OPSOA Award Winners


The OPSOA Distinguished Leadership Award is presented annually to a Member who has demonstrated outstanding ability and leadership in public education at both the provincial and local school system levels. The candidate is a leader in a number of OPSOA initiatives and is valued by colleague Members and by the education community for that leadership.

Recipient: Carol Speers, Superintendent of Education, Alternative Programs, Peel District School Board

Carol is a nine-year member of OPSOA, current Central Regional Director on the OPSOA Board of Directors and past Chair of the OPSOA Equity and Inclusion Committee. Carol’s many leadership positions have distinguished her as an exceptional contributor to the needs of not only her local education community but to the enhancement of those educational interests and needs beyond her community. As co-chair of the Make Peel Proud Spectrum Committee, Carol assisted in the creation of the first Board-wide Day of Pink and the expansion of the committee’s mandate to increase understanding on LGBTQ issues. As a member of the PDSB Equity Steering Committee, Carol has worked with community members to bring equity and inclusivity to life in Peel schools and beyond. Carol has also served as the Peel Board rep with the Global Learning Alliance – a grouping of educators from 6 countries to discuss 21st century learning competencies. To the Supervisory Officers who brought forward Carol’s name – thank you for recognizing her as a Distinguished Leader


In recognition of the District School Board for the support of their staff serving in the role of President of the Association, an annual OPSOA President's Leadership Award is granted to a student/students from a school of the President’s Board. Recipients are recognized for their outstanding leadership, outstanding contribution to school and/or community and other criteria as determined locally.

Recipients: FireWorks, Fuzed Glass Wonders, Ottawa Technical Secondary School

Fire Works is a fused glass program designed for the students with physical disabilities at Ottawa Technical Secondary School. The students have been successful in making glass jewelry and home décor products that they sell in the community. Through design problems and using colour theory, students create their own designs. As a result, students see an improvement in their fine motor skills, vocational and self-advocacy skills. Surprisingly, the biggest gain for the students is the increase in their self-esteem. All the proceeds of their work goes back to fund this glass program for youth with physical disabilities. Fire Works began in 2005 as a small project to learn about glass fusing. Before we knew it, the students’ jewelry was in high demand. They have sold their work in Arts Festivals, in the school board and also in the community. They even made it to the National News. CTV did a news segment about them and they were picked up by National CTV News. Fire Works gives students with physical disabilities the opportunity to make a contribution and be productive. The program is self-funded. All the proceeds of their work goes back to fund the glass program. It is these students who have prepared your OPSOA gift this year.