Celebrating the 2023 OPSBA Award Recipients


Rainbow DSB Trustee Doreen Dewar (centre) receives the Dr. Harry Paikin Award at the 2023 OPSBA AGM. She is flanked by OPSBA President Cathy Abraham (R) and Rainbow DSB Trustee Judy Kosmerly.

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association offers six annual awards to recognize outstanding contributions to public education by individuals in Ontario! While it is impossible to honour all those special people who make a difference, the recipients of these awards represent the many people who work behind the scenes and make our schools and educational system better.

This year’s recipients are:

Jack A. MacDonald Award of Merit

The recipient of this student award is selected on the basis of a sound academic record throughout their career, accompanied by outstanding community service and leadership. The 2022 Award of Merit was presented to Braydon Anthony Bandurka, Cobourg Collegiate Institute, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB.

A Certificate of Recognition was awarded to the following students:

  • Calvin Bell, Beaver Valley Community School, Bluewater DSB
  • Gavin Hickey, Sir Wilfrid Laurier SS, Ottawa Carleton DSB

OPSBA Award of Excellence and Achievement Award

These awards are presented by local boards to volunteers for outstanding, exemplary and/or unique contributions to the overall well-being of the school or community through in-school, board-wide, extra-curricular and/or volunteer activity.

OPSBA 2023 Achievement Awards were presented to the following individuals:

  • Susan Neal, Forest Valley Elementary School, Ottawa-Carleton DSB
  • Phillip Rennison, Lisgar C.I., Ottawa-Carleton DSB
  • Sandra Pedersen, Bells Corners P.S., Ottawa-Carleton DSB
  • Andrew Jarabek, Bells Corners P.S., Ottawa-Carleton DSB
  • Natasha Klages, Chesley District Community School, Bluewater DSB
  • Marianne Stewart & the School and Family Health Team, Lakehead DSB
  • Nolan Steen Tutoring Services, Hastings and Prince Edward DSB
  • Frank Lew, Greenbank Public School, Durham DSB
  • Phouvieng Sackda, Zion Heights Middle School, Toronto DSB
  • Laurie Vonk, Victoria Terrace P.S., Upper Grand DSB
  • Gary Adduono, Terrace Bay Public Elementary School, Superior Greenstone DSB
  • Romana Siddiqui, Parent Involvement Committee, Peel DSB
  • Ranil Mendis, Ontario Schools Cricket Association, Peel DSB

President’s Award

The President’s Award recognizes persons with 25 years of trustee service in public education. The 2023 recipients are:

  • Judy Hunda, Trustee, Rainbow DSB
  • Dena Morrison, Trustee, Rainbow DSB

Dr. Harry Paikin Memorial Award

This award is given to an active or retired public school trustee for outstanding service as a public school trustee. The 2023 recipient is Trustee Doreen Dewar, Rainbow DSB.

Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award

The Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award is given to an active or retired member of the teaching profession for outstanding contribution to education in Ontario. This may consist of constructive participation in education affairs over a number of years or for work on some recent and specific project which has had provincial impact. The 2023 recipient is Jon Swaine, Teacher, Limestone DSB.

Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award

The Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award honours a trustee who has served a Northern Ontario public school board. Nominations are reviewed at the end of June and presented at the Northern Region Meeting and Program in October. Judging for the award takes place in September. The 2022 recipients are Jay Aspin, Near North DSB retired trustee, and Raymond Roy, Rainy River DSB retired trustee.


Nominations will open for the 2024 OPSBA Awards later this year. For further information, contact inquiry@opsba.org.