2020 Community Recognition Award Recipients

Annually, the OCDSB recognizes the valuable contributions of our community members, parents, and businesses through the OCDSB Community Recognition Awards. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with our community and how our appreciation for the significant and valued work that our volunteers do in our schools for our students.

This year, due to COVID-19, we are not hosting our annual  Volunteer Appreciation Reception and Community Recognition Awards Ceremony.  However, we are celebrating our award recipients by letter, website and social media stories.   


Read more about the 2020 recipients below, and see the full list of nominees.

Chair’s Award 

This Award is granted in recognition of outstanding efforts of a member of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board community in developing an initiative that directly supports the well-being of our students.

Don GerlitzDon Gerlitz

Adult High School

Don has been a volunteer in the Board’s Central Orientation Class (COC) for a number of years. He goes above and beyond with the students, spending three days a week in the classrooms. Students from past years still stop by to visit Don.

Amid the challenges of COVID-19, Don immediately sought opportunities to continue working with students online to ensure that vulnerable students could access language instruction at home. His concern for everyone in the class is obvious.

Don is an experienced volunteer who needs little direction when working through math or language lessons, which is extremely helpful when working with this diverse group of students.

Community Partnership Award 

This Award is granted in recognition of outstanding partnership/support from a community agency or business over an extended period of years or through a significant initiative that has directly benefited OCDSB students.

Jayne GauthierJayne Gauthier, Whitehaven Kindergarten School Age Centre 

D. Roy Kennedy Public School

As the Director of Whitehaven Kindergarten School Age Centre at D. Roy Kennedy, Jayne has built a strong connection with the entire school community – from sharing resources and skills, to donating equipment to the program, to her work on the preschool reading buddies program.

Jayne sits on the Parent Council as a member at large and has previously been Chair of the Parent Council for both D. Roy Kennedy P.S. and Meadowlands P.S. This past holiday season, she used her own resources to help the staff at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Secondary Alternate Program stock their foodbank shelves with toiletries. She has also facilitated literacy kit and math game exchanges and helped to ensure that resources are circulated throughout the Board. 

Jayne has offered countless workshops to ensure that the best, most current practices are foremost in the classroom and childcare centres. In her more than 39 years as an Early Childhood Educator serving the school board, Jayne has worked tirelessly to ensure that families have access to quality and affordable care.

Distinguished School Council Service Award

This Award is granted in recognition of the outstanding efforts of a school council or school council member for making a significant contribution to enhancing the learning experience of students at a school and/or system level. 

Julie SmithJulie Smith

Stittsville Public School

Julie has been a regular School Council volunteer who has gone above and beyond. She has a small home business producing silkscreen clothing, and for almost a decade, she has supplied spirit wear for the school. In 2018-2019, Stittsville P.S. sought out a partnership with Pinecrest P.S. as sister schools. The Stittsville P.S. Council funded the purchase of school t-shirts for the entire Pinecrest school, and Julie made 425 Pinecrest T-shirts for students.

Julie is the kind of volunteer who takes on whatever work is needed. She volunteered to organize and run the sale of food at the school Funfair. She was also a regular food program volunteer. Julie can be found volunteering at every major school event – from movie nights and dances, to Cake Walk, to Funfair – always taking on jobs like clean-up or set-up with a smile.

Julie rarely misses a School Council meeting. All the things she does truly build the school community.

Community Award 

This Award is granted in recognition of outstanding efforts of a member of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board community in developing an initiative that directly supports the well-being of our students. 

Gabrielle Fayant-Lewis and Dani LanouetteGabrielle Fayant-Lewis and Dani Lanouette

Assembly of Seven Generations

Gabrielle originates from Fishing Lake Metis Settlement, Alberta and is an award-winning woman for her work in the community. Dani is Anishinaabe from Neyaashiinigmiing Anishinaabekiing and Algonquins of Barriere Lake. She is currently in the Combined Honours in Indigenous and Canadian Studies program at Carleton University.

Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G) is an Indigenous-owned and youth-led non-profit organization focused on cultural support and empowerment programs and policies for Indigenous youth, while being led by traditional knowledge and Elder guidance. Opportunities include weekly gatherings; wellness seminars; language learning drop-in sessions; community round dances; land camp; elders and youth gatherings; seasonal land-based sharing and learning; and a Canadian Roots Exchange between Unceded Algonquin Territory (Ottawa) and Fishing Lake Metis Settlement (Alberta).

Most recently, A7G has raised funds to support youth living with food insecurity. They have also supported a youth-led and youth-authored report mapping and highlighting Indigenous youth services in Ottawa. Their commitment to Indigenous youth is outstanding and directly supports many Indigenous children and youth who attend the OCDSB.

Excellence in Equity Community Award 

This Award recognizes the contribution of a parent, volunteer, business community member of organization to support the alignment and integration of equity and inclusive educational principles and practice over an extended period of years or through a significant initiative that has directly benefited OCDSB students. 

June GirvanJune Girvan

June has been a constant champion for the importance of inclusivity and justice for our newcomer and visible minority community. As June stated: "As we all do know, what society does for children today, is equipping them to do for society ‘tomorrow’."

History has not been kind to children of African descent in the system. This is recognized and clearly stated in the Board’s May 15, 2018 adoption of the UN Decade for People of African Descent. As a volunteer, June has put months of work into this major project with the OCDSB. She has been following up to assure that the Board's pledge/covenant in the May 18, 2018 adoption of the intent of the Decade continues to be honoured. 

June does this because she wants to make sure that children of African descent, who have few role models that look like them in the OCDSB, make meaningful contributions to our society. She is a strong advocate for those who have faced injustice.

Volunteer of the Year Award

This Award is granted in recognition of the substantial contribution of a parent volunteer or community volunteer over an extended period of years or through a single significant initiative that has had a positive impact on students.

Tanvir MinhasTanvir Minhas

Merivale High School

Since graduating from Merivale High School in 2011, Tanvir has given countless hours of his time back to the school almost every year. He has coached Junior and Senior Boys’ and Girls’ Volleyball in both the head and assistant positions. He exercises patience, is relatable, understands students, models commitment, and is a great coach. 

Tanvir has done all of this while pursuing his career in medicine and starting his family. He sets an example for students of selflessness, passion for sport, and dedication to being one’s best at everything one does.

For full descriptions of the award categories, visit the
Community Awards page

For further information regarding these awards, please refer to Procedure PR.636.GOV - Community Member Recognition Awards Program and Policy P.013.GOV -  Community Member Recognition Awards Program

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