President, Ed-quest International Inc. & Advisor to the Minister of Education in New Zealand, Toronto, ON. Born: Jamaica.
Dr. Avis Glaze is an international educator, who has taught at all levels of the education system. She has held senior administrative positions and has worked in elementary and secondary schools, in public and catholic education and colleges and universities. She has played a key role in helping to bring about significant improvements in student achievement in Ontario schools. What is significant about this focus is that Ontario is one of the few places in the world that is seeing an upward trajectory in student achievement – without alienating principals and teachers. In Ontario, excellence and equity go hand in hand. One of Avis’ firm beliefs is that working collaboratively with educators is the key to system improvement.
Career: Ontario Education Commissioner and Chief Student Achievement Officer of Ontario & CEO, The Literacy & Numeracy Secretariat, Ministry of Education; Director of Education, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (2002-04); Associate Director of Education, York Region DSB (1996-2002); Superintendent, Leadership Development (1995-96); Commissioner, Ontario Royal Commission on Learning (1993-95); Adjunct Professor, York University (1993-98); Superintendent, North York Board of Education (1991-95); Superintendent, Secondary Schools, York Region, Catholic Separate School Board (1988-91); various teaching and administrative positions in schools in Toronto and Jamaica.
Other: Education Consultant, education reform in South Africa (1997); Course Director, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto (1981-83); Course Director, Faculty of Education, York University (1983-93).
Honours: Several, including inclusion in Who‘s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006); Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award (2005); Lifetime Achievement, Royal Conservatory of Music (2005); Order of Ontario (2003); Harry Jerome Award (2002); Women of Distinction, YWCA (2001); Woman of the Year, American Biographical Institute (2000); ACAA (1999); Distinguished Educator, OISE (1995); Appreciation Award, Canadian Alliance of Black Educators (1995).
Works: Articles in Orbit; Education Canada; Professionally Speaking; co-author, Towards Freedom: The African Canadian Experience (1996).
Education: ED.D., Ed. (1980); M.Ed., OISE/University of Toronto (1976, 1979); BA/Hons, University of the West Indies (1972).
Favourite book and why? Throughout my professional life I have spent my time reading books in my field – books that expand my knowledge of education and leadership. My favourites were books like Value Added Leadership by Tom Sergiovanni and the books on leadership by Peter Drucker. A more recent book that I really like is, Nice is Not Enough: Facilitating Moral Development by Larry Nucci.
Favourite quote? “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? I would like to learn more languages. I know Spanish fairly well, and some French, for example. I would like to live in countries that speak the languages I want to learn so that I can communicate fluently in these languages.
Who inspires you? I am inspired by people who: Are generous and magnanimous; view literacy as a liberating force in people’s lives; work at ensuring a good education for the nation’s children; focus on causes outside of themselves; give of themselves, expecting nothing in return; have empathy for people who are disadvantaged; are willing to do all they can to help people who live in poverty.
Why do you do what you do? It is my belief that one’s fortunate position in life is often due to the combination of circumstances and the opportunity to utilize one’s talents. I have found that a good education empowers and provides the impetus to contribute to the well-being of others. As an educator, I have considered it my primary purpose to help students think critically, feel deeply, and act wisely and ethically. That is a privilege we enjoy and a responsibility we assume in our efforts to contribute to active and responsible citizenship. As it has been said, I believe that much is expected of those who have been given a lot in life. I care deeply about people and believe that I should give of my time, energy, talents and skills to help others. I love my adopted country, Canada. I believe strongly that I should play my role in nation building.