Brampton student wins provincial award for poetry competition for OSSTF

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BY: LEANNE BENN

The 2018 Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has awarded their latest recipient their highest honour. Christina Mohan of Harold M. Braithwaite in Brampton is the proud recipient of the Student Achievement Award in the French Senior category.

Mohan’s winning work was entitled ‘Sauve par ton sourire’ (Saved by your smile) and comes from the French senior grades 11-12 category in the prose or poetry division. This proud achievement is the highest at the provincial level and Mohan was supported by OSSTF member Miriam Walker.

This is the 31st year that the federation has awarded the Student Achievement Awards formerly known as the Marion Drysdale awards. Mohan’s poem, ‘Saved by your smile’ is linked to the belief that humans have a superpower to pull you from the depths of despair to a second chance at a fulfilling and wholesome life as discussed by OSSTF’s president Harvey Bischof in an official statement release.

Mohan also received a cash prize and a framed certificate to reward her hard and creative work. Mohan’s was one of many awards that were given out in various categories, mainly for poem and essay submissions in six different prose and poetry sections. The sections included Grade 9-10 academic, intermediate, 9-10 applied, intermediate, grades 11-12 University- senior and French senior categories. There were also three categories of creative entries in visual and digital arts.

To determine the winners, judges assessed entries at four different levels, school, district, regional and provincial and the competition was open to all Ontario public high school students. Mohan’s prestigious win at the provincial level is a remarkable achievement from this Brampton student and puts a highlight on her successful and creative work. The theme of this year’s competition was entitled “What’s your superpower” as to which Mohan successfully portrayed in her winning poem.

The OSSTF was founded in 1919 and has over 60,000 committee members, consisting of teachers, education assistants, instructors, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, university support staff and many others involved in the education system. This specific Student Achievement Award was inspired by the late Marion Drysdale who died of cancer in 1993 after retiring from her post as secretary to the general secretary of OSSTF. Drysdale’s keen interest in reading, literature, and history inspired the categories of this competition.

Many in the community are proud of Mohan’s work and this should set the mark for many students next year across Ontario that are willing to share their talents and compete.

All the winning entries can be obtained upon request from the OSSTF provincial office. There is also a DVD profiling the students and their work that interested parties can collect. For more information, contact the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

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