2023 Winning Teachers
The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) have recognized three outstanding Ontario teachers with the 2023 OTIP Teaching Award for teaching excellence.
2023 Winning Teachers
September 19, 2023
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 19, the following educators received the OTIP Teaching Award:
West Rouge Junior Public School, Scarborough, Ontario
Sierra Miller is the recipient of the 2023 OTIP Teaching Award in the Beginning Teacher category. Sierra teaches French to grade 4-6 students and works closely with special needs students.
Sierra is described as a dedicated and innovative teacher. She is creative in the support she provides to her students with unique and special needs. As a proud Indigenous and Jamaican woman, she understands the need to make school a great place for everyone. She prioritizes inclusivity and ensures that every voice can be heard.
As a colleague, Sierra is a helpful team member. She values extracurriculars and school events and is the first to volunteer and plan exciting initiatives. In her short time at West Rouge, she has planned events such as a junior division hockey trip and Lacrosse workshops, as well as coaching numerous athletic teams.
Sierra has created an environment where all students are excited to learn. She incorporates students’ interests into her program and uses project-based learning to give students choice and voice while still maintaining French expectations. In addition to hands-on learning, building, and creating for a purpose, she uses technology to engage her students as well.
St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic High School, Woodbridge, ON
Lara Gudelj is the recipient of the 2023 OTIP Teaching Award in the Secondary category. She teaches a range of Technology programs including Technological Design, Communications, Manufacturing and Exploring Technology.
Lara is described as an innovative and creative thinker. She infuses social justice issues while teaching digital literacy through the design process. She mentors and encourages her students to develop professional-level graphic design and even encourages them to enter local and provincial competitions where they have been known to take home top prizes.
She teaches an all-female manufacturing course and began the first communications digital design fashion course as a tool to engage students and allows them to explore their creativity. Within this course, students create clothing merchandise lines, product advertisements, develop a market-ready portfolio and accessories through research and graphic design.
With a passion for social justice, Lara and her colleagues partnered to design and develop the “Indigenous Planter Box Project,” as part of her school’s Truth and Reconciliation initiative. Her class collaborated with a local elder to plant medicinal plants such as cedar, tobacco and sweetgrass seeds. This initiative shed light on the Indigenous culture; the four directions and the accompanying animals.
Williamson Road Junior Public School, Toronto, Ontario
Katherine Dumoulin is the recipient of the 2023 OTIP Teaching Award in the Elementary category. She teaches French, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Art.
Katherine is a champion of equity, diversity and inclusion at her school. She assisted in the co-creation of learning and reflection around the land acknowledgement for the school as well as assisting in setting collaborative processes to learn about the Grandfather teachings. She compiled resources that contain various activities and methods for integrating Indigenous knowledge throughout the entire school year. She actively seeks knowledge on the histories and present realities of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and passes her knowledge on to her classrooms and colleagues. She initiated her school’s first Safe Space program and challenges her students to expand their knowledge on gender identity. Her passion for social justice is evident in her commitment to continuous learning about diversity and identity. Her methodology reflects on the importance of emotions and feelings by empowering her students to feel and articulate their emotions.