Local Service Award Recipients - 2014

Cape Breton District Local

Arnold Burke

Arnold began his involvement with the NSTU in the mid-1970’s as a School Representative. From there he added to his involvement in the Union by joining committees and serving on the Local Executive. Some noteworthy offices he has held over the years include: Vice-President of Economic Welfare; 1st Vice-President; Chair of the RRC; Co-Chair of the Local Grievance Committee; member of the Local Negotiating Committee for two contracts; Co-Chair of the RRC Economic Welfare Committee. He also gave of his talents to the Cape Breton District Local by serving as President for three years, which he did with great pride and dedication.

Arnold has participated in decision making at the provincial level by serving as a Council Delegate for many years. He has also served as Vice-Chair of AVISO and president of the NSTEA.

Sheila Jones

Sheila has been a dedicated educator with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board for twenty-five years. She is committed to her students and colleagues in her collaborative and caring approach to everything she does. She is particularly passionate about social justice and instilling this passion in her students as they take on projects to help those in need, both in the community and the world.

She has served the NSTU as a school rep, always attentive to the concerns of her fellow staff members. She has also served on several committees at the local level, including Social Activities and PD/Equity.

She has given her input provincially as a Council Delegate for the past ten years.

Mary MacPherson

Early in Mary’s career, she became fully invested in the NSTU. She has been a school rep in each of the schools where she has taught. She gave both her time and energy to several local committees, including PD/Equity and Social Committees. Mary has been a delegate to Annual Council for several years. On the provincial level, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Sheonoroil Foundation. She has attended CONTACT and was on the planning committee for the NSTU when our province hosted this conference.

A well respected resource teacher at Coxheath Elementary, Mary is a strong advocate for students and a valuable asset when it comes to Union concerns.

Mary and her husband Joe have helped with declining enrollment in Cape Breton by having FOUR children. Through their guidance and support two of her beautiful children have followed in their parents’ footsteps and become teachers themselves, with one of them being a Union Rep for her school.

Mary McLeod

Mary has been teaching for 29 years and throughout this time has been very active in Union affairs. Mary’s involvement began in 1988 as a school representative. She has served on many committees within the Cape Breton District Local and the Northside-Victoria Local--  including Equity, Local Nominating and Social Committees. While with the Northside-Victoria Local, she was Regional Representative for Victoria South.

At the provincial level, Mary has served on the Equity Committee and is presently a member of TWAR. She has been a delegate to Annual Council for several years.

As Principal of Mount Carmel Elementary, CBVRSB, she is often described as a strong leader and approachable mentor.

Colchester-East Hants

Cathy Doucet

Cathy is retiring after thirty-two years teaching with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board/Colchester-East Hants School Board. Her teaching career has been mostly in upper elementary and recently as a Literacy mentor.

Cathy has a true passion for unionism and has been involved with the NSTU for most of her career, both in the Colchester-East Hants Local and at the provincial level. Cathy has served as a Rep at her various schools, was on the Local Executive as Secretary, a committee member and VP of the Social Inter-School Committee, a provincial Curriculum Committee member and attended most Annual Councils during her career.

Cathy’s vast knowledge and expertise of the NSTU and her willingness to share and support this with other teachers has been invaluable to her local; she has inspired many teachers to become actively involved in our union.

The Colchester-East Hants Local would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for all Cathy has done to support and promote the NSTU.

Community College Local

Peter Doucette

Peter was appointed to a continuing full-time position, beginning in the fall of 1984. Soon after, in 1988, he embarked on a path of commitment to serving his colleagues and his students, beginning with his accepting the vice-presidency of the NSTU Sub-Local. Following that, he spent numerous years as Sub-Local President, representative for CCTANS, as well as for the NSTU. In addition, he has served as President (or other office) of numerous NSTU Campus committees.

In 1996, Peter was honored to be the first NSTU faculty member elected to the NSCC Board of Governors. In addition, he has held the position of Faculty Chair of the NSCC/NSTU Faculty/Management Committee. He has served as member of the NSCC Trade classification Committee.

Provincially, Peter has served as voting delegate at NSTU Annual Council and many NSTU committees, including the following: Community College/NSTU Communications, Marking and Preparation Committee, Employer/Teacher Committee. His most recent contribution was serving from 2007 to 2012 as the NSCC member for the NSTU Insurance Trustee Board.

Damian Hall

A proud graduate of NSTC in 1987, Damian Hall was first introduced to the NSTU during a presentation at TC. Damian became a site rep at Pictou Campus, NSCC in his probationary period and continued to be active in the Pictou Local as VP of PD, and represented the Local at Annual Council starting in the early ‘90’s. He gained a provincial perspective through committees including, PD and Member Services. After the formation of the Community College Local, he sat at the PE for 4 terms and served as CC Local President for 2 terms as well.

Damian said that there are two high-points to his NSTU involvement. The first was four rounds of bargaining, 2001 to 2013, where he played a role in recovering most of what was lost in the first NSCC/NSTU contract (1998). The second was the opportunity to campaign for president of NSTU in 2012. He feels extremely lucky to be able to meet so many dedicated and involved members of the NSTU.

