Congratulations to Melena Hope (PhD, BEd Primary/Junior teacher candidate, Orillia), who has been awarded the Ontario College of Teacher's Scholarship award for the Primary/Junior division!
This OCT award is granted to individuals who “demonstrate a high level of preparedness for teacher education through examples of community involvement, background and life experiences.”
Melena, who has spent her whole life in education, received a BFA Honours degree at York University and then travelled abroad to obtain a MA and PhD in art history at the University of London, at the Courtauld Institute of Art in England. This was followed by a two-year post-doctoral fellowship.
As a mature student, Melena’s first career was teaching as a sessional and visiting lecturer at colleges within the University of London, and then as head of art history at Morley College in London, England. Her decision to embark on a new career came after she took time off to raise her children and was encouraged to work as an unqualified supply teacher within a local elementary school board. It was during this time that she realized her calling in life. She feels that teaching the youngest of students and fostering a love for knowledge at an early age is a profound responsibility that she finds greatly rewarding. For this reason, she decided to return to school as a mature student and pursue her vocation as an elementary school teacher within the Primary/Junior division in the Faculty of Education, maintaining Dean’s List status throughout her studies.
In addition to her strong background in education, Melena has also volunteered and worked with children in various capacities, including teaching art lessons and contributing her time to her local parent council by painting a mural at a local school and co-ordinating fundraising initiatives, among other activities.
“I am humbled and honoured to have received this award from the Ontario College of Teachers. To be acknowledged by the professional body in my field has inspired me even more,” she says.