Chair’s Message

Photo : Angela De Palma, OCT

The election of the College’s seventh Council took place in 2015. My colleagues on Council elected me as Chair, and I am honoured for the confidence they have in me to represent our profession.

I look forward to the continued opportunity to work with returning elected as well as appointed members whose terms were extended. Thank you to all appointed members, whose terms expired over the year, for their valued input and collaboration on Council and committees.  

We have newly elected and appointed members who have joined us, and I know that this new Council will continue to inspire public confidence in the teaching profession's ability to regulate itself in the public interest.

As a means of reinforcing Council’s governance role, the College established a new committee. The Governance Committee is a special committee that provides guidance on issues of governance and risk management. It ensures that the Council and the College collectively function in accordance with the relevant legislation, regulations and bylaws. Its role is also to ensure that Council fulfils its fiduciary responsibilities.

Succession Planning

The transition from the sixth to seventh Council introduced seven new members of Council.  Confident they would bring new perspectives and rich backgrounds to Council, but recognizing the value in honouring the experience of returning members, we introduced a mentorship program.

The optional program pairs new Council members with those who have experience in the role. Designed to have mentors and mentees seated together at Council meetings, the program promotes a professional relationship that is mutually beneficial. New and returning Council members can learn from one another.

It’s no surprise that the program has proven personally and professionally rewarding for both mentors and mentees alike. 

Research shows that organizational cultures that support learning recognize the activity as an ongoing process, not a one-time event. At the College, opportunities to develop professionally are made available for everyone in the organization, including members of Council and College staff.

In order for Council to respond effectively to its governing role, several training activities were developed and offered to Council throughout the year, including: Committee Chair training hosted by Deanna Williams, director of Dundee Consulting Group Limited and former Registrar of the Ontario College of Pharmacists; a financial literacy training session; and a parliamentary procedures session led by Lori Lukinuk, a certified professional parliamentarian, and Douglas McCarthy, a qualified mediator.

Honouring Future Teachers

In December 2015, I was delighted to recognize three talented and dedicated recipients of our annual scholarships. They are overwhelmingly deserving of this formal recognition through the Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship Program. The program supports excellence in teacher education through the awarding of scholarships to assist in the education of future teachers. 

Emily Runstedler is this year’s recipient of the Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education. She is a teacher candidate in the concurrent education program at Nipissing University's Brantford campus, which is offered in partnership with Laurier Brantford.

Emily’s experiences include working with elementary school students who are struggling with reading, teaching English to newcomers to Canada and helping university students with their homework.

Alexis de la Torre is this year’s recipient of the Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship  Primary/Junior or Junior/Intermediate level. She is a teacher candidate in the concurrent education program at Brock University.

Alexis was a volunteer and part-time employee at the York Centre for Children, Youth and Families and was instrumental in working with students between 6 and 18 years of age with complex demands and diagnoses.

This year’s recipient of the Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship — Intermediate/Senior level is Nadine Wyczolkowski, a teacher candidate in the concurrent education program at York University.

Nadine’s part-time employment as a teaching assistant at Kumon Math and Reading Centre allowed her to work with students with various learning exceptionalities.

I offer my sincere thanks to those Council members who served on the scholarship subcommittee for their diligence in reading scores of applications and offering their recommendations — likely one of the most challenging yet rewarding short lists to develop. They have commented that serving on this committee has been a highlight of their contributions to Council.

Council members and College staff have shown themselves to be strongly committed to the profession every day through the expertise and care they bring to their work. Council members generously give of their time to attend Council and committee meetings. College staff members work diligently to ensure our members get the best service possible.

To all of them, I offer my admiration and thanks for the many ways in which they have contributed to the public interest, and I look forward to continued successes in 2016.

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