Leading by example

Leading by example

Three Queen’s University students honour academic role models with Baillie Awards for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching.

By Anne Craig

May 28, 2018


On one of the most important days of their lives, graduating Queen’s University students are given a unique opportunity to thank one of their academic mentors.

At this year’s convocation ceremonies, three high school teachers nominated by their former students will be honoured with the Baillie Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching. The award was established in 2006 by Queen’s Chancellor Emeritus A. Charles Baillie.

This year, one of the recipients is a local teacher. Melanie Robinson, an English, health, and physical education teacher at Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake, was nominated by Courtney Meeks, BA (Hons) Health Studies. Mrs. Robinson will be presented with the award at Ms. Meeks’ convocation ceremony on Friday, June 1.

Ms. Meeks says throughout her time in high school, she was inspired by Mrs. Robinson’s commitment to her students, her passion for teaching and coaching, and her positive spirit, which prompted her to participate in peer tutoring and athletics. During her time at Queen’s, the two stayed in contact, and Mrs. Robinson even came out to a few of Ms. Meeks’ baseball games to cheer her on.

“I trust that Mrs. Robinson will continue to inspire and encourage students to be the best version of themselves,” says Ms. Meeks. “With the help of my parents, I award my success as a student here at Queen’s, and completing my degree in Health Studies with passion, to her.”

Also receiving a Baillie award are:

  • Scot Symes, physical education, exercise science, health, and interdisciplinary studies at Nepean High School in Ottawa, Ontario. He was nominated by Griffin Pauli BSc (Hons) Life Sciences. “While Mr. Symes certainly taught me teamwork and collaboration outside the classroom, he also never stopped showing me how to love learning, and pushing me to reach the goals I had set for myself. For that, I am incredibly grateful.”
  • Colin Parker, world religions and philosophy, Harold M. Brathwaite Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. He was nominated by Rebecca Nguyen BA (Hons) Major in English Language and Literature, Minor in History. “Not only did Mr. Parker motivate me to become a better learner, his intelligence and passion for the teaching profession led me to be thrilled by learning, to gain an interest in academia, and to see the value of my education.”

Mr. Symes will be given his award during the Tuesday, May 29 convocation ceremony in Grant Hall at 10 am. Mr. Parker will receive his honour at the convocation ceremonies in November.

“These outstanding teachers played an important role in the lives of these students and inspired them to pursue higher education and helped them on their path to Queen’s,” says Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. “We are thrilled to be able to honour them through this wonderful program, and we are grateful to Mr. Baillie for his vision and support for high school educators who have such a positive influence on our students.”

For more information about the awards and past recipients, please visit the Division of Student Affairs website.