Cumberland Local

Louise Cloutier

Louise has been actively involved in the Cumberland Local for over 15 years as a teacher representative and committee member. She has served on the resolutions committee for the local, drafting and editing several timely resolutions with the aim of improving teacher workload and stress level. Louise has been a strong voice for the staff she represented and a valuable resource for her colleagues. Known for her diligence, Louise could be depended upon to follow an issue to a satisfactory conclusion no matter the cost in terms of time, phone calls, meetings and research.

Louise’s contribution to the profession spans beyond the Cumberland Local. She has contributed greatly to her school, her community, and the schools in her family by promoting visual arts. She has been recognized both provincially and nationally for teaching excellence. Louise is currently co-coordinating, with community organizations, a Sheonoroil project through which her students will design and create elements of a park commemorating the Pugwash Peace Conference movement.

Debra Ripley

Debra was actively involved in the Cumberland Local NSTU at the school, committee, and Local Executive levels. Debra served as the secretary of the Cumberland Local. She was also a valuable asset to the Professional Development, Equity, Communication, and Finance Committees.

During her years of teaching at Amherst Regional High School, Debra was an active supporter of teachers and students. She was manager of the staff fund and helped organize fundraisers for students’ council. She was a visible presence during school open houses and other community-school functions. Debra was actively involved in the Professional Learning Communities in her school and was always seeking ways to relate to the underprivileged. She manifested her interest in equity in the Special Education room and, especially, in her English classroom where many students were influenced by her theme of social justice.

Halifax County

Kevin Currie

Kevin’s contribution to the Local is as a rep for Sackville High School for two years and for Charles P Allen for 18 years. During that time as a rep, he provided an excellent example as member-leader by speaking on issues affecting his colleagues when necessary. He also attended Annual Council as a delegate for 8 years, and participated on the Communications Committee for one year, furthering his contribution to our membership.

Members like Kevin are the back-bone of our organization; using his voice from the membership level to guide the NSTU.

Kevin attended St. Mary’s University, St FX and Teachers College. He is married to a fellow colleague, elementary teacher Deb Currie. They have two children, Lauren, who is in grade 12 and Michael, who is in grade 10.

Ernestine Oakley

A graduate of Saint Mary's University with both a BA in French and a B.Ed., Ernestine is also a graduate of Laval with a Certificate of Teaching French Second Language. Our nominee has taught with HRSB for 35.5 years - high school and elementary core French as well as English elementary classroom.

Over the last 10 years, Ernestine has been a school representative, a Women in Education committee member as well as her most recent role as Member-at-Large—Social and Wellness for Halifax County Local. She has attended 9 Annual Councils as a voting delegate, taking an active role through writing and speaking to many resolutions. She has also served provincially for 2 years on the Curriculum Committee.

Ernestine will enjoy her new-found time, in retirement, with her husband, Dean; daughter, Alexandra, 22; and son, Wesley, 19.

Inverness Local

Stanley Cameron

Stanley has been teaching for 25 years, 22 of which have included service to the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union at the local, regional and provincial level.

Stanley’s involvement with the Union began while serving as a school representative. Within the Inverness Local he served as Vice President of Public Affairs/Public Relations and Vice President of Economic Welfare.

Regionally, Stanley served as a member of the Economic Welfare committee before accepting the position of Regional Economic Welfare Chair.

Provincially, Stanley continued to serve the NSTU by sitting at the table of both the Economic Welfare and Discipline committees.

Stanley is a committed individual, whose belief in everyone having voice, collaboratively embracing change while still exhibiting democratic principles belies the person he is.

Kings Local

Larry Coldwell

Larry Coldwell recently retired after 35 years of teaching, became involved in union activities as a school rep while at West Kings. He continued this role after transferring to Pine Ridge Middle School, for Kings Local. Larry was very successful promoting the NSTU among staff. He acted as a mentor to new teachers who later became very dedicated and engaged members, both locally and provincially. Larry was also a regular member at Annual Council during his 13 years as school rep. Married for 31 years to wife Lynn (also a teacher), the couple have three grown children: Callista, Katrina and Brennan. Katrina teaches in Alberta, Brennan in Labrador, while Callista is currently completing studies at MUN. He also taught drivers education. Larry also was a top ranked badminton player both in doubles and mixed doubles (with Lynn). He has played at national level tournaments across the country, also coaching: badminton, basketball, softball, and facilitating many outdoor activities.

Bev Roy

Bev Roy has been teaching for 32 years. She is a graduate of Acadia University and Cape Breton University, holds two Master of Education degrees, and is a lifelong learner.

She has been actively involved in the NSTU for the majority of her professional life, with breaks to spend time with her children. She began volunteering as a new teacher in the Yarmouth Local as a school rep and a member of the Teachers’ Centre Committee.

