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Award Recognizes Ontario Teachers For Excellence in Education

Written on June 20th, 2017

Five Ontario teachers are the latest recipients of the John Rozema Awards for Teacher Excellence. Now in their second year, the Rozema Awards recognize teachers who surpass expectations in their work at Christian schools in Ontario.

Michael Van Pelt, President and CEO of Cardus, and Dr. Beth Green, Education Program Director at Cardus, along with John and Stephen Rozema, presented the awards at a gala June 8, 2017 at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, ON in partnership with the Christian School Foundation. The awards went to five teachers in four categories:


Margaret Kamping, a Grade 3 & 4 teacher at Dunnville Christian School, takes home a $5,000 prize. She got her students involved in helping to spur the restoration of Hamilton sculptor Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook’s work at a local fountain.


Anneke Gretton, a math teacher at Chatham Christian School, takes home a $5,000 prize. Her Grade 11 students used their mathematical skills to research poverty in their community and to develop realistic financial plans for a young person living on their own.


Kim Furtney and Jeff Weening, who teach history and English respectively at Unity Christian High School in Barrie, ON, split an $8,000 prize. Their students developed a Canadian history exhibit at the Simcoe County Museum.


Gordon Park, an English and drama teacher at Smithville Christian High School, takes home a $5,000 prize. Known for instilling creativity in his students, Gordon runs the school’s theatre program, which produced Woody Allen’s play “Don’t Drink the Water” last month.
“I’m thrilled with the caliber of teachers we’ve seen win the Rozema Awards this year,” said Dr. Beth Green. “Clearly their passion for teaching drives them to bring learning to life for their students, creating memories and lessons that will last a lifetime.”

Michael Van Pelt notes that the Rozema Awards have added a new category this year.

“This is the first time we’ve included an award for a teacher involved in the arts,” said Van Pelt. “That’s an important step forward because it’s an area where the seeds of culture are planted, the results of which we’ll see in the lives of their students.”

The John Rozema Teaching Excellence Awards recognise excellence as an ongoing investment into the life of a Christian school community and a positive public contribution to the common good. The awards are named for and sponsored by Sarnia business leader John Rozema, esteemed for his commitment to both local and global issues, and for his support of institutions such as Sarnia Christian School. The Awards are presented in partnership with the Christian School Foundation.