A commitment to the promotion and support of public education in Saskatoon has earned Saskatoon Public Schools' Board Chair Ray Morrison the Saskatchewan Schools Boards Association's Award of Distinction.
Morrison, who has served on the Board of Education since 2003 and as its chair since 2006, received the award Nov. 16 during the SSBA's fall general assembly.
The award is presented in recognition of outstanding service and significant contribution to enhancing education in Saskatchewan. The nomination highlights Morrison's commitment to education not only in Saskatoon Public Schools, but throughout the province.
"A commitment to always doing what is best for students; a commitment to supporting their teachers; a commitment to strong partnerships that benefit communities; a commitment to a united provincial voice; and a commitment to being honest about what is needed to achieve our goals within the shifting landscape of Saskatchewan education," the nomination reads.
Morrison took an interest in education when his children began attending school and was an active member of his local School Community Council beginning in 1993. He was among a group of citizens who lobbied for construction of a collegiate in the city's northeast. Centennial Collegiate opened its doors to students in the fall of 2006.
Throughout his 13 years as trustee and 10 years as board chair, Morrison has emphasized the importance of keeping the focus on student learning and achievement and ensuring the school division is responsive to the needs of its communities, the nomination says.
His tenure has been marked by attention to strategic planning and to refining the school division's learning priorities. Major investments in teacher professional development and classroom resources ensure Literacy for Life and Collegiate Renewal remain relevant for 21st century learners. At the same time, the board has established innovative programming focused on areas of high interest to students.
The development of an educational partnership with the Whitecap Dakota First Nation and the school division's role in partnering with six other organizations in establishing the Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre at Mount Royal Collegiate to create entry-level skills training for vulnerable youth and adults are among the highlights.
The information submitted in support of the nomination says Morrison is committed to a strong relationship with teachers and ensuring they have the resources, supports and professional development they need to fulfill the board's vision and achieve its goals.
As a trustee, he places a high priority on representing the school division and sharing its success with others. He is a strong advocate for the needs of Saskatoon Public Schools, the nomination reads, but also for the greater good within the entire provincial education sector through projects such as development of the province's Education Sector Strategic Plan, the Joint Task Force on Teacher Time, and as chair of the province's Education Governance Advisory Panel.