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Recognizing inspirational teachers

Elizabeth Pattison receives the Baillie Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching from Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech and Rector Cameron Yung. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

During Convocation, graduating students from Queen’s University have the opportunity to recognize a high school teacher who helped set them on their path to academic success.

Each year, the Baillie Awards for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching are presented following a nomination and selection process. The award was established by Chancellor Emeritus A. Charles Baillie and provides Queen’s students the chance to honour educators who have had a decisive and formative influence on them.

“The stories we hear through the nomination process are always inspiring and the awards are a wonderful opportunity for graduating students to honour a teacher who supported them on their path to higher education at Queen’s,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “The university is grateful to Mr. Baillie for establishing this program in recognition of the positive influence that so many secondary school teachers have on their students.”

This year’s recipients are:

  • Kevin Donkers, Physics and Mathematics teacher and sports coach, Preston High School, Cambridge, ON, nominated by Marcus Threndyle (Sc’16);
  • Susan Gaines, English teacher, Eastdale Secondary School, Welland, ON, and formerly Stamford Collegiate, Niagara Falls, ON, nominated by Joelle Schonberg (Artsci’16);
  • Stacey McDonald, English and History teacher, R.H. King Academy, Toronto, ON, and formerly Western Technical Commercial School, Toronto, ON, nominated by Braelyn Chen (Sc’16); and
  • Elizabeth Pattison, Mathematics teacher and instructional coach with the District School Board of Niagara, and formerly Grimsby Secondary School, Grimsby, ON, nominated by Nadia Credico (BComH’16).

Ms. Credico says she learned lessons both in and out of the classroom from Ms. Pattison. Her Pi-shaped cookies on Pi Day, calculus formulas explained using popular rap songs, and a Preparing for University Mathematics and Physics (“PUMP”) lunch-hour club provided support and encouragement to Ms. Credico and her peers as they planned for post-secondary studies. Throughout her time at Queen’s, Ms. Credico says she applied skills in group dynamics, problem-solving, teamwork and leadership that she developed with Ms. Pattison’s guidance.

“It would be an honour to see this amazing woman recognized for the impact she has had on students like me as I graduate from the Queen’s Bachelor of Commerce program, something Ms. Pattison always believed I could do,” Ms. Credico says.

Read more about the Baillie Awards and past recipients

See more Convocation 2016 stories