January 26, 2016

Peel board school first to be named for social justice advocate, politician Jean Augustine

Trustees name newest secondary school at Regular Meeting of Board on Jan. 26

The Peel District School Board's newest secondary school is the first in the world to be named for Canadian social justice advocate and politician, Jean Augustine. Located at 50 Elbern Markell Dr. in Brampton, Jean Augustine Secondary School is scheduled to open September 2016.

"Jean Augustine is a passionate, energetic social justice advocate who will serve as an exemplary role model for our future leaders," says Janet McDougald, chair of the board. "Her ground-breaking work as an educator and politician in Canada strongly connects to the school's vision of SAIL—service, advocacy, innovation and leadership."

"It is an absolute honour to have a Peel secondary school named for me," says Augustine. "I have dedicated my life's work to these SAIL principles, and I'm excited to see how they will inspire future generations to engage in the affairs of their community and the world."

Augustine has been recognized around the globe for her leadership and community involvement. Following her time as school principal, Augustine became the first Black-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons, sitting in Parliament from 1993 until 2006. During this period, she served as parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, minister of state for multiculturalism and the status of women, and was a deputy Speaker. In 2007, she was appointed as the first fairness commissioner for Ontario, a position created to advocate for Canadians with foreign professional credentials. She was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2012 received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Augustine is also the former national president of the Congress of Black Women of Canada, and was instrumental in the declaration of February as Black History Month in Canada—a month celebrated in Peel schools and throughout the country.

No other school is named for Augustine. The Girls' Leadership Academy program of the Toronto District School Board bears her name.

The Peel board serves approximately 154,000 students in kindergarten to grade 12. Operating 250 schools in the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, the Peel board is the largest employer in the Peel Region.
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