Toronto District School Board
Skip to main content

Excellence 2019

Congratulations to all of the 2019 Excellence Award Winners!

Remy Basu - Assistant Curriculum Leader, Newtonbrook Secondary School
In her role as an Assistant Curriculum Leader of Student Success, Remy Basu has exemplified an outstanding commitment and made a meaningful difference in the lives of both her students and colleagues. Remy brings people together by establishing strong, inclusive teams of staff and administration with a focus on acknowledging and supporting learning gaps, while focusing on student-centred achievement, well-being and supporting student’s individual and unique needs. To make this a reality, Remy works tirelessly to organize and implement school-wide student success initiatives to improve credit accumulation, support student achievement, and facilitate Professional Learning Communities. In addition, Remy has coached numerous sports teams, run weekly groups and committees and formed many partnerships that have inspired students over the last 15 years at Newtonbrook Secondary School.

Sally Bliss - Assistant Curriculum Leader, Greenwood Secondary School
Welcoming new Canadian students and helping them acclimatize to life in a new country is a focus for Sally Bliss. Sally loves to bring special projects and activities to the Greenwood Secondary School students to help build their sense of belonging while making the cultural adjustment to life in Canada. She has done this in many ways, including teaming up to create a school wide flash mob on Halloween (a new experience for many students!) and through projects such as helping students create fictionalized stories of student experiences as newcomers in Canada. But the lessons don’t end there; Sally took the next steps and collaborated with a professional writing coach and an ESL teacher to get students’ stories illustrated and published into actual novels that are now a part of the school’s lending library. Sally is constantly going above and beyond and has become the heart for the Greenwood Secondary School community.

Cheryl Breton - Lunchroom Supervisor at Kew Beach Junior Public School
Cheryl has been working as a Lunchroom Supervisor at Kew Beach Junior Public School for the past 14 years. She began as a parent volunteering in the library while her kids attended the school over 17 years ago. As her kids grew up and moved on to other schools in the community, Cheryl stayed at Kew Beach where she continues to offer her time and energy to volunteering in the library and with many other activities around the school. She has taken the initiative to organize older students by developing leadership roles which are intrinsically motivating. She also works with the students to help them find solutions to their social problems. Whether she is setting up lost and found tables for students and parents or creating sets for the school plays, Cheryl is recognized as a go-to, caring adult at Kew Beach JPS and the community would not be the same without her.

Barb Colterman - Teacher, Secondary-Central-DDISP, Georges Vanier Secondary School
Barb’s enthusiasm for her students and school community is contagious. She is an excellent leader who has dedicated her career to providing students with Developmental Disabilities high quality programs and collaborating with staff to brainstorm programming ideas and the best way to support students. Barb is always looking for ways to engage students inside and outside of the classroom and ensures that each student is engaged in their own learning in a variety of ways. By pushing the boundaries to increase expectations of students through academics, social and life skills, and behaviour management, the way Barb goes above and beyond does not go unnoticed and has a direct impact on student success.

Shafin Devji - Teacher, Assistant Curriculum Leader, Georges Vanier Secondary School
A kind person who will always step in and step up, Shafin has been a Student Council Advisor, established and supervised a flourishing Peer Tutoring program, spearheads, designed and supported a STEM program, and supervised several student driver leadership initiatives. Shafin’s friendly face is often the first face that many new students at Georges Vanier SS meet. He makes new students feel welcomed, supported and excited to learn. He’s described as the teacher that kids feel “they can go to,” staying late many nights to make sure students have the support they need. His passion for teaching, school spirit and students makes him a truly remarkable individual. 

Paul Edwards - Principal, Secondary, Runnymede Collegiate Institute
As a Principal in the TDSB, Paul Edwards greatly values the opportunity to lead and support educational teams in their efforts to promote and improve student achievement. Through his leadership, Runnymede CI has opened its doors to Mountview Alternative Junior School working closely to ensure that the transition to a new space is smooth and that all students feel welcome in a new environment. Paul’s ability to build relationships and articulate a vision is one of his greatest strengths, along with always taking an open minded approach to new ways of learning. Paul sets high expectations for himself and has demonstrated them through his work with students, staff and his community. His dedication to the betterment of the school and developing a positive school culture is apparent when students, staff and community members walk the halls of Runnymede CI.

Mitchell Feinman - Teacher, Elementary, Gulfstream Public School
Mitchell is always looking for new, innovative ideas to advocate for children with disabilities and goes above and beyond to support his students and their families to ensure they have a successful future. Mitchell has helped raise awareness of the arts and showcased how actively engaged his students are in learning by offering them opportunities to shine through programs such as the community pop up exhibitions he helps organize. He strives to engage his students by providing unique learning opportunities and shares his leadership throughout the Gulfstream PS community to facilitate conditions for change.

Alana Grossman - Principal, Elementary, Beverley Public School
Alana is the Principal at Beverley Public School and a constant source of strength and support within the school community. She has created a space that focuses on relationships and inspires children to reach their full potential – no matter their needs. Those who know Alana know she goes to great lengths to ensure that her staff and students are provided with every support available. Through her exceptional dedication to the school each day, she has cultivated best practices throughout the school, helps parents feel understood and that their children matter. This year, Beverley PS celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Dream Serenade, an annual concert and fundraiser that has changed the lives of students with developmental disabilities. Beverley is a special place that people feel welcomed because of Alana’s work and devotion to the students, staff and community.

David Servos - Assistant Curriculum Leader, Secondary, Eastdale Collegiate Institute
With over a decade of service to the students of Eastdale CI, David has systemically leveraged the Science and Technology curriculum to provide meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students with intellectual and learning exceptionalities and those who have faced multiple barriers. David nurtures the learning needs of his students and teaches every day with a level of care and commitment to help everyone succeed. You can often find David walking the halls, school yard or urban rooftop farm with the students of Eastdale CI as he engages them in learning opportunities and introduces them to experiences they may not have had without his commitment and dedication.

Peter Singh – Executive Officer
Peter Singh, Executive Officer, Information Technology Services and Information Management, has been at the forefront of bringing innovative technologies to the TDSB. It is through these efforts, that schools, classrooms and staff have been able to enhance digital learning. During his time as a Senior Team member, Peter has helped support a significant number of transformational projects and initiatives that have made an impact on improving the use of technology at the TDSB.Peter’s vision for the future of IT at the TDSB includes adopting modern IT technologies to make our system more adaptable, flexible and efficient. He has a strong awareness of the technology needs of our students and educators, but understands the unique position of IT Services and the responsibility of promoting equitable access to the technologies that will transform teaching and learning at the TDSB.

Jocelynn Smith - Community Support Worker, LC3 Model Schools for Inner City
Jocelynn supports six schools in the Scarborough community as a Community Support Worker for the TDSB. Jocelynn is known for her active community engagement, not just within her Learning Centre, but anywhere she goes. She is a role model for implementing relational practices while she engages with families and goes to great lengths to ensure that families, and more specifically, students, are having both their goals and needs met. It is evident Jocelynn goes the extra mile for those she tends to in her schools, but also in supporting those who may not have direct contact and are in need of a Community Support Worker.