Local Service Award Recipients- 2015

Colchester-East Hants Local

Eric Boutilier

Locally, Eric held offices of President, Vice President of Economic Welfare and Public Affairs. He was a member of the Economic Welfare, Professional Development, Public Affairs, Public Relations, Grievance, and Finance Committees.

Regionally Eric was a member of Teacher/Board, Economic Welfare, Negotiating, Equity, Excellence in Teaching and Time to Learn/Teach Committees. He held offices of Chair and Vice Chair of Chignecto Regional Representative Council, Co-Chair Teacher/Board and a member of the Negotiating Committee.

Provincially Eric served on the Member Services, Negotiating, Personnel, Nominating, Public Affairs, Public Relations and Provincial Economic Welfare Committees. He was 1st and 2nd Vice President, Chair of Member Services, Personnel, Nominating, and Chair of Provincial Economic Welfare Committees.

Eric was a national representative on The CTF Board.

Internationally he was a delegate for Educational International at World Congress Delegate and a school rep (Germany) with the CTF Overseas Teacher’s Association.

Community College Local

Peggy Joiner

Active with the NSTU since beginning her faculty position with the Corrections program at the Nova Scotia Community College in 1990, Peggy Joiner has consistently brought energy, experience and excellent judgement to her many roles in what has become the Community College Local.

Serving terms as a union representative at the campus level, Peggy has also been active on the Local Executive and NSTU committees, holding a number of positions over the years. She contributed to the success of contract negotiations over the past two decades. Her work as a member then leader of the Local’s Professional Development Committee and annual conference has directly benefitted our members. She has also brought her valued perspective to the position as Chair of the Equity Committee. Most recently, Peggy has served as Member at Large for the Community College Local where she has willingly and ably shouldered a variety of responsibilities such as chairing Resolutions and Nominating committees.

Beyond her service on Local committees, Peggy has also been a member of several NSTU and joint contractual committees such as the Member Services Committee, Faculty Duties Committee and the College Advisory Committee on CCEDP. She has also been an active participant in NSTU Annual Council for many years.

Peggy Joiner has epitomized service to the NSTU membership and is a worthy recipient of this award.

Ann Windsor-Hall

Ann's introduction to the inner workings of NSTU occurred in August of 2000. As an indication of her commitment to NSTU, she spent her honeymoon at the Coast Guard College as her new husband was a delegate to Leadership. This wasn't a great burden however, as she had been a Local President in NSGEU before she became a member of the Professional Support bargaining unit of NSTU.

From an early point in her 21 year career with NSCC, she has seen both the need for and the value of a professional Union. Acting first as a Campus rep, and later as a multi-term VP of Economic Welfare, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of all members of the Community College Local.

Not one to shy away from controversy, she has shared her opinions freely during 5 separate Asking Package Committees. This was reinforced during her time as a member of 3 different Negotiating Committees.

As an active member of the CC Local, she has spent time on 5 different Contractual committees as well as 3 Local committees. Ann has also appreciated the opportunity to participate in every NSTU AGM since 2003, making 2015 her 13th Council.

We have been very fortunate as a Local to have a member who has been so dedicated since her first introduction: We truly appreciate all that she has done on behalf of the members, the Local, and for NSTU.

Cumberland Local

Robert Beardsley

Robert has been actively involved in the Cumberland Local NSTU at the school, committee and community level for the past three decades.  He has been a valuable asset to his NSTU coworkers as he has served as the school Rep many times over the period of several years.

Robert recently retired from his teaching position at the River Hebert Schools.  During his teaching career he was very supportive and instrumental in coaching, leading and providing support to many students on many different sports teams.  Such teams as follows:  soccer, basketball, softball, curling and table tennis.  He coached senior boys’ basketball teams taking them to the Provincial Championships in 1997 and 1998.   He coached a mixed curling team to third place in 2013 and a girls’ table tennis team taking them to the Provincial Championships in 2014. 

Robert is best known for his encouragement of students in trying to do their personal best.  He would make travel arrangements for students, set up facilities and along the way, remember to enjoy what he was doing and to always have fun!

Carol Ann King

Carol Ann has served the Cumberland Local for thirty-five years.  In her early years, she took her turn as NSTU Representative and, although it was not until the end of her career that she returned to the position, she has always been a dedicated union supporter.  It is Carol Ann who has been responsible for purchasing the retirement gift for teachers in her school.  It was she who was often called upon to complete the teacher write-up for the retirement issue of Cumberland Local’s newsletter, In Contact. 

