May 5, 2017

Two Peel teachers receive Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence

The Peel District School Board is pleased to congratulate Don Ball, curricular head of visual arts and technology at Cawthra Park Secondary School, and Diana Wang-Martin, grade 11 science and chemistry teacher at Glenforest Secondary School, for receiving the Prime Minister's Certificate of Excellence and Certificate of Achievement, respectively.

The award recognizes exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers, and honours their achievements in education, exceptional work and their commitment to students. There are two levels of awards: the Certificate of Achievement at the regional level and the Certificate of Excellence at the national level. The 11 recipients of the Certificate of Excellence were invited to Ottawa to receive the award from the Prime Minister.

Ball's assignments utilize a cross-disciplinary approach to challenge students to form new perspectives. He also organized a cross-curricular travel program for science and visual arts students to Latin America and Inuit communities where students completed community service projects while exploring local art, culture and ecology. Ball has raised money annually each World AIDS Day in support of the Peel HIV/AIDS Network through the creation and sale of motivational artwork. Additionally, Ball is the first Canadian to be selected as a member of the ART21 Educators program exploring contemporary art in contemporary classrooms. Students are encouraged to think deeply and stretch themselves responsibly. In recognition of this achievement, Don Ball travelled to Ottawa to receive the Certificate of Excellence from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Wang-Martin challenges her students to get hands-on with learning and problem-solving by involving them in events, clubs and projects which reveal and help to expand their horizons. She formed a partnership with the University of Waterloo in which student-created projects were evaluated by Waterloo Science faculty members. Additionally, she spearheaded the school's STEM club, obtaining sponsors such as Microsoft, GM, Siemens, and McMaster University. Her students have also formed the Glenforest-Nahani Way Lego Robotics Mentorship program, in which high school students mentor their elementary school peers. Diana Wang-Martin has received the Certificate of Achievement for her inspirational work and support of students.

Organized in 1993, the Award has honoured over 1,500 teachers to date and is administered by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Teachers may be nominated by principals, students, or peers.

For more information, visit the official site here.​

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