John Polanyi CI teacher Imran Mohamed and Earl Haig Secondary School teacher Alexandre (Sacha) Noukhovitch are two of twelve teachers across Canada, to be recognized with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence in STEM this year.
Since 1994, the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence have honoured exceptional educators in Canadian elementary and secondary schools. The TDSB has been fortunate to have a number of past winners over the years, including this year’s winners – Imran Mohamed, a Business, Computer Science, Accounting, teacher from John Polanyi Collegiate Institute and Sacha Noukhovitch a Computer Science, Computer Engineering teacher from Earl Haig Secondary School.
Imran Mohamed - Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence
Imran Mohamed graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Technology Management from Ryerson University. After attending teacher’s college Imran began his career in the Lawrence Heights community and has continued to make an impact teaching for the TDSB for the last 14 years. Imran's approach to teaching and learning is grounded in a mindset of growth, while effectively harnessing social and community entrepreneurship for educational and social change. He views students as digital learners and provides all students with access to appropriate technology while at school, so outcomes are equitable.
In his business classes Imran approaches subjects from a social entrepreneurship lens and in his Computer Science and Engineering classes he challenges students to think how they can use technology to make a positive impact in the future. Lastly, Imran, with the help and support from fellow colleague Rahim Essabhai, established JPCI CITY – Change Impacting Toronto’s Youth, a volunteer group at the school that focuses on making an impact locally and globally. JPCI CITY has won two social entrepreneurship competitions and represented Canada in Russia and South Korea, in addition they have travelled to and raised money for many communities around the world. www.jpcicity.org
Sacha Noukhovitch - Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence in STEM
Sacha’s teaching philosophy is founded on students' agency in the education process and developing a strong digital citizenship position. He believes that this generation of students are natural data scientists whose diverse backgrounds and learning styles should be answered by differentiated instruction and personalized learning opportunities.
His co-created programs built in collaboration with students ensure a personally meaningful and relevant engagement to the work so that students take the initiative and exercise their leadership roles to help solve real-life problems that impact not only themselves but also their classmates and society. Students in his classes have developed Android and iOS apps like Haig Navigate that calculates the shortest path to their next class, as well as easy to use and intuitive assignment planners, and a camera app that assists in taking perfectly positioned landscape or portrait photos from the chalkboard or projected notes on a screen. Capitalizing on student agency, Sacha ensures that learning is student-generated, purposeful, and meaningful to each individual involved and invites teachers and students to join his classes in paving the path to equality and equal access to education through Open Data. https://stemfellowship.org/2020-21-hsbdc/.
Don Valley Middle School science and math teacher Lisa Tatum was also recognized in this year’s awards, receiving a Certificate of Achievement in the STEM category as well.