Most teachers want their students to be excellent. But what does that mean? Unfortunately, many teachers and schools today have a limited understanding of “excellence” as academic performance. In 2016, Cardus Education launched the John Rozema Teaching Excellence Award to discover and celebrate excellent educators within the Ontario Christian school system. Beyond academic performance, excellence includes nurturing student character, engaging the local community, and improving school culture.

Back in September, Convivium sat down with Dr. Beth Green, Program Director of Cardus Education as students were preparing to head back to school. Even then, she was reflecting on the standards of excellence that the Rozema Awards amplify. She noted, “You can’t win one of these awards unless you can show that your teaching demonstrates a clear educational purpose, exhibits academic rigor and serves the wider community.”

This Wednesday, over 120 honoured guests and nominees gathered at the Rock Garden of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario for the third annual John Rozema Teacher Excellence Awards, presented in partnership with the Christian School Foundation.

$28,000 was presented over the course of the evening to be used for educator’s professional development. This is the largest amount ever distributed to winners of the Rozema Awards.

Convivium is proud to share videos created to learn more about the invaluable work of last night’s winners and nominees. 

Excellence in Elementary School Teaching Award

Cara Barwell, Timothy Christian School

Excellence in Secondary School Teaching Award

Corrina Cameron, London Christian High School

Excellence in Global Perspective Award

Laurie Koning, Hamilton’s Guido de Brès High School

Excellence in the Teaching of Creative and Performing Arts Award

Jonathan De Vries, Hamilton District Christian High School

Group Excellence Award

Richard Van Egmond and Jared Patus, Hamilton District Christian High School

Be sure to check out the invaluable contributions of all those educators nominated in the above categories. 

Excellence in Elementary School Teaching Award

Audrey McGregor, Trinity Christian School, Burlington

Excellence in Secondary School Teaching Award

Leon Hordyk, Hamilton District Christian High School 

Matt Rock, London District Christian High School

Excellence in Global Perspective Award

Andrew Wilcox, Nicole Strikwerda, Timothy Christian School, Barrie

Rachael Weening, Toronto District Christian High School

Excellence in the Teaching of Creative and Performing Arts Award

Nicole Strikwerda, Timothy Christian School, Barrie

Alison Young, Northumberland Christian School

“Independent Christian schools deserve recognition for their commitment to excellence in teaching, which is why the Rozema Awards exist,” said Dr. Beth Green, Cardus Education program director. “The caliber of this year’s winners and shortlisted entries shows that all Christian schools are a vital part of Ontario’s education system.”

As we celebrate this year’s winners, we are already anticipating what treasured educators we might discover next!

Earlier this year, Dr. Beth Green asked vetern educators Diane Stronks and Elco Vandergrift about the difference Christian love can make in the world’s classroom. Return to this moving interview today!


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