Carol Ann’s educational involvement has not been limited to the NSTU Cumberland Local.  She has been, involved in the coaching and running of a variety of OREC’s athletic opportunities and groups including basketball, cross-country, math league, Envirothon, and the Oxford 4-H group.  Carol Ann has almost single handedly organized OREC’s graduation ceremony and keeping everyone involved on track.  She produces the bursary and scholarship booklet for students in her school and has been involved in numerous fundraisers.  In her community, Carol Ann is involved with Crime Stoppers, is the treasurer and choir director of her church, and has reached the rank of Captain in the Civilian Instructor Cadre, which means that she is actively involved in the Remembrance Day activities in the town of Oxford.

As a colleague Carol Ann has been invaluable.  She is giving of her time and knowledge to any staff member who seeks it.  She is a true mentor and has even earned that title officially as the math mentor at OREC.  If there is someone who can help you take a close look at yourself within the educational system then she is that person.  Of course, this is true not just for staff but for every student whom she teaches.

Carol Ann’s concern for both student and teacher welfare, her passion for the profession, and her commitment to serving all of her communities make Carol Ann an example of what excellence in the profession looks like. 

Irene Legere

Irene has been actively involved in the Cumberland Local NSTU at the school, committee and community level for over 24 years.  She has been a valuable asset to the Professional Development, Nominating and Excellence in Teaching Committees and has served as a school Rep many times.

Irene has taught in a variety of schools and has worn several professional hats – physical education and Grades 1 – 5 classroom teacher.  She has travelled as a circuit teacher and spent the past 10 years teaching in the classroom at Cumberland North Academy.  She has completed two degrees and most recently graduated with a Master Degree in curriculum at the elementary level.  She has also been a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from CCRSB. 

Irene is actively involved in promoting all areas of student development and demonstrates patience and understanding of all students in a respectful manner.  She encourages “what it means to be a good citizen” and actively supports the Climate Committee and all social justice activities.

Guysborough County Local

Susan Cameron

After graduating from NSTC in 1982 Susan began teaching in a 1 room school house with 10 students, 5 grade levels and 1 hamster. She has continued teaching in various schools in Guysborough County and is presently teaching at St. Mary’s Education Centre and Academy in Sherbrooke.

Susan has been active in the local in various positions including Communications VP, 1st VP, Local Resolutions Chair, Strait RRC, and the Strait REWC Negotiating Committee. She is always willing to lend a hand at whatever has to be done in the local. Susan is a valued member of the local executive and her school community.

Halifax City Local

James Rooney

James has maintained an active role within the NSTU throughout his teaching career. In addition to serving as a school rep, he has held additional offices at the local level, including Member-at-Large, Secretary and Treasurer. James served as member of the local Finance, Economic and Social committees for many years.  He sat as a member of the Metro Regional Council (currently HRRC) and served on the regional Board-Teacher Committee. James served provincially on the Professional Committee and attended Annual Council many times as a voting delegate for Halifax City.

James has been a strong supporter of the Professional Association for Social Studies and has worked diligently on their behalf. He has presented on numerous occasions and served in many capacities on the executive, including a term as President.

As James approaches the end of his teaching career, we would like to honor him for his continuous contribution to the Halifax City Local.  His dedication to bringing issues, and those of his staff, to local meetings demonstrates the level of concern he has for the teaching profession and the NSTU.  James has always been tenacious in supporting issues that he feels are important to teachers.

Halifax County Local

Dominique Duchesne

After teaching in Ontario and Québec, Dominique Duchesne found her way to Bedford Junior High, Park West, John Martin Jr High, Seaside Elementary, HRSB Consultant and back to her current school, from which she will retire, Seaside Elementary School.

Since 1998, Dominique has taken an active role in our Local as a School Representative, delegate to Annual Council, Nominating & Resolutions Committee, Women in Education Committee as well as Communications Committee. In 2005 she was elected to our Local Executive where she kept us all in line as secretary. Last year she returned to us in her original role as School Representative at Seaside, hosting a Local President visit to ensure her members feel supported and connected to our NSTU.

Dominique championed our Local and its members through her voice and contributions. We will miss having Dominique in our education system and congratulate her on her retirement from public education!

Elizabeth Fraser

In 1974, Elizabeth was hired as a floating teacher at Sir Robert Borden Junior High in an “open area classroom”, along with some regular classrooms. From there she moved to the Bell Building, Colby Village, Graham Creighton and in 1990, she transferred to Hammonds Plains Consolidated where she remains still.

