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.
2023 Jack Henshaw Award Nomination Form
2022 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 2022 Jack Henshaw Award goes to Miles Hearn, Birdwatching, Flora & Fauna - Discover the Outdoors 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 dedication to the program is remarkable: It's said that in the 15 years he has been doing this he has never missed a session, rain or shine. He often arrives hours early to scout the terrain, finding out what birds are around and where they are hanging out.
- Miles’ gentle enthusiasm for nature is infectious. We find ourselves enthusiastically embracing our newfound familiarity with nature and bird watching with a renewed interest in life. Many of us return for these classes each year and form lasting friendships.
- When he is not guiding us through Toronto parks, he is out on his own bird watching and observing nature. At least once a year he travels through northern Ontario counting and classifying the birds, often simply by their vocalizations, to gather information that is used by scientists and conservationists in their work.
- As a professional educator myself, I have appreciated his respect, humour, and diligence in making sure everyone has an amazing experience. He also photographs all the flora, fauna and birds and emails us everyday so we can continue to learn and fall in love with nature around us.
- What is especially noteworthy and admirable about Miles is that during the 2 years of the pandemic, when several of our courses were cancelled, he travelled around Ontario and posted daily (at least 6 days a week) photos and commentaries on the small towns and trails he visited. In this way, some of us stuck indoors during a long and sometimes scary time, could partake of nature online. Thus we didn't miss the outdoors as much as we might have, and continued to experience the joys of the seasons and the spring and fall bird migrations.
- Many of us have gained a totally new perspective of Toronto having followed Miles to places we would never have visited without him. There have been so many genuine moments of awe and wonder that will stay in my memory