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For Immediate Release
April 20, 2017


The Bancroft Award, named in honour of James Frederick Bancroft, the first President of the NLTA, was established in 1980 to mark the 90th anniversary of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association. The award recognizes outstanding service at the branch level of the NLTA.

Jamie Jenkins of the St. John’s Centre Branch is a recipient of the Bancroft Award for 2016.

Jamie’s commitment to teachers and the profession are evident in his activities at the branch level of the NLTA. He has held positions of Treasurer, President and Past President at various times since 2002 with the Southern Shore Branch and Member-at-Large and President of the St. John’s Centre Branch. He has chaired or been a member of the branch Social Committee, Retirement Committee, Awards Committee, Year End Social Committee, the Curling FUNspiel and Electoral Committee.

Jamie has served on various provincial committees and currently serves as a Group Insurance Trustee and as a member of the Pooled Investment Committee. He has also been a member of the School Board-Teacher Liaison Committee several times throughout the years.

Jamie has always had an interest in the welfare of teachers in his branches and this concern has involved bringing teacher professional issues to Joint Council, the School Board-Teacher Liaison Committee, as well as organizing major social events to bring teachers together. He has always been an advocate for teachers and their concerns.

Jamie has been teaching for over 18 years and currently teaches at Holy Heart High School in St. John’s.

Peter McCormack of Labrador West Branch is a recipient of the Bancroft Award for 2016.

Peter held several positions with the Labrador West Branch before taking over as President in 2009. He was instrumental in arranging branch closeout days on various professional development topics, served on the Labrador West Negotiating Team, chaired the Liaison Committee Team, and the Social Committee which brought back the Curling Bonspiel, Family Christmas Skate, and Welcome New Teacher Social.

Peter helped grow the branch executive and his strong leadership has unified the branch. He has boosted teacher morale and has been instrumental in promoting the NLTA. Peter is known for providing a professional and compassionate ear to those members who have questions or need assistance.

Besides being extremely approachable, Peter is well known for a great sense of humour and for putting people at ease. He has always ensured that beginning teachers are cared for and informed about their rights and benefits; that mid career teachers are on the right path and not forgotten; and that those on the cusp of retirement are prepared for what is ahead.

Besides his active teaching career and involvement at the branch level, Peter also writes, produces and directs theatre at the local and provincial level.

Peter retired from Menihek High School at the end of the 2015 -16 school year.

Katherine Rowsell of Humber Branch is a recipient of the Bancroft Award for 2016.

Katherine has been involved with the Humber Branch since 1989 and has held the positions of Political Action Officer, Secretary, Professional Development Officer, Member-at-Large and Vice-President. She has been on the Social Committee, Scholarship Committee, Retirement Dinner Committee, Resolutions Committee, Elections Committee, Fundraising Committee and Awards Committee, to name a few.

Katherine is known as the “go to” person when planning branch meetings, socials and presentations. She has been involved in planning and hosting numerous professional development sessions for members of her branch including financial wellness sessions with NLTA staff and teacher wellness sessions for substitute teachers. Her commitment, dedication and involvement has never changed over the years, not only to her branch, but also in being an advocate for the NLTA. Her focus has always been on getting new and substitute teachers involved with the branch and with the NLTA.

Katherine always takes her responsibilities very seriously and goes above and beyond, and is always ready and willing to help whenever it is necessary.

Katherine is currently a full-time Learning Resources Teacher at Corner Brook Regional High School.

Christina Cox of St. John’s Centre Branch is recipient of the Bancroft Award for 2017.

Christina has been very active with the St. John’s Centre Branch for many years serving as branch communications officer, vice-president as well as a member of the branch electoral committee. She has also been a coordinator of the teachers’ curling funspiel and teachers’ retirement celebrations.

Christina has been a member of the Eastern School Board Teacher Liaison Committee, attended DSS and CONTACT, has been a school representative, and assisted with the creation of the inaugural Substitute Teacher Special Interest Council. She was a member of the provincial Membership Benefits and Services Committee as well as the Communications/Political Action Committee.

In 2009 Christina received the Canadian Technology Champion Award by the Canadian Council of Technologists. In 2012 she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence for her involvement in promoting technology education in the classroom, along with providing professional development opportunities for teachers. She received the title of Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013 for efforts of professional development for working with teachers in utilizing Apple technologies in the classroom.

Christina is currently vice-principal at Frank Roberts Junior High in Foxtrap.