Do ask Elizabeth how she became interested in unions and their significance—not enough word count to share here. To our benefit, Elizabeth became actively involved at Graham Creighton as a School Rep and has continued her education as an informed union member ever since. She has also shared her skills and knowledge as a Local Committee member. Even in year 41 Elizabeth serves our Local as a Rep and as a delegate to Annual Council. Truly remarkable!

Elizabeth still has the Strike Official hat and copies of the NSTU Strike Picket Protocol for the averted June 7, 1994 1-day strike related to proposed Bill #72 removal of the right to Collective Bargaining. She references her regular involvement at meetings and workshops where she “began to understand the intricacies of negotiation and appreciate the long term prudence of sometimes using mediation and compromise.”

In her own words, Elizabeth explained that “over the years having received guidance and advice, either for myself or on behalf of other members, from Executive members and Provincial staff, I have also come to appreciate their good hearts and minds.”

Joel Fraser

Joel is a supportive force for our Local. She asks great questions, supports her members and went so far as to host the new Local President in her classroom for a day so that she could get a taste of grade primary! Joel and Lorna (also nominated) are our “go-to” people to facilitate all of our Local Council and General meetings as well as our Annual Fall Rep Training Conference. They are a significant part of why our Local runs so smoothly at these events.

Joel’s teaching career started in 1977 in Northern Quebec and then to Halifax in 1979. Ms Fraser’s contributions to our Local have been as a School Representative for the last 9 years, 4 years working with the Social & Wellness Committee and now 3 years on Equity & Reps Committee. Joel has also been a delegate to Annual Council for at least 6 years. Her dedication to our Local and our profession are presented in a quiet and consistent manner—which provides for the solid foundation required for an NSTU Local.

Turk MacDonald

Turk MacDonald’s teaching career began in 1984 at Cole Harbour District High School, moved on to Auburn Drive High, Millwood High, and then Lockview High School. This past June, Turk’s role in education took a new path in Guidance at Citadel High School.

Turk’s contribution to our Local has been consistent and true for three decades through his work as a school representative, delegate to Annual Council, Nominating & Resolutions Committee, Women in Education Committee, Professional Development Committee, and Finance Committee as well as on our Local Executive. Turk will be finishing up his fourth year as Treasurer for our Local.

At the Executive table, Turk brings a down-to-earth perspective, focused on serving our members. He has put into place systems to not only simplify the huge task of being treasurer for our Local, but to ensure transparency, accuracy and sustainability.

Susan Noiles

Susan Noiles stated her teaching at Musquodoboit Rural High, then to what is now the Bedford and Forsyth Education Centres, to JL Ilsley and Halifax West in the City and she has now come back to the County at Lockview High School as a guidance counsellor.

Susan’s involvement in the NSTU has been steady and significant throughout her career. She has been a School Representative; Committee member for Economic Welfare, Pa/PR, and Social & Wellness; a Local Executive Member; Insurance Trustee for our region; along with active participation on our Regional Council and Regional Committees. Susan has also been involved at the Provincial Level.

With this background, Susan brings a voice of reason, experience and clear vision to our Local at our meetings. She is a go-to person for the reps around her as well as to our Local Executive. Many of us are attempting to plant ideas of what Susan should run for when she is finished her term as Insurance Trustee!

Lorna Trethewey

Lorna is invaluable to our Local. In the last number of years, her contributions on the Equity and Reps Committee have been consistent and considerable. Lorna and Joel (also nominated) are our “go-to” people to facilitate all of our Local Council and General meetings as well as our Annual Fall Rep Training Conference. They are a significant part of why our Local runs so smoothly at these events.

Lorna became involved with the NSTU as a member of the Primary Teachers Committee in the mid-1990s. She has now served our membership as a School Representative for 17 years and a delegate to Annual Council for 15. Lorna has also volunteered on our Social & Wellness Committee (6 years), Professional Development Committee (2 years) and now Equity & Reps (4 years).

Ms Trethewey has been teaching in our Board since 1972, excluding a brief hiatus during the disco era, and we are so lucky to have her in our schools for 36 years….and counting.

Hants West Local

Gary Schmidt

Gary began his involvement as a school rep in 1985, attended Annual Council as a delegate for over 25 years and is now retiring with 35 years experience as an educator in Nova Scotia.

Gary has been involved in many different capacities within the framework of the NSTU.  At the local level, he has served as a school rep, in several vice presidents’ roles as well as Local President for several terms.  He has experienced the transition from county-based school boards to the present regional representation, serving on the Regional Representative Council.  At the Provincial level, Gary has served on the Discipline and Pension Committees.  Most recently, he successfully completed the 3-year Summer Leadership Certification offered through NSTU each August.

