April 8, 2019

Peel board names late Dave Badovinac as Education Champion for his contributions to student advocacy

Thirty-three students, staff, community members to receive Awards of Excellence

The Peel District School Board will recognize Dave Badovinac, former vice-principal at Sandalwood Heights Secondary School, with the Education Champion Award for his significant and lasting contributions to public education inside and beyond Peel region. Badovinac will be posthumously honoured at the board's Showcase of Excellence recognition event on April 15 along with 33 Award of Excellence recipients.​

"As a passionate educator and a visionary role model, Dave's outstanding contributions continue to echo across the board and beyond," says Stan Cameron, chair of the board. "A strong advocate for student voice, Dave exemplified what it means to be an Education Champion. He continues to be remembered and missed dearly by students, staff and the communities he served."

Following his time as a Peel student, Badovinac began his 15-year career in public education at Allan Drive Middle School, and recently served as a department head at Stephen Lewis Secondary School, and vice-principal at Applewood Heights and Sandalwood Heights secondary schools. Prior to his passing in September 2018, Badovinac championed many programs and initiatives within the schools he served and created two programs, JustAsk and Project2One, to support vulnerable students and foster engagement amongst students and staff. Since the launch of JustAsk in 2014, the program has been adopted by 27 Peel schools and encourages change in schools through the recognition of student voice. Through Project2One, Badovinac advocated to include units on the not-for-profit sector within secondary courses across the board to highlight volunteerism.​

Badovinac's legacy extended well beyond the school community. To provide opportunities for youth and inspire change, he regularly volunteered with Plan International Canada, Right to Play Global Youth Summit and the Jays Care Foundation. At the Gender Equality Writers' conference, he played a key role in drafting a policy statement on gender equality, which was adopted by G-7 leaders. In his spare time, he also volunteered with his daughter at The Darling Home for Kids children's hospice.

"Education Week reminds us of the real and extraordinary contributions taking place in our schools and worksites, each day in every role," says Peter Joshua, director of education. "The Showcase of Excellence recognition event will honour and recognize Peel staff, students, volunteers and community members whose focus has always been on supporting student success."

Showcase of Excellence will take place on April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the HJA Brown Education Centre, located at 5650 Hurontario St. in Mississauga. View a complete list of this year's Award of Excellence recipients. The event will be live streamed on the Peel board's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/peelschools. To attend, please RSVP by contacting Judi Stephenson at [email protected] or 905-890-1010 ext. 2818.

The event is one of the highlights of Education Week, which takes place from April 8 to 12. The theme for this year's Education Week is We Inspire.



Nav Sahota, school communications specialist, 905-890-1010 ext. 2626, [email protected]

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