I just got back from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation Annual General Meeting, where the boy and I accepted an award in Paul’s honour. In a room filled with what had to be more than a thousand teachers, Paul was centered out and applauded – and we could not have been more proud. Following is the description of the award:
Twelve years ago, OSSTF/FEESO chose to honour the many contributions of Nancy Warrener, a valued member who we tragically lost too soon. Nancy’s contributions to the Federation and her passion for professional development were so significant that an award was created in her name.
This award is presented annually by the Educational Services Committee to and OSSTF/FEESO member who demonstrates a high level of energy, a positive outlook, commitment to the professional development needs of all members, assistance to new OSSTF/FEESO members, and involvement at both the district and provincial levels.
Lighthouses date back over 3,000 years in history. Their light has always been and still serves as a source of hope and guidance, to bring people safely to their destination. Nancy Warrener served as that beacon for many of us and through her leadership and inspiration, wonderful things have happened, and continue to happen with professional development in our federation. This image of the Port Dover lighthouse is the site of many memories of Nancy for her family and friends who are pleased she is remembered by the Federation every year.
OSSTF greatly depends on the involvement of its own when providing quality service to our members. Paul Michael Brown was one of those who selflessly volunteered his time, wisdom, and enthusiasm to address the important issue of Bullying in our schools. He traveled across the province to educate others, always delivering the message with his heart-warming smile and passionate call for each of us to learn more and do more to stop bullying.
OSSTF’s team of presenters will not forget Paul, nor will I or other staff who were fortunate to have known him. The Educational Services Committee have chosen to recognize Paul Michael Brown as the recipient of this year’s Nancy Warrener Award and gratefully present to his family, this reminder of his many contributions.
Paul would have been beside himself, declaring himself firmly undeserving. But after finally accepting the award, he would have ultimately felt overwhelmingly honoured to be recognized by a group he held in such high esteem. We thank the OSSTF District 21 members for inviting us to share in this tribute to Paul; to be present to feel the love and respect of his peers was a privilege and a gift.