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Recognizing high school mentors and role models

Baillie Awards recognize the excellence and influence of high school educators.

Photograph of a high school teacher calling on students in class.
Teacher-recipients each receive a financial award, and, when dates for in-person ceremonies are identified, they will be invited to their student-nominator’s convocation to receive a framed award certificate and be honoured on stage. (Adobe Stock.)

As Queen’s celebrates the accomplishments of more than 5,800 Spring 2021 graduates, five students are marking this academic milestone by honouring a high school educator who had a formative influence on their post-secondary path.

These nominated teachers have been selected to receive a Baillie Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching, established by Chancellor Emeritus A. Charles Baillie.

Among the 2021 recipients is Dorothy Lai, Head of the Chemistry Department at Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute in Whitby, Ontario. Lai was nominated by David Hoskin, who is graduating

Photograph of Dorothy Lai
Dorothy Lai

from Queen’s with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mathematics and Engineering.

“She was the kind of teacher that made you want to be better than you thought you were, and made you believe that you could be better,” says Hoskin. “Mrs. Lai instilled a love of learning in me, an ambition to be better, and the desire to reach my full potential.”

In his nomination, Hoskin described his first class with Lai as a turning point, as she inspired his passion by making chemistry come to life with memorable demonstrations that included the beauty of purple flames dancing across water, and the freezing of a beaker to a plank of wood. Hoskin wrote about Lai as a mentor and role model to many, and a teacher whose influence has stayed with him as he begins graduate studies in the fall.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to be one of the educators selected nation-wide to receive this incredible award,” says Lai. “It is students, like David, who fuel my passion for teaching well beyond sharing knowledge. I believe life-long learning is essential for everyone to achieve their true potential and recognize the importance of leading students by example.”

Also receiving a 2021 Baillie Award are:

  • Colin Archbell, Canadian and World Studies teacher at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Academy in Keswick, Ontario. Archbell was nominated by Meghan Tremaine, who is graduating from Queen’s with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Major in History and a certificate in Employment Relations.
  • Michelle Foreman, who teaches History, French, Entrepreneurship, and leads the theatre club at École Sainte-Anne, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Foreman was nominated by Naomi Frooman, who is graduating from Queen’s with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Medial in Art History - Film and Media.
  • Brian Kingshott, a teacher and guidance counsellor at Paris District High School in Paris, Ontario. Kingshott was nominated by Rachael Irvine, who is graduating from Queen’s with a Bachelor of Nursing Science (Honours) degree.
  • Adam Lecuyer, a teacher and guidance counsellor at Earl of March Secondary School in Kanata, Ontario. Lecuyer was nominated by Minoli Dias, who graduates from Queen’s this year with a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Major in Environmental Science.

There are many nominations and each year five educators are selected for the Baillie Award. Teacher-recipients each receive a financial award, and, when dates for in-person ceremonies are identified, they will be invited to their student-nominator’s convocation to receive a framed award certificate and be honoured on stage.

Learn more about the awards and past recipients on the Student Affairs website.