Congratulations to the 2023 Literacy Leader Award Winners!

Laura Bross Avon Maitland DSB

In her role as a literacy leader, Laura’s knowledge and experience inspires educators to reflect on their current teaching practices and implement change to do what is necessary to fulfill the obligation to meet students’ right to read.  Laura addresses any questions or concerns by suggesting PD opportunities, resources and learning tools that could be added into existing programs. On her own initiative, Laura took LETRS and Acadience Training, and regularly watches webinars about structured literacy and reading science. She hosts data nights with her colleagues, where they examine their screening data and use it to inform instruction.  She shares strategies to support improved Tier 1 instruction, tracks school data, and shares her knowledge broadly. As a former SERT, Laura also supports aligning Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions with reading science.

Nathaniel Hansford

Nathaniel is an excellent teacher who consistently goes above and beyond for his students. He is knowledgeable in the science of reading, and has a skill for using the appropriate evidence-based practices in the appropriate classroom context. Nathan is also very patient, taking the time to make sure that every student has a solid grasp of the material before moving on. He is truly dedicated to his students’ success and always goes the extra mile to ensure that they are motivated and engaged. Nathan’s leadership is evident in the way he freely donates his time to his peers who want to learn how to improve their skills in teaching literacy. He is extremely motivated to overcome the challenges of bringing new strategies to our children’s classrooms because he truly believes every child deserves to be taught to read, as is stated in the Right to Read report.

Kara Macie Near North DSB

Kara exemplifies ‘all hands on deck’ when it comes to supporting the right of all students to learn to read. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, she is resourceful and knowledgeable about how to best support educators within her own board. Kara also seeks to collaborate and connect with those from outside Near North in order to both share Near North’s journey, and to learn about resources and evidence-based practices from others. Kara was also instrumental in guiding Near North’s universal screening project in both English and French. Her drive to learn more and support students is inspiring!

Alex-Andrée Madore CSDC du Nouvel-Ontario   

Alex-Andrée is a Clinical Psychologist who has been keeping apprised of the structured literacy movement that has swept the education system. Even prior to the release of the Right to Read Inquiry Report, she has been transforming literacy instruction practices through informative webinars with one focus in mind: to help students learn to read and to engage teachers to supplement the knowledge they should have acquired as student teachers. Her bookmarks & infographics adorn hallways in schools from Wawa to Warren.

Avec sa collègue, Michèle Minor-Corriveau, Alex-Andrée a créé AlphaGraphe, leur initiative de création d’outils pédagogiques basés sur la science de la lecture pour l’apprentissage de la littératie. «Il n’y a absolument rien [qu’Alex-Andrée] fait sans vérifier les pratiques réussies dans la recherche. C’est important dans ce que l’on fait. Il faut vérifier. C’est une personne très intègre avec une rigueur scientifique qu’on ne voit pas beaucoup dans le milieu clinique.»

Julie Morrice Trillium Lakelands DSB

A passionate and innovative educator, Julie has led a grassroots movement in her board. Committed to ensuring every learner’s right to read is honoured, Julie has participated in numerous training courses to strengthen her understanding of structured literacy instruction, an approach to teaching reading that is supported by decades of research. This enhanced training has a direct impact on the training she provides to teachers. When working with educators, Julie meets them where they are and helps them to implement evidence-based reading instruction practices en français. She always has the students’ and educators’ interests at the forefront of her planning and suggestions. Julie doesn’t just walk the walk when it comes to implementing evidence-based reading instruction practices, she walks and talks! She works incredibly hard to learn as much as possible. She has humbly suggested that early screening will need to be a focus for TLDSB next year, as per the recommendations of the Right to Read Report.

Michele Van Der Veen Waterloo CDSB

Michele van der Veen goes above and beyond to support all students’ right to learn to read! She is a true Literacy Leader. She goes out of her way to help other teaching staff with research-based approaches to reading and writing instruction. Michele has leaned into reading science; she has participated in countless courses, workshops, and webinars to build her own knowledge and capacity. Michele happily shares her knowledge to all who are keen to listen and learn. In order to help implement the recommendations of the OHRC’s Right to Read Inquiry Report, Michele has welcomed colleagues and a future teacher in her classroom to observe reading lessons. Michele’s reach stretches far beyond her classroom; educators across Ontario, Canada, and beyond are keen to learn more from Michele through her tweets and website.