First and foremost, we are teachers

By Francine Filion
February 15, 2013
Untitled Document

Leadership is described by Wikipedia as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".[1]

For CTF Member organizations, this definition certainly applies. As elected officials, Member organization leaders are called upon to rally teacher members and to represent the teacher voice in the public and political spheres whenever the quality of our publicly funded education system is being threatened, whenever professional issues are at stake and/or whenever social justice and basic democratic rights are undermined.

And speaking of democracy, teacher leaders are duly elected every year (with a few exceptions in which they are elected every two years) at their general assembly/meeting. The vote cards are held by delegates who have been elected by classroom teachers at the local level. The leaders’ mandate is to map out and oversee the path of their democratic organizations and to be accountable to their members every step of the way. Witness democracy and transparency in action as budgets are debated, approved and reviewed in an open-book approach with their membership.

Allow us to introduce many of the leaders of Member organizations of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. Perhaps you too will find yourself in one of these leadership positions one day.

Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick

Left to right: Hélène Haché, member; Ghislain Pelletier, member; Louise Landry, Director General; Rodrigue Hébert, Vice-President; Philippe Cyr, President designate and Suzanne Bourgeois, President. 

Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens

Left to right: Marc Lepage, 1st Vice-president; Francine LeBlanc-Lebel, OTF table officer; Diane Coudé, member; Philippe St-Amant, member; Carol Jolin, President; Nathalie Drolet, member; Caroline Morin, member and Pierre Léonard, Director General and Treasurer.

The Alberta Teachers' Association

Table Officers. Front row – left to right: Gordon Thomas, Executive Secretary; Carol Henderson, President; Denis Espetveidt, Past President. Back: Dennis Theobald, Associate Executive Secretary; Mark Ramsankar, Vice-President and Sharon Armstrong, Vice-President.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Back row – left to right: Executive members Diane Dewing; Adelina Cecchin; Rian McLaughlin, OTF Table Officer, Ellen Chambers, Doug Cook, Monica Rusnak, Deb Wells, Karen Brown, Nancy Lawler, Pam Dogra. Front row – left to right: Gene Lewis, General Secretary; James McCormack, Vice-President; Susan Swackhammer, First Vice-President; Sam Hammond, President; Maureen Weinberger, Vice-President; Marilies Rettig, Deputy General Secretary.

Nunavut Teachers' Association

Robin Langill, President; Heather Campbell, Vice-President; John Fanjoy, Secretary Treasurer; Ellen Ittunga, Inuit Member at Large and Emile Hatch, Executive Director.

The Manitoba Teachers' Society

Back row – left to right: Winston Hrechka, Mike Mann, Darren Hardy, Arlyn Filewich, Ray Desautels, Jason Oliver, James Bedford. Front row – left to right: Suzanne, Jolicoeur, Beatrice Walker, Paul Olson, President; Norm Gould, Vice-President; Mary Chalmers and Sean Kemball.

New Brunswick Teachers' Association

Left to right: Heather Smith, President; Guy Arseneault, Acting Past-President; Heather Ingalls; Peter Fullerton, Vice-President/President Elect; Heidi Ryder; Sheridan Mawhinney; Rick Cuming; Heather Hogan; and Larry Jamieson, Executive Director.

Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association

Front row – left to right: Bill Chaisson; Jim Dinn; Lily B. Cole, President; Derek Drover. Back row left to right: Dean Ingram, Jeanne Williams, Gabriel Ryan, Sharon Penny, Jean Murphy, Sean Weir, Sherri Rose and Craig Hicks.

Nova Scotia Teachers Union

Left to right: Allister Wadden, Second Vice-President; Shelley Morse, NSTU President; Marlene Boyd, First Vice-President and John Helle, Secretary-Treasurer.

Northwest Territories Teachers' Association

Left to right: Trent Waterhouse, Regional Presidents Representative; Fraser Oliver, Vice-President; Marnie Villeneuve, Secretary-Treasurer; Gayla Meredith, President and Robbie Craig, Member-at-Large.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

Front row – left to right: Chris Karuhanga, first Vice-President; Kevin O’Dwyer, President; Warren Grafton, third Vice-President; James Ryan, Past President. Back row – left to right: Marshall Jarvis, General Secretary; Julie Pauletig, OTF table officer; Jeremy Cox, Councillor; Al Cornes, Deputy General Secretary; Ann Hawkins, Second Vice-President; Andrew Donihee, Councillor and Sonia Di Petta, Treasurer.

Prince Edward Island Teachers' Federation

Back row – left to right: Isabelle Savoie-Jamieson, Member-at-Large; Charmaine Melanson-Gavin, Member-at-Large; Bethany MacLeod, Member-at-Large; Mary Bradley, Member-at-Large and Aldene Smallman, Member-at-Large. Front row – left to right: Blaine Bernard, Vice-President; Gilles Arsenault, President and Steven Shoemaker, Vice-President.

Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers

Left to Right: John Donnelly, Steven Le Sueur, Ruth Rosenfield, Richard Goldfinch, President; Dave Walker, Ray Venables and Richard Greschner.

The Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation

Back row – left to right: Randy Cline, Markus Rubrecht, Murray Guest, Colin Keess, President, Brent Keen; Front row – left to right: Shelly Lamontagne, Sonja Susut, Vice-President, Pamela Beatty and Kimberlee Schlageter.

Yukon Teachers' Association

Back row – left to right: Chris Hobbis, Vice President; Shari Worsfold, Treasurer; Tara Wardle, Employment Relations Chair; Tanya Lanigan, Public Relations Chair. Seated – left to right: Suzanne Lalonde, Membership Chair; Katherine Mackwood, President; Tanis Giczi, Constitution Policy Chair and Amanda Dockum, Professional Development Chair.


Affiliate Member

Ontario Teachers' Federation

Front row – left to right: Rhonda Kimberley-Young, OTF Secretary-Treasurer; Francine LeBlanc-Lebel, OTF Past President; Second Row – left to right: Carol Jolin, AEFO President; Pierre Léonard, AEFO General Secretary; Pierre Côté, OSSTF General Secretary; Kevin O'Dwyer, OECTA President. Third row – left to right: Julie Pauletig, OTF First Vice-President; Rian McLaughlin, OTF Second Vice-President; Terry Hamilton, OTF President. Back row – left to right: Marshall Jarvis, OECTA General Secretary; Ken Coran, OSSTF President; Sam Hammond, ETFO President and Gene Lewis, ETFO General Secretary.


Canadian Teachers’ Federation



Back row – left to right: James Ryan, CTF Vice-President (OECTA); Paul Taillefer, CTF President (AEFO); Calvin Fraser, CTF Secretary General; Front row – left to right: Mark Ramsankar, CTF Vice-President (ATA); Dianne Woloschuk, CTF President-designate (STF); Lily B. Cole, CTF Vice-President (NLTA) and Brent Shaw, CTF Vice-President (NBTA).


Francine Filion is the Director of Communications of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.

Canadian Teachers’ Federation
2490 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, ON K1H 1E1
Tel: 613-232-1505
Fax: 613-232-1886
Toll Free: 1-866-283-1505

Perspectives web magazine is published by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent over 273,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada.

Editor In Chief: Francine Filion | Translation and Editing: Marie‑Caroline Uhel and Marie‑Hélène Larrue
Proofreading: Denise Léger
Graphic Design: Nathalie Hardy and Jean-Louis Lauriol | Web Design: Greg Edwards

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