If you’re an OSSTF/FEESO member working in a secondary school, you’ve probably spent time in June and over the summer planning lessons and considering learning opportunities for next year’s students. One source of activities you may want to consider for your classroom is OSSTF/FEESO’s annual Student Achievement Awards. Last year alone, we had over 100 entries submitted for adjudication by our provincial Communications/Political Action Committee, but many schools missed the deadlines and were not represented.
Thirty years ago, Jack Hutton was Director of Communications at Provincial Office. He wanted to celebrate the remarkable work of our students, and the contributions that teachers and education workers make in the lives of those students. He created the original Student Achievement Awards, in honour of Marion Drysdale, who was also a staff member at Provincial Office at the time. More than 150 winners have been celebrated over the past 30 years. Your students could be among those who win one of the nine prizes of $1000, and who are honoured at a celebration in Toronto during March Break 2018.
We know that winning one of these awards is impactful for these students. Many of the past winners cite the Student Achievement Awards as a catalyst for pursuing their dreams, and more importantly for affirming in them a sense of confidence to take the risk of submitting their work.
Teachers and other education workers who work directly with a student in a secondary school can nominate, mentor and assist that student in creating either a piece of visual/digital art or a written piece based on the designated theme. The theme for the 2017–2018 school year is What’s YOUR Super Power? Posters proclaiming the theme and providing additional information will have arrived in all secondary schools in September. Information regarding the rules, entry forms, guidelines and tips, and even school announcement ideas for promotion of this very worthwhile award, are available here. In addition, you can view the videos of the past year’s winners, as well as a “Where are they now?” video compilation featuring some of the winners from the last 30 years, and focusing on how the awards impacted their lives.
Whether you’re a teacher of the arts, or you know a worthy student who might be saving for college or university, or you’re a support staff member working with a student or group of students and want them to have an opportunity to create something remarkable, please consider using the Student Achievement Awards in your classroom. All ages and all levels of secondary students, including adult learners, are welcome to enter.