Learn Lead Inspire Recognition
The Learn Lead Inspire award recognizes the students, staff members and volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to our school communities, aligning with the Board’s mission to build a culture of learning, well-being and belonging.
Volunteer, Supervisor and Casual Educational Assistant
Like many school volunteers, Stephanie wears a lot of hats to ensure the school she loves is a great place to learn and play. In her years at École Dufferin, she has run the snack program, overseeing planning, ordering and organizing the collective efforts needed to bring nutritious snacks to promote student learning and well-being. She has also taken on the role of supervisor before school starts and during nutrition breaks. But it is her ability to recognize needs and mobilize the actions necessary to meet those needs that sets her apart. Her commitment and dedication to the school has also provided unique insights into how she can best contribute to it.
This year, she worked to secure a grant to purchase a freezer for the snack program. She mentors new supervisors and proactively works to ensure coverage needs are met. And most recently, she committed to training in order to provide coverage at the school as an occasional educational assistant. She greets students by name, and they share inside jokes. She goes to great to lengths to ensure lost-and-found items are returned to their owners. She ensures everyone who walks through the doors of the school is welcomed and included. It is the small, daily gestures, as well as the big commitments Stephanie contributes that makes it an honour to present her with a Learn Lead Inspire award.
Delhi District Secondary School
In his role as an automotive tech teacher, Chris is inspiring a new generation of students to explore skilled-trades career paths. As the branch OSSTF president, he is a leader at school, in the community, and inspires colleagues through the examples he sets. At a recent charity event in Norfolk, Chris was there to make a pitch to the panel of a local chapter of a philanthropic organization that allocates funding and resources to good causes. He was there to ask for resources to help him obtain older engine parts, particularly cast iron engines and carburetors so he could continue to build a strong foundation in learning and a well-rounded automotive technical program. His pitch followed a moving presentation by the Simcoe Special Olympics – his competition at this event. Moved by it, Chris bowed out of competition, and asked that all the resources and funding that night go towards supporting the wonderful work they carry out instead. Luckily the connections he made still helped his own cause ultimately, but the gesture exemplifies what Chris is all about – a learner, leader and inspiration in Grand Erie and beyond. Grand Erie is proud to recognize Chris Kawamura as a recipient of the Learn Lead Inspire award.
Lead Educational Assistant
Grand Erie is proud to recognize Susan Pasek.
In her role as Lead Educational Assistant, Susan works with Grand Erie’s most complex learners, and with a whole-system approach, builds responsive, inclusive environments for students to learn and achieve. Susan is an exemplary coach and mentor, leading the way for Grand Erie’s teams of educational assistants, and collaborating with them to solve problems and improve processes. With a deep understanding of the challenges that can face those working in this caring field, she is always mindful of her colleagues’ well-being, and works tirelessly to support ongoing professional development, build leadership capacity and enhance access to resources to improve the working conditions for education assistants.
A lifelong learner, Susan continues to enhance her own professional practice, adding to her wide and diverse skillsets. Her commitment to teamwork and leadership is an inspiration, and makes a tangible difference the lives and school experiences of so many learners. Susan’s work in Grand Erie exemplifies what it means to Learn, Lead and Inspire.
Imam Abu Noman Tarek
Grand Erie’s relationship with Imam Abu Noman Tarek began during a very difficult time. It was the aftermath of the Quebec City mosque shooting in 2017, and Imam Tarek reached out to express concern for the safety and well-being of local Muslim youth and their families. He provided invaluable guidance to Grand Erie staff to help bridge knowledge and understanding as our communities united to support learners, and worked together to take a stand against Islamophobia. In the ensuing years, Imam Tarek has become a great friend and partner to Grand Erie, providing leadership, advocacy and opportunities, and through sharing his wisdom and experience to advance safe and inclusive environments. Among his many achievements are the founding of the Better Together program and co-founding of the Muslim-Indigenous Connections program to build cohesion and understanding among the many different communities that make up our region. He sponsors inclusion awards in each Brantford elementary and secondary school. He is also a recipient of the YMCA Peace Medal, recognizing outstanding efforts for social justice. Grand Erie is pleased to present Imam Tarek with a Learn Lead Inspire recognition. His tireless work striving to make this community better for everyone, and continued collaboration with our students and staff members is a true testament to the spirit of this award.