2021 Winning Teachers

The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) have recognized four outstanding Ontario teachers with the 2021 OTIP Teaching Award for teaching excellence.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, OTIP and OTF plan to officially honour these four award recipients with the presentation of their awards in the spring of 2022.

2020 Winning Teachers

September 22, 2020

OTIP (Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan) and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) have recognized three outstanding Ontario teachers with the OTIP Teaching Award for excellence.

On Tuesday, September 22, the following educators received the OTIP Teaching Award:

Amanda Cloutier

Bramalea Secondary School, Brampton

Amanda is the recipient of the 2021 OTIP Teaching Award in the Beginning Teacher category. She teaches French Immersion, Core French and Math at the secondary level (Grades 9-12).

Amanda created a French as a Second Language (FSL) Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) Book Club in 2020 to bring together FSL teachers to diversify classroom texts in French. Interest in this initiative quickly spread through social media to many FSL teachers across Ontario. Recognizing the importance of having classroom materials that reflect the backgrounds, cultures, and lived experiences of Ontario’s students, Amanda and several colleagues have since developed a website https://www.fsldisrupt.org/ and database to provide access to culturally responsive texts in French and teaching resources for educators.

Amanda also created The 2020 Secondary Timetable Generator, an online tool for students and teachers to navigate their new schedules at the beginning of each quadmester. This tool was of immediate benefit to some 5000 students and 1000 teachers during a very challenging time! She also developed a YouTube video, and workshops for colleagues, to provide instruction for using this online tool.

According to one of her colleagues: Amanda’s ability to respond quickly with innovative solutions when she recognizes a problem, and her willingness to collaborate and share the results of her hard work, make her an inspiration to her colleagues and her students.

Tim Langford

Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, Toronto

Tim is one of two recipients of the 2021 OTIP Teaching Award in the Secondary Teacher category. He teaches Science and Technology (Grades 9-12).

Tim brings to his teaching a sense of passion and innovation, encouraging his students to not only learn but to view the world in new ways. Whether teaching eco-friendly measures in his Green Industries class, advocating for an end to violence against women through the annual White Ribbon Campaign, or encouraging new skills and self-confidence for students through Bike Club, his leadership within the school community reflects his dedication and compassion.

In his Technology class, Tim responded to students’ concerns regarding the safety of a local bridge they had to navigate everyday to and from school. The ‘Overlea Bridge Project’ began as a simple class project, reimagining the bridge design, but soon became a huge community initiative to push for needed change. Students were empowered to raise awareness and advocate for change before City officials. As one of Tim’s students commented: He is always trying to get us to understand the importance of social justice by having us experience and analyse the issues in our own communities.

According to one of his colleagues: Tim’s devotion towards the learning of his students takes teaching to the next level, by incorporating innovative strategies to foster curriculum and create passion in students for engaging in lifelong learning.

Brooks Gorst

David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute, Toronto

Brooks is one of two recipients of the 2021 OTIP Teaching Award in the Secondary Teacher category. He teaches Music (Grades 9-12).

Brooks has been described by a colleague as an inspiring educator, musician, conductor, concert producer, community philanthropist, and an extraordinarily talented music teacher who is dedicated to his students. Teaching in a community in which very few students have had access to music studies prior to high school, he is welcoming, inclusive and supportive of such opportunities, empowering his students to share their musical talents at various events within the school and in the broader community.

One of Brooks’ passions is to conduct film scores in live concert, synchronized with related movie clips projected in the background. One such concert featured the music of John Williams, while also serving as a community fundraiser. Assisting with food drives for those in need, coordinating concerts for various community groups, providing students with access to live music and theatre, and connecting students to scholarship opportunities, reflect the many ways in which Brooks supports the school community beyond the classroom.

According to one of his colleagues: As Head of Arts at Thomson, Brooks continues to build a thriving, inclusive, enriching and innovative program producing highly successful music graduates and, most importantly, dynamic and caring citizens of their communities.

Lauren Chapple

Whitby Shores Public School, Whitby

Lauren is the recipient of the 2021 OTIP Teaching Award in the Elementary Teacher category. She teaches all subjects including Music, Drama, Dance and Special Education (Grades JK-3).

Lauren is an educator, curriculum writer, workshop facilitator, community volunteer, and an activist for Equity, Diversity and 2SLGBTQ+ issues. By confronting discrimination and oppression, she is making a difference in her classroom and school community, creating an inclusive environment where students are respected, celebrated and encouraged to embrace their diversity and that of others. Building relationships with community groups also plays an important role in supporting her teaching and sharing knowledge with colleagues and students.

An equity-minded teacher who values inclusive education, Lauren has also been a Leader and Facilitator in Equity teams for her school board, created Google platforms for educators to share resources and lesson plans on equity topics, and been an advisor and mentor for Student Gay Straight Alliance and Gender Empowerment Groups.

Building on her own lived experiences, Lauren founded Proud Rainbow Voices, a unique network for 2SLGBTQ+ educators to share their knowledge and expertise, and to support educators in teaching 2SLGBTQ+ content in schools.

According to one of her colleagues: Lauren’s devotion to equity and 2SLGBTQ+ issues in public education has been exemplified in the organizations, workshops, and presentations she has founded, developed, and advocated into reality.



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