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The Jack Henshaw Award 2024

This award honours Jack Henshaw, a tireless supporter and champion of the local, affordable, and accessible General Interest and Seniors Daytime programs offered by the Toronto District School Board. It is awarded to someone who has shown a similar commitment to lifelong learning and has made a significant, sustained contribution to the ongoing success of these programs.

The recipient of the award may be an instructor, administrator, adult learner, school trustee or other active supporter of the programs. Nominations may be made by email using the nomination form attached below.

2024 Jack Henshaw Award Nomination Form

2023 Jack Henshaw Award Recipient

On behalf of the Continuing Education Department at the Toronto District School Board, we are excited to announce that the recipient of Learn4Life’s 2023 Jack Henshaw Award goes to Narayana Reddy, Bicycle Repair instructor!

The award is in recognition of a Learn4Life instructor who has shown a commitment to lifelong learning and has made a significant, sustained contribution to the ongoing success of the general interest and seniors' daytime programs.

From the submissions that were received, here are just a few sentiments from his students:

  • His knowledge was encyclopedic, his enthusiasm unbridled and his patience unparalleled. He provided not only hands-on experience but also supplied parts and comprehensive theory during every session. It was one of the best educational experiences I have had. I am a retired Associate Professor formerly in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Toronto and have taught graduate-level courses for many years. This man definitely deserves recognition for his dedication, knowledge, humility and pedagogy.
  • One of the key criteria for this award is the ability to create an inclusive and equitable learning environment. Nanni consistently demonstrates his commitment to inclusivity by fostering a classroom culture where every student feels valued, respected, and empowered. He actively seeks out and implements diverse teaching strategies. The strategies include lecture, question & answer, and lots of hands-on activity.
  • He actively contributes to active, lifelong learning. He has engaged some of the wider issues of developing a cycling culture in the city. This is all done non-politically but demonstrates to students that our cycling is part of a larger social matrix. He has encouraged us to get involved in cycling organizations that advocate for safer cycling or that provide opportunities for under-represented communities.
  • Nani goes above and beyond what's expected for the best student experience. He provides mechanic grade tools (often at his own expense), brings spare parts and suggests techniques and additional resources. He is generous with his help, in how he teaches and encourages students to participate.
  • He is a very skilled instructor, with a deep understanding of the conceptual, theoretical, and historical dimensions of bicycle design (which make for very engaging talks) as well as a no-nonsense, pragmatic, and hands-on approach to skills development. He shows us what to do, explains things clearly, and is very encouraging.

Nani's classes start with a history of the parts of the bike being focused on in the week's class. This is something that could otherwise be boring but Nani manages to weave tales of bikes of old, intertwined with valuable bike part manufacturer knowledge and engineering know-how. He then moves on to a hands-on demonstration. He has a way of engaging his audience - speaking to them as peers, assisting with absolutely every question, and finding a way to have every possible tool and every possible part at the ready - all while calmly demonstrating countless fixes and ways to repair a bike on a small budget.


2023 Jack Henshaw Award Winner Narayana Reddy holding a plaque beside Learn4Life administrators

2023 Jack Henshaw Award Winner Narayana Reddy holding a plaque commemorating his award

2023 Jack Henshaw Award Winner Narayana Reddy surrounded by a group of his bicycle repair course learners