Each year, the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) honours individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of education. These awards were presented at the OPSBA AGM this past weekend in Ottawa, acknowledging the many who have contributed to the creativity and hard work that make our schools and education system leaders in the world.
The President’s Award presented by OPSBA recognizes Trustees who have given 25 or more years of service to public education. One of this year’s recipients was Algoma District School Board (ADSB) Trustee Susan Thayer who has provided 25 years of service to the Board. While Susan was unable to attend the event in Ottawa, she was recognized at ADSB’s final Board Meeting for the 21/22 school year and was presented with a pin by ADSB Chair Jennifer Sarlo.
Susan was first elected to the Board in 1997, initially representing Wards 4 and 5 in Sault Ste Marie and going on to represent Ward 4 continuously for the past 25 years (following a change in the Ward system). Born and raised in Sault Ste Marie, Susan, her husband Tim and her three children are all graduates of the Algoma District School Board. When her children were in school, Susan was an active member of school council and the home and school association at the schools her children attended, including S.F. Howe, William Merrifield and Bawating. Now her grandchildren are also attending public schools in Ontario of which Susan is very proud.
Susan served on a number of ADSB committees. In her first years as Trustee, she sat on the
Transportation Committee and the Facility Review Committee. Susan was employed as an
accountant with B.D.O. Dunwoody and this experience made Susan a valuable resource for ADSB’s Audit Committee and Operations and Budget Committee, both of which she sat on for many years, often at the same time, dedicating hours of her time and expertise. She was Chair of both the Audit Committee and the Operations and Budget Committee in 2016. Susan also served as the Director to the OPSBA Board in 2012, Alternate for the Director to OPSBA Board and voting delegate in 2016.
Susan currently sits as the Chair of the Operations and Budget Committee.
ADSB Chair Jennifer Sarlo spoke about Susan. “We are very pleased to recognize Susan’s many years of dedicated service to the Algoma District School Board. She has been a valuable asset around this table and with her personal background in finance she has been especially invaluable to our Finance Department and the Superintendent of Business in her roles on the Audit and Operations and Budget Committees. We have valued Susan’s expertise and we thank her for her extraordinary time commitment over these past 25 years.”
Susan shared, “It has been an honour to serve the residents of my Ward these past many years.
Public education means a great deal to me. I myself attended FH Clergue, Northern Heights and Bawating C&VS. I have watched my children graduate from Algoma District School Board schools and now I watch with pride as two of my six grandchildren are enjoying their time in Ontario public schools. I am proud to part of the Algoma District School Board and thank OPSBA for this recognition.”