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For Immediate Release
April 20, 2017


St. John’s, NL… The Patricia Cowan Award, named in honour of the first female President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, was presented to Geralyn Costello at the NLTA Biennial Convention on Thursday, April 20, by NLTA President James Dinn. The Patricia Cowan Award for Support and Promotion of Education was established in 2007 to recognize outstanding contributions and/or support for education by groups or individuals outside the K-12 school system.

Geralyn has worked with the NLTA for almost 42 years and has a wealth of knowledge about the history and operations of the NLTA including by-laws, policy and procedures. She has been and continues to be a vital asset to the Association.

Geralyn graduated in 1973 as an honours matriculation student from Roncalli Central High School in Avondale. She attended the College of Trades and Technology and graduated in 1975 from a two-year Secretarial Science course with a Diploma of Applied Arts. In 1990 Geralyn received her Diploma in Vocational Education from Memorial University and in 1995, her Bachelor of Vocational Education.

Geralyn starting working with the NLTA on September 15, 1975 as Stenographer – Secretary for the then Director of Teacher Welfare (now Programs and Services). In April 1980, after over four years in Teacher Welfare, she was promoted to the position of Assistant to the President. The job title has since changed to Executive Assistant, Governance, and many of the job responsibilities have changed and expanded to reflect the demands of the position.

As Assistant to the President, Geralyn has worked directly with 17 NLTA presidents, including NLTA President Patricia Cowan whom this prestigious award is named for. In her current position, Geralyn works with the Provincial Executive Council organizing meetings, maintaining minutes and advising the President on the procedures of Executive meetings. She is responsible for all matters relating to branch operations  including  the  Branch  Operations  Manual,  Branch  Updates,  and  is  the  go to person for Branch Presidents regarding any questions concerning branch funding and procedures. She is fundamental to coordinating activities relating to the Association’s Biennial General Meeting, seminars, province-wide elections, Association awards and the maintenance of the Association’s Policy Handbook, which contains policies and procedures for all aspects of the NLTA operations.

Geralyn’s dedication to the NLTA has been second to none. She is always one of the first to offer assistance with any project and has always been a creative thinker in getting the job done.

Geralyn’s ability to accommodate, even when it wasn’t easy or convenient, assures others of a continuing, enjoyable, successful relationship in getting the task completed. Her “whatever it takes” attitude has made all the difference to the NLTA since her first days on the job. She has probably forgotten more about the NLTA than any of us will ever know.

Geralyn has been a volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She was a member of the organizing committee for the first Ovarian Cancer Walk held in St. John’s a number of years ago and volunteered with the Newfoundland Summer Games that was held in Mount Pearl. She was on the Executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter – Canadian Celiac Association and a member of the organizing committee for its national conference in June 2015. Geralyn currently resides in Mount Pearl.

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For further information contact:
Lesley-Ann Browne, NLTA Communications, Tel: 709-726-3223, ext. 228; 682-3751 (cellular);