Gary believes it has been his desire to gain knowledge of the “workings of the NSTU” that motivated and inspired him to continue his active involvement as member of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. There is no doubt that in his 35 years as an educator, he has also observed many changes in the union and made many acquaintances along the way.

Inverness Local

Sheila Hawley

After moving home in 2004, Sheila immediately accepted the NSTU torch and has yet to lay it down.

Sheila’s involvement with the Union began while serving as a school representative.  Within the Inverness Local she served on the Finance, Substitute, and Social Committees as well as holding the positions of treasurer, VP of Economic Welfare, and President.

Regionally, while holding the positions of Treasurer and Chair, Sheila also served on the Finance, Grievance, and Economic Welfare committees.    

Provincially, Sheila continued to serve the NSTU by sitting at the table of the Economic Welfare committee. She currently represents the Inverness and Richmond Locals on the Provincial Executive.

Sheila exemplifies “commitment.” Her belief in collaboration, democracy, and social justice belies the person she is.

Kings Local

Theresa Pelley

Theresa taught in PEI, then in Manitoba before coming to Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley where she has taught at various grade levels in many schools.  She is currently the Secretary for the Kings Local, and is passionate about her teaching assignment at Horton High School. She instills a love of learning in her students, especially with the Mi'kmaq Studies 10 curriculum. Theresa was a Music teacher for many years, sharing her love of the Arts with countless young people, and giving much time and talent to extra curricular activities. Students and colleagues alike see that Theresa is a hard-working, dedicated teacher who goes above and beyond to provide valuable learning experiences and to speak out against inequities in our society.

Theresa has been a member of many Kings Local Committees, including (but not limited to) Finance, Equity and Professional Development.    She is a strong advocate in our Local for members, and is particularly interested in member engagement.  Theresa has attended Annual Council, where she has spoken with conviction about the issues that arise in order to support members in the teaching profession. 

Queens Local

Leo Campbell

Leo Campbell began his illustrious NSTU career in 1982 when on his first day he was “voluntold” as his school’s staff rep. Leo’s interest in promoting positive change (and in deciding how his union dues were spent), led him to deeper and deeper involvement in the union. He soon found himself a member of the Teacher-Board committee in what was then the Queens County School Board. This led to him become Chair of Economic Welfare, Local Vice President and by 1990, Local President. He would serve as President of Queens Local for most of the next twenty years.

During the great amalgamation, Leo helped negotiate the first contract between teachers and the new South West Regional School Board. He went on to serve on the Southwest RRC and later the South Shore RRC in every possible role.

Leo’s fondest memories of his time with the NSTU include marching on Province House during the Savage Days, fighting she who will remain unnamed to save the jobs of all the new teachers in Queens County, and working to ensure a strong voice for small locals within the NSTU. Most importantly, Leo will always be remembered as someone who stood, and fought, for what he believed in.

Shelburne County Local

Rena Balcom

Rena is a fantastic teacher at Hillcrest Academy. She began her career in 1987 teaching Elementary French in Shelburne County. She has also taught Grade 6, Grade 5, and Grade 3 and is currently teaching Grade 2 at Hillcrest Academy. Rena is an active staff member; willing to work on the countless committees and activities in the school. 

Rena became involved in NSTU activities in 1987 as a school representative and has continued to be an active member.  Those who have had the pleasure of working with Rena realized early on that Rena was dedicated to her Local working for the benefit of its members.

Rena was also a provincial representative on the 2008-2009 Committee, Time to Learn, Time to Teach; Secretary for the Local; and Chair of the Provincial Public Relations Committee. She has also served on numerous school and Board committees.

Rena is a proud Cape Bretoner, an avid basketball fan, and enjoys quality time with her husband, Rick, and her two sons.   It is with great pride that the Shelburne County Local nominates Rena for a Local Service Award.  Her dedication to our Local makes her an excellent candidate.

Yarmouth Local

Larry Fitzgerald

Larry J. Fitzgerald has been a dedicated, caring and ground breaking educator for well over 30 years. He takes great pride in teaching his students and takes on his duties as vice principal with professionalism.

Larry has been involved in a number of union activities: School Rep. 1990 - Present, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Yarmouth Local, Attended Annual Council and was a scrutineer for Annual Council for several years, Coordinator of Schools Today - Education Week and served on the Provincial Public Affairs Committee.  Larry is also a huge factor on the Yarmouth Local Hockey team and is instrumental in organizing their weekly outings and tournaments. With each of these committees Larry was very dedicated!

Mr. Fitzgerald is an excellent role model to students and staff.  He is a great educator who goes beyond the call of duty.  Mr. Fitzgerald is well deserving of this award.