Bev has volunteered for many committees - locally, regionally, and provincially. She was a rep at various schools over the years and was a delegate to Annual Council numerous times. Professional Development work is her passion – she served as a Kings Local rep on the Regional Article 60 Committee when it was first negotiated into our provincial contract. Bev was a Kings’ rep at the AVRRC table as well.

In 2008, Bev received a provincial Education Week Award. She is an activist for our members, and encourages them to get involved in union work. She is always advocating for support to help members cope with transition in the classroom.

Northside-Victoria Local

Paul Bowne

Mr. Bowne’s association with the Nova Scotia Union started in 1985. Paul began teaching with the Northside-Victoria Board in 1985. He started like many teachers around the province as a substitute, and then became permanent. Over the years, he has been in the following Union positions:

Finance Committee, Economic Welfare Committee, Professional Development, Social Committee, Nomination Committee, Resolutions Committee, Treasurer for the Local and RRC, Represented the Board at CONTACT and currently he is serving as a Member-at-Large

Charles Colson

Charles Colson’s association with the Nova Scotia Union started in 1996 at Memorial Composite High School. Over the years, he has been privileged and humbled to have been elected to the following positions by the membership both Local and Provincial:

  • Local Vice President of Economic Welfare, Professional Development, Public Affairs and Communications.
  • Chairperson of New Teacher Committee, Social Committee and Scholarship Committee in our Local
  • Delegate to NSTU Annual Council many times.
  • Participant in the John Huntley Internship Program.
  • Member of Ad Hoc Committee on Computer Technology
  • Member of Provincial Special Association Coordination Committee
  • Chairperson and Member of Provincial Development Fund Committee (Provincial/Local).
  • Board Teacher and Management Teacher Committee Member.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Committee (Board/School).
  • Attended NSTU Leadership Certification Program.
  • Provincial Occupation Health and Safety Advisory Council Board Member.
  • Provincial Technical Committee Member for Welding Skills Nova Scotia.
  • Developed Provincial Welding Program for Memorial High School.

Pictou Local

Alison MacPherson

Alison graduated from Nova Scotia Teachers College with a Music degree and taught elementary music at three schools in New Glasgow.  She then taught Grade 2 and now teaches Grade Primary at AG Baillie School.

Alison has been an active NSTU member throughout her career and an invaluable member of the Pictou Local.  She has served on many committees of our Local and has held the positions of President, Treasurer, and VP of both Communications and Public Affairs.  Regionally, she has served on several committees and was Chignecto RRC Secretary.  Provincially, she has served on many committees; most recently the Provincial Economic Welfare Committee and Negotiating.  While on Provincial Executive representing the Pictou Local, she served as 2nd Vice President.  She has also served nationally as a CTF delegate.  Currently, she holds the position of 1st Vice President of the Provincial Executive.

Alison’s wisdom, guidance, professionalism, and sense of humour have been an integral part of the Pictou Local for many years. 

Richmond Local

Jane Dorey

Jane Dorey came to the Richmond Local eight years ago from the Guysborough Local. She has been actively taking on some of our more challenging positions within our Local Executive such as Secretary, Treasurer and VP of Economic Welfare, contributing greatly to the bettering of our contract and services. Jane has also served the Richmond Local in the capacity of member at large on the Regional Representative Council for the Strait Area as well as on the Article 60 committee for the Board VP during her 8 year tenure. She is currently serving as Chair of the Regional Economic Welfare Committee where she had worked tirelessly during Regional contract negotiations to ensure the gains made for the teachers in the Strait Regional School Board were protected. Jane works hard for what she believes in professionally and will back any initiative that will increase prep time for teachers.

Donna Machin

Donna embodies active engagement in her union, school and community. Donna has been involved with the Family Studies Teachers Association during much of her teaching career. She has been in various executive roles including President and Past President. She has chaired a number of October Conferences, acted as treasurer for many conferences and always been active in summer learning opportunities. Donna has supported both new and veteran Family Studies teachers through various Professional Development Opportunities which she has hosted. She has been an active member of the FSTA association all of her career and has been a member of the executive of the Richmond local for 6 years and is currently serving as VP of Communications. As our local shrinks in size, she is constantly trying to engage more of our membership in union social events. She never misses a meeting or a union social, and expects the same commitment from our executive.

Shelburne County Local

Dawn Smith

Dawn Smith is completing her 33rd year of teaching.  She has taught one year at grade 4, eighteen years at grade 7, and fourteen at grade 6.  Dawn attended a general meeting in February, 1999 when the NSTU had the “Each One Reach One” initiative. The following May, she became the secretary of the Shelburne County Local - a position she held for 9 years.

In 2008-2011, Dawn became the VP of Economic Welfare.  In 2011 to the present, she has enjoyed the position of President of the Shelburne County Local.  She has served on several ad hoc committees at the local level, Article 60 for 3 years, RRC Treasurer for 1 year, Chair of the TWAR Committee for 1 year and she is currently in her second year as secretary of the RRC. 

Dawn has enjoyed the networking, camaraderie, and knowledge of the union.  She is honored to have been a speaker at the 2013 Leadership Conference at St. FX University. 

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