Two GTA teachers have been named among an elite group of Canadians – recipients of the prime minister’s award for teaching excellence in ggeneral, and for teaching excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They are Rachel Luke, who teaches at Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga, and Jason Bradshaw, who teaches at Castlebrooke Secondary School in Brampton.
“It was a wonderful moment,” Luke recalled when she learned she had been selected for the award. “I’m humbled and honoured. I’m thrilled. It’s such a wonderful thing to be recognized in this way,” she added.
“I think someone said it’s like the Nobel Peace Prize of teaching, so it’s a wonderful honour and I’m humbled to receive it and I’m so grateful to my colleagues who nominated me.”
One of Luke’s colleagues described her as a teacher who every single student respects and adores, and one to whom at-risk students respond and have the utmost trust and respect for.
Bradshaw said that when the vice principal at his school nominated him he was touched, but in the back of his mind he did not think he would receive the award.
“It felt unbelievable to be honest, because it’s such a great honour,” Bradshaw told local media.
“This is perhaps the highest recognition that a teacher can achieve in Canada … so when I found out that I won, it basically felt like a dream. I thought that I’m going to wake up from this and, you know, it’s a nice dream and all, but I can’t imagine that I’m actually being honoured as one of the most outstanding teachers in the country.”
Bradshaw is described as a master of digital and creative literacy in the classroom. He creates virtual learning platforms for students to demonstrate their learning and surpass course expectations. He gets students to express themselves in a multimedia landscape, and to publish and share their science project results.
The prime minister’s award for teaching excellence has recognised exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines since 1994, with more than 1,600 teachers honoured to date.
Teaching excellence award recipients are acknowledged for their remarkable achievements in education and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation-based economy.
The teaching excellence in STEM award honours outstanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers that help develop the culture of innovation that Canada needs today, and in the future.