Ouida Marina Wright

Dr. Ouida Marina Wright

Educator / Assistant Deputy Minister (Retired), Ontario Ministry of Education and Training, Toronto, ON. Born: Jamaica. | January 1928 – April 2011

Dr. Ouida Wright, over the course of a lengthy professional career, held positions in teaching and administration in elementary and secondary schools in Jamaica, Ontario, and Quebec, as well as in universities in Quebec and Ontario. She also served as Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ontario Ministry of Education and spearheaded or played a major role with various levels of educators, government and community organizations, in the development and implementation of a wide range of policies. She was retired from the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Toronto District School Board, and the Peel Board of Education).

Career: Dr. Wright was a teacher and Chair of English with the Boards of Education in Montreal (1953-57, 1963-64), Ottawa (1957-59), North York (1959-63 and 1970-72); worked with the Peel Board, to develop an English Minimum Core Curriculum for children in kindergarten to grade 13 (1972-74); elementary school principal (1975-88); Assistant Superintendent, then Superintendent of Curriculum, Toronto Board of Education (now TDSB; 1977-92); contributed to the development of the Toronto Observation Project and its publications. The Project developed materials to meet the educational needs of Toronto students while reflecting their diversity. Two booklets from this project, on which she collaborated, were well received in Ontario, nationally, and internationally: “Observing Children in their Formative Years” and “Observing Adolescents in their Developing Years.”

Dr. Wright has also taught at the university level: was a Lecturer at McGill University (1964-65), Assistant Professor (1965-70), then taught, did research and chaired the committee which developed the Masters of Education degree; Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto and Erindale Campus (1993); Sessional Lecturer at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (1970-71, 1980).

She was appointed Assistant Deputy Ministry at the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training, where she was responsible for establishing the Anti-Racism, Access, and Equity Division (1993-95); was also responsible for overseeing the implementation of the provincial government’s policies in these areas at elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions.

Affiliations: Nationally and internationally, several including Phi Delta Kappa (since 1974); Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; National Alliance of Black School Educators; PACE; Canadian College of Teachers.

Honours: Many including, inclusion in Who’s Who in Canada (2009, 2010); Harry Jerome Lifetime Achievement Award (2007); inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006); Prime Minister’s Commendation, for contribution to education (1995); Recognition Award, Canadian Alliance of Black Educators (1995); citation in International Leaders in Education (1991); Colonel Watson Award for Curriculum Development (1991); Canadian Women in Science Annual Award for Curriculum Development (1991); Fellow, Canadian College of Teachers (1968).

Works: Has authored and co-authored many pamphlets; written articles and chapters in books including: Weaving Connections: Educating for Peace, Social & 360 Environmental Justice (2000); Re/Visioning Canadian Perspectives on the Education of Africans in the Late 20th Century (1998); Reach for the Stars (Grade 7 Reader; 1966).

Reviewed in: Focus on Equality (1993); Curriculum Connections (1991); McGill University Report (1968).

Education: Ph.D, Education, Cornell University (1970); Master of Arts, Education, McGill University (1956); Bachelor of Arts/Hons, London University (1950).

Motto: Get on with it!