August 13, 2019
TORONTO - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has given its 2019 Outstanding Role Model for Women Award to Simcoe County teacher Amy Stepanek for making a direct difference to the lives of female students and teaching colleagues.
The award recognizes an ETFO member who has been an outstanding role model for women at the local level during the previous school year.
For the past 16 years, Amy has served as chair of the Simcoe County ETFO Teachers' Federation (SCETF) Status of Women Committee, working tirelessly for the rights of women. Each year, the Committee and local have sponsored female intermediate students to attend the summer Ontario Educational Leadership Camp in Orillia to develop leadership skills for their future endeavours at school and in life. In 2018, seven Grade 5 female students attended the camp and reported back on the positive impact this experience has had on their lives. Amy also developed the SCETF Earth Day Project where 10 schools can receive $200 for participating in a school Earth Day project.
For 10 years, Amy has organized an International Women's Day dinner on behalf of her local. Each year, she invites an SCETF woman member to be a motivational guest speaker and talk about her experiences with an international event or activity that promotes women educators or social justice. Amy also hosts five information sessions each year for SCETF members on pregnancy, parental and child care leaves to ensure that all members understand their rights under their collective agreement and the law.
"Amy's dedication to women's rights is providing female students with an outstanding opportunity to gain leadership skills and build their confidence," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "She is also providing female colleagues with a safe environment to participate in the union and gain information, leadership experiences and networking opportunities."
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. ETFO's Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at www.buildingbetterschools.ca.