Canadian teachers head overseas for professional development and cross-cultural collaboration

Canadian teachers head overseas for professional development and cross-cultural collaboration

June 30, 2017

OTTAWA – The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) will be sending 54 teachers to four Caribbean and five East and West African countries to work with teacher colleagues in those countries. The initiative is part of the CTF’s Project Overseas (PO), which marks its 56th anniversary this summer.

The PO, a joint endeavour of CTF and its Member organizations, sends approximately 12 teams of teachers to various countries every summer. The program aims to strengthen publicly funded public education, assist teacher organizations overseas as they provide professional services to members, and address gender equality in education. In order to participate, teachers apply online through their respective organizations between September and November.

“PO gives teachers the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with other teachers overseas, as well as learn from colleagues in different settings. It’s a mutual learning experience,” says CTF President Heather Smith. “Each team of teachers learns from one another as they collaborate to strengthen their skills.”

Teams depart for their respective destinations either July 10 or 11, but prior to this, PO participants will take part in an orientation workshop in Ottawa, July 8 to 10. The three-day orientation will cover a number of topics, such as safety, health, cross-cultural communication, development cooperation, and the specifics of each of their assignments. As well, teacher participants will consider effective ways their PO experience can be put to use in schools and classrooms when they return to Canada. This year, CTF is partnering with the Aga Khan Foundation for part of the orientation program.

This year’s participants are:

The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA)

  • Jessica Kornder, Team Leader to Burkina Faso
  • Stephanie Clements, team member to Dominica
  • Vanda Rufli, Team Leader to Ghana (Nkabom-TAL)
  • Kevin Weimer, team member to Guyana
  • Nancy Crousset, team member to Haiti (CNEH)
  • Oscar Ngoie-Kadila, team member to Haiti (FENATEC/UNNOEH)
  • Carla Cuglietta, Team Leader to Sierra Leone
  • Robert McKague, team member to St. Vincent
  • Shawn Arseneault, team member to Uganda (Masaka)
  • Katherine Anne Cook, team member to Uganda (Mbale)

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF)

  • Lynda Gellner, team member to Ghana (Nkabom -TAL)
  • Kendra Helfrich, team member to Guyana
  • Nicole Turcotte, team member to Togo

The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS)

  • Karen Smit, team member to Burkina Faso
  • Jaynie Burnell, team member to Dominica
  • Laura Cox, team member to Ghana (Youth Policy)
  • Hylin McLaren, team member to Sierra Leone
  • Arianne Cloutier, Team Leader to Togo

Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)

  • Bridget Little, team member to Burkina Faso
  • Nicole Boissonneault, team member to Togo

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)

  • Olive Creary-Satchell, Team Leader to Dominica
  • Martine Engel, team member to Dominica
  • Cecilie Rosairus, team member to Ghana (Nkabom-TAL)
  • Lindsay Freedman, Team Leader to Ghana (Youth Policy)
  • Lotje Hives, team member to Ghana (Youth Policy)
  • Alvarine Aldridge, Team Leader to Guyana
  • Nicole Beaulieu, Team Leader to Haiti (CNEH)
  • Filomena Yamashita, team member to Haiti (CNEH)
  • Rachid Kherraji, team member to Haiti (FENATEC/UNNOEH)
  • Gary Stewart, team member to Sierra Leone
  • Raul Selberg, team member to St. Vincent
  • Francesca Vonella, Team Leader to Uganda (Masaka)
  • Carol Gaghadar, team member to Uganda (Masaka)
  • Connie Furtney, Team Leader to Uganda (Mbale)

Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA)

  • Andrea DeFrancesco, team member to Ghana (Nkabom -TAL)
  • Ashley Giddings, team member to Ghana (Youth Policy)
  • Carla Grossi, team member to Guyana
  • Stephanie Mandziuk, team member to Guyana
  • Jeanette Foy, team member to Haiti (CNEH)
  • Natalie Daragon, team member to Sierra Leone
  • Melanie Law, team member to Uganda (Masaka)
  • Angela Shura, team member to Uganda (Mbale)

Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT)

  • Marie-Christine Plourde, team member to Burkina Faso

New Brunswick Teachers’ Association (NBTA)

  •  Adam Hayward, team member to Guyana
  • Lindsay Reid, team member to St. Vincent

Northwest Territories Teachers' Association (NWTTA)

  • Nashra Kamal, team member to Burkina Faso

Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU)

  • Julie Mireault-Wiseman, Team Leader to Haiti (FENATEC/UNNOEH)
  • Janet Brigg, team member to Uganda (Mbale)

Prince Edward Island Teachers’ Federation (PEITF)

  • Susan Rowley, team member to Uganda (Masaka)

Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association (NLTA)

  • Megan Schwartz, team member to St. Vincent

Nunavut Teachers’ Association (NTA)

  • Andrew Porteous, team member to St. Vincent
  • Kelsey Nickel, team member to Uganda (Mbale)

Yukon Teachers’ Association (YTA)

  • Sylvie Salomon, Haiti (FENATEC/UNNOEH)

Syndicat des enseignantes et enseignants du programme francophone de la Colombie‑Britannique (SEPF)

  • Marie-France Dubois, team member to Togo

Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is a national alliance of provincial and territorial Member organizations that represent over 232,000 teachers across Canada. CTF is also a member of Education International. @@CanTeachersFed


Heather Smith, CTF President


Francine Filion, CTF Director of Communications, Office: 613-688-4314, or cell: 613-899-4247

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