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Four Hamilton Teachers Win Teaching Excellence Award


June 13, 2018

HAMILTON, ON  Four Hamilton teachers are taking home a prestigious John Rozema Award for Teacher Excellence. The Rozema Awards recognize teachers at independent Christian schools in Ontario who nurture student character, local community engagement, and improved school culture in addition to academic performance. This year’s winners excelled in teaching independent Christian school students to care for their communities and natural environment.

Laurie Koning at Hamilton’s Guido de Brès High School took the $5,000 award in the Excellence in Global Perspective category – a brand new category. The geography and science teacher led her students in creating a campaign to raise public awareness about the drought, famine, and war that plague South Sudan by creating storybooks, presentations, calendars, fundraisers, and special bracelets.

Jonathan De Vries at Hamilton District Christian High School won the $5,000 award in the Excellence in the Teaching of Creative and Performing Arts category. The art teacher’s students used the Smoky Hollow Falls along the Bruce Trail to inspire them to create paintings, which they then sold, raising awareness about the eco-park system and raising funds for community meal programs.

Richard Van Egmond and Jared Patus at Hamilton District Christian High School earned the Group Excellence award. Using a special school co-op learning and career exploration program, their students built a disc golf course on campus as a creative and positive response to community needs.

“Independent Christian schools deserve recognition for their commitment to excellence in teaching, which is why the Rozema Awards exist,” said Dr. Beth Green, Cardus Education program director. “The caliber of this year’s winners and shortlisted entries shows that all Christian schools are a vital part of Ontario’s education system.”

Teachers from London and Owen Sound won in the Elementary and Secondary Teaching Excellence categories, rounding out this year’s winners. The June 13th awards reception in the Rock Garden of the Royal Botanical Gardens handed out a total of $28,000 in awards to be used for the winning teachers’ professional development. Videos of the winners and runners-up are available online.

The John Rozema Awards for Teacher Excellence are presented in partnership with the Christian School Foundation.


Daniel Proussalidis
 Cardus – Director of Communications