed class
                              Carleton Heights Public School

    -   Secondary teacher:    Marc Lalonde
                              Transportation technology
                              Ecole secondaire catholique de Plantagenet

    -   Beginning teacher:    Alicia Gunn
                              Grade 3
                              Oakridge Public School

    World Teachers' Day is October 5 - proclaimed more than four decades ago
to keep alive the recognition of the contribution of teachers to society.
"They are the common link, the consistent face and the key to an educated
community," says OTF President Joe Lamoureux.
    "Through our awards, we recognize teachers who use innovative methods,
enthuse and engage students, reflect the multi-ethnic heritage of Ontario and
encourage the creative use of technology in the classroom," Lamoureux says.
    A slate of teachers was nominated by students, parents and colleagues,
each entry with a unique story of how the nominee works to motivate,
challenges and inspires, gives selflessly of time and dedication and puts
students' needs first.
    For more information on the OTIP Teaching Awards, visit

    OTIP is a non-profit organization serving education employees and their
families with reliable, affordable insurance and financial solutions.

    The Ontario Teachers' Federation represents 144,000 full-time, part-time
and occasional teachers in the publicly funded public, Catholic and
francophone schools in Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Kathleen Devlin, Director, Policy & Public
Affairs, (416) 966-3424

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Ontario Teachers' Federation

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