A teacher in Red Lake has received an award for his achievements in the field of child and youth health, physical activity, and health and physical education.

Tom Doherty of St. John’s School in Red Lake was recognized and received the OPHEA award for Outstanding Contribution, which recognizes an individual for their exemplary contribution to the lives of children and youth, advocacy and community development.

“This particular award has special meaning, as it involves things that I do outside of school for the community. As an educator, it always gives me pride to see my students excel at things outside of school, and in the community. This award shows that doing things in the community does payoff.”

Doherty’s contribution to the lives of children and youth in health and physical education, advocacy, and community development began over 30 years ago. His career began as a hockey coach for the Vermilion Bay Minor Hockey Association, and within a few years, grew from coach to Team Executive, Vice-President, and then President of the Association.

Thomas then transitioned to the Vermilion Bay Minor Baseball League where he would lead as coach for fourteen years, and President for three years

“For me, the ability to give back to my community is a tremendous honour, and it’s a need that needs to be filled in the community. Giving back allows me to contribute to society, and shows my students that I don’t only say what I do, I actually do what I set out to do. It fills me with pride to be able to give back to the community.”

His teaching career began in 2006 at Peetabeck Academy. In addition to teaching, in 2016, Doherty entered the role of Student Retention Lead at Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education.

Thomas has received various awards including; the Prime Minister’s Olympic Torch Award for Volunteerism, Chukuni Communities Development Corporation’s Citizen of the Year Award, and the Governor General of Canada’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

“I don’t do anything that no other teacher in the area or in the province does. The sense of wanting to give back is within every teacher. We need to utilize our expertise and give back to the community.”

Last May, Doherty was recognized by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Teaching Excellence.

For more information:
Local teacher honoured by Prime Minister

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