Chair’s Message

Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT

Committed to Protecting the Public Interest

Strengthening transparency and accountability, managing risk more strategically and improving stakeholder engagement are the College’s strategic priorities.

These priorities serve as a foundation that help us govern the profession of teaching in Ontario.

Once again, in 2019, they continue to be clearly tied to our public interest mandate and they aim to foster public confidence and trust.

Strengthening Transparency and Accountability

Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of Ontario students. Legislative change, such as the therapy and counselling funding which was passed in 2019 and has come into effect January 1, 2020, is one such example.

Council passed many motions that enhance the transparency of the functioning of the organization to its members and the public. For example, the policy review cycle foregrounds the importance of cyclical review of all policies to ensure they adhere to the Ontario College of Teachers Act (the Act), regulations and bylaws. All of them govern our organization.

In April of 2019, Bill 48, which included governance changes to the Act, received royal ascent. The many related motions passed by Council were communicated to the Ministry of Education.

These Council directives provide the ministry with clear information of what the governing Council believes allow for transparent, robust governance to self-regulate the teaching profession in Ontario.

Improving Stakeholder Engagement

In the summer, the College held focus group sessions with College members and the public. We conducted these sessions to gauge opinions on a number of College initiatives and communication products.

For example, we discussed the College governance structure and preferred topics for future professional advisories.

We conducted these sessions in English and French in Windsor, Welland, Ottawa, Barrie, Thunder Bay and Toronto. These cities were chosen to reflect different geographical regions, demographics and languages.

This feedback helps the College's staff and governing Council act with increased efficiency.

Honouring Future Teachers

We were delighted this year to recognize three accomplished and impressive teacher candidates with our annual Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship Program.

Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education Recipient:

Mia Kakebeeke from Ottawa, teacher candidate in the consecutive education program at the University of Ottawa.

Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship—Primary/Junior or Junior/Intermediate Recipient:

Fatima Ahmed from Mississauga. She is a teacher candidate in the consecutive education program at Lakehead University.

Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship—Intermediate/Senior Recipient:

Jordan Cascagnette from Elora. He is a teacher candidate in the consecutive education program at Nipissing University.

Recognizing Excellence in Service

Those who concluded their distinguished service with us on Council include appointed members Jean-Luc Bernard in July and Ronna Warsh in May and elected members Shannon Marcus in August and Alicia Nunn in October.

Those who began their Council term include appointed members John Cammarata in October, Wanda Percival in December and elected members Timothy Kwiatkowski and Jennifer Wyatt in December, and Nancy Saunders in May.

We are grateful for the dedication and contributions of those who left and welcome our new colleagues.

The 37-member Council understands the privilege of self-regulation and governs in the public interest. This is done with the utmost transparency and accountability, making decisions that set the direction for the teaching profession in Ontario.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all those individuals who exemplify the ethical standards of respect, integrity, care and trust in their work at the College.

Council members and staff are highly dedicated to the mandate of the College. I extend my sincere gratitude for everyone’s professionalism and collaborative efforts. We continue to serve in the public interest and set the direction for the teaching profession in Ontario.

Nicole van Woudenburg, OCT
Chair of Council