Tell us about yourself:
I was born in the small town of Winchester, Ontario but spent the majority of my childhood navigating the bustling streets of our nation’s capital.
Growing up in the Ontario school system in the 1990s was a bit of a unique phenomenon in and of itself. My class was the last generation to experience the OAC (Ontario Academic Credit) program, a program I have recently learned was optional, though I have no recollection of it being an option at the time. I was also the product of a streamlined education. It was here that I fell in love with literature – with people’s stories – and I consider myself blessed to have had some pretty incredible teachers in my corner growing up. I look back on my early education with great fondness.
I moved to Brandon in 2002 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English. Being the first in my family to graduate from high school, I, ambitiously, made the 2,363 km trek, alone, to further my education (another family first). I had not expected to fall in love with the prairies, nor did I expect to meet my future husband on my first day of school, but I did, and so, I remained a student at Brandon University for my Bachelor of Education degree, where I earned the Brandon University Gold Medal in the Faculty of Education, the Dr. Wilfred W. McCutcheon scholarship in Education, and the Brandon University Alumni Award in Education upon graduation.
I completed my Master of Education degree in the winter of 2020, specializing in Educational Administration.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
Education and leadership are both passions of mine. In my twelve years as an educator, I have worked diligently to develop leadership skills both within my classroom and within the school community, as a whole. I am currently President of the Manitoba Student Leadership Association and I previously held the position of Provincial Director for the Canadian Student Leadership Association. I have also been an advisor and committee member for various school and student-led leadership initiatives throughout my career.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Today, I am a high school English teacher, a wife, and the mother of two beautiful, intelligent, hard-working children. In my spare time, I write and travel the world.
Jamie recently completed her Master of Education in the Department of Leadership and Educational Administration. Jamie is a high school English teacher at Neelin High School in Brandon. As a child Jamie dreamed of being a teacher and overcame many obstacles to reach her goal. As a parent of young children, completing her M. Ed. while teaching full-time, Jamie has been very busy. Despite multiple demands she has maintained a consistently high average in all her courses and has demonstrated creativity and diligence in her completion of assignments. Despite her busy schedule, Jamie has been active in supporting student leadership in her school, the province and across Canada. Her passion for student leadership grew out of a leadership development program facilitated by one of her own high school teachers. For her summative presentation, Jamie contacted this retired teacher and requested permission to re-imagine this leadership development program here in Brandon. She is seeking funding and plans to run this leadership development program two times per year. What makes the program different is that the target audience is those students who are unlikely to be perceived as leaders. The intent is to bring together students who are not usually perceived as leaders but harbour untapped inner strength. Jamie is an inspirational educator and a great role model for her children, her students and the profession. I am honoured to be able to nominate her for this well-deserved award.