The Barnes Award, named in honour of Dr. Arthur Barnes, the first Minister of Education in the province who, in 1928, initiated a number of teacher conferences to promote excellence in education, was established in 1987 to recognize outstanding professional development services provided by teachers at the special interest council level.

Robert Matthews of Corner Brook is recipient of the 2016 Barnes Award.

A teacher for 26 years, Robert (Rob) is well known for his strong work ethic and his support of all children and colleagues. He has a strong desire to promote professional development and is a tireless supporter of teachers and administrators.

Rob has been a member of the School Administrators’ Council (SAC) since very early in his career, serving as Provincial President from 2010-12 and is currently President of SAC Region 3. Under his leadership the Western Region planned, organized and executed three provincial SAC conferences. He was instrumental in the development of the Victor May Award – Distinguished School Administrator of the Year, now in its twelfth year. He also organized smaller scale regional professional development for local administrators and served on the NLTA Provincial Negotiating Team.

Rob is well known for encouraging teachers to find ways to best reach students in all areas of the curriculum. He demonstrates a strong and unwavering commitment to administrators and has been an active member of Leadership at Work for many years, which has provided meaningful self-directed professional development for administrators.

Rob is currently school administrator at Humber Elementary in Corner Brook.

Kellie Baker of St. John’s is recipient of the 2017 Barnes Award.

A physical education teacher for over 15 years, Kellie has been an advocate and strong promoter of physical education and healthy lifestyle. She was a member of the NLTA Physical Education Special Interest Council from the beginning of her career and held numerous positions including President from 2010-13. She is currently President of the newly-formed NLTA Health Education Special Interest Council.

Kellie has been a consistent contributor to The Bulletin and PESIC’s newsletter Let’s Go! and has also been published in the Physical and Health Education Journal, Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education, Teaching Education, and Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education. She has made numerous presentations across Canada on physical education and has been involved in creating and delivering professional development in the areas of physical and health education.
Kellie has received the St. John’s Women’s Senior Basketball League Most Dedicated to the League Award; the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance/Wintergreen – National Physical Education Teacher of the Year as well as Provincial/Territorial Physical Education Teacher of the Year; Physical Education Special Interest Council Award of Merit; and the Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies (MUN) in recognition of outstanding academic achievement throughout a graduate program.

Kellie is currently a Grade 5 teacher at St. Matthew’s School in St. John’s.

The Special Recognition Award was instituted in 1990 by Johnson Inc. to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association. The award is presented annually to an active member of the NLTA who has made a major contribution to the cultural, social and/or community life of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Robert Parsons of GranForLine Branch is the recipient of the 2016 Special Recognition Award.

Robert’s involvement in the province’s heritage preservation and celebration has been immense. He has published over 21 non-fiction books on Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine and cultural history, six books on the Maritime Provinces’ marine history, as well as an audio book, children’s book and shipwreck maps. His personal archives contain hundreds of historical photos, audio interviews and files on ships and wrecks.

Robert has been chair of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, a Tidy Towns judge, a national judge for the Communities in Bloom competition, on the Board of Directors for Heritage Run, the NL Library Board Eastern Division, the Grand Bank Development Corporation, a lifetime member of the Newfoundland Historical Society, board member of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, past president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #24, and past member of the Grand Bank Library Board, to name just a few.

In 2009 Robert received the Polaris Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the preservation and public awareness of the marine heritage and history in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is also the creator of, containing archival material and listing victims of the sea for the province.

Robert retired from teaching in 1998 and currently resides in Grand Bank.

Deborah Green of Humber Branch is the recipient of the 2017 Special Recognition Award.

Deborah’s involvement in her community has been one of consistency, dedication and service. She has been team captain for Templeton Academy’s Team who organized numerous fundraising events throughout the year for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Run for the Cure. She has been team caption and teacher advisor for Relay for Life for the Canadian Cancer Society; coordinator for the student volunteer program at Templeton Academy; advisor, trainer and consultant for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; leader with Girl Guides of Canada; and has organized activities around the student knitting club, Operation Christmas Child, Celebrating Seniors Project, Transition House Collection Project, and school recycling, to name a few.

Deborah has received several awards for her contributions including the Templeton Academy Outstanding Volunteer Award, Volunteer Long Service Award for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program, Breast Cancer Foundation Run for the Cure School Team Challenge Award, Long and Dedicated Service Awards for Girl Guides of Canada, National and International Trainer Recognition with Girl Guides, and the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada Medal.

Deborah is currently a teacher at Templeton Academy in Corner Brook.

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