Dueck among honourees at CTF awards presentation

September 26, 2018

Former Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive Director Gwen Dueck is pictured with Canadian Teachers’ Federation President Mark Ramsankar receiving the Special Recognition Award from the CTF.

Former Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive Director Gwen Dueck was one of three Canadian Teachers’ Federation Special Recognition Award recipients at this year’s Canadian Teachers’ Federation Annual General Meeting held in Edmonton.

Dueck broke new ground as the first female to assume the role of General Secretary (now Executive Director) of the STF, a position which she held for nine years prior to her retirement in April 2017. This culminated a 23-year career with the STF, which began with her being Director of the Saskatchewan Professional Development Unit from 1994 to 1999.

Prior to joining the STF, Dueck had spent 13 years as a teacher at the elementary and secondary school levels.

In presenting the award, CTF President Mark Ramsankar alluded to Dueck’s steadfast leadership in the areas of social and political advocacy, as well as professional stewardship and responsibility.

There was also praise for the pivotal role Dueck played in international projects aiming to assist developing areas with teaching resources, such as the STF partnership with the All India Primary Teachers Federation.

According to Ramsankar, “her firm and visionary leadership provided stability during many changes in Saskatchewan’s education system.”

Earlier this year, Dueck was also the recipient of the 2018 Arbos Award for Contributions to the Professional Organization during the STF Annual Meeting of Council.

Don Ash was the second CTF Special Recognition Award laureate, a former Executive Director of Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association who also served on its provincial executive council. Ash was also branch president as well as administrative officer and assistant executive director with the council.

The final recipient of this year’s CTF Special Recognition Award was Gordon Thomas, with 41 years of public education service to his credit. Introduced into the field by his father, who was a high school teacher for over 40 years, Thomas embodied a collegial approach in both his policies and his leadership style during his 34 years with the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

This year’s CTF Outstanding Indigenous Educator Award was bestowed on Wilfred Buck, a science facilitator with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. He has taught courses at elementary and secondary grade levels and created an innovative First Nations astronomy program.

Wilson Bearhead, a Nakota Elder and Wabamun Lake First Nation community member in central Alberta, was the recipient of the CTF Indigenous Elder Award.