Educators from Ontario’s top-performing public and separate elementary schools were recognized at the annual Garfield Weston Awards for Excellence in Education, in Toronto last night.
In all, 320 teachers, administrators, support staff, parents, and volunteers from 33 Ontario schools attended the celebration.
“The schools were rated on three categories of academic performance based on the five-year results at all 2,850 schools appearing in The Fraser Institute’s presented to the top school team in each category,” said Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at the Institute.
Awards of $3,000 were presented to the winners for Overall Academic Excellence, Improvement in Academics, and Academic Achievement in Excess of Expectations. The two runners-up in each category received a $1,000 award. Forty other Ontario schools – all among the top one percent in their categories – received Honourable Mention recognition.
“The identification and celebration of excellence is a key part of any system’s improvement program,” notes Cowley. “It is clear that many of Ontario’s elementary school educators believe this to be true. The enthusiasm of the participants in this year’s Ontario event was quite overwhelming,” said Cowley.
This year’s award recipients:
Overall Academic Excellence
Seneca Hill Public School, Toronto
“Our school has a marvelous learning environment where we all work together to ensure that students not only learn the basics but are also exposed to exciting programs designed to capture the imagination and stimulate growth,” said Morag Killackey, principal at Seneca Hill Public School. “External partners, such as Learning Through the Arts, enable students to
learn curriculum differently and to think divergently while working with artists,” she added.
Improvement in Academics
St. Lawrence School, Hamilton
“It is our belief that every child can learn and being economically disadvantaged simply means we start further back and work twice as hard, all the while having fun and feeling good about learning,” noted Eleonore Woehrle, principal at St. Lawrence School.
Academic Achievement in Excess of Expectations
Ossington/Old Orchard Public School, Toronto
“Enrichment activities and programs such as Learning Through the Arts, school clubs, sports teams, and visiting artists, further enhance our curriculum and provide opportunities for our students to broaden their depth of experience,” said Susan Tirimacco, principal at Ossington/Old Orchard Public School.
About the Garfield Weston Awards for Excellence in Education
Administered by The Fraser Institute, the annual Garfield Weston Awards for Excellence in Education were established in British Columbia and Alberta in 2000 to recognize, in a tangible way, those school teams that have produced outstanding results. In Ontario, the first Garfield Weston Awards for Excellence in Education were presented in 2005.