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Faculty of Education alumnus receives top marks from the province

Vernon Kee awarded prestigious Premier's Award for Teaching Excellence

Deciding to become a teacher may not have been an easy choice for Vernon Kee, a 2006 Bachelor of Education graduate from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), but it was definitely the right one. Kee was recently honoured with a Premier's Award for Teaching Excellence in the New Teacher category.

An engineer-turned-teacher, Kee currently teaches Grade 9 MaST Engineering, a specialized four-year program in Mathematics, Science and Technology, and grades 10 to 12 in Computer Science at the Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute (DCTI), a secondary school within the Toronto District School Board. An active supporter of extracurricular activities, when he's not in the classroom he can be found mentoring new teachers, maintaining DCTI's website, directing seven student clubs and coaching six athletic teams.

"I am blown away by this recognition," said Kee. "UOIT has had a huge impact in teaching me how to be the best teacher I can be and I give it credit for one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. The professionalism of the professors and their words of wisdom helped make me who I am today and the lessons that I learned still echo into my day-to-day teaching. The technological advantage that UOIT is all about is what gave me a competitive edge in getting a job and making me a more effective teacher. UOIT is an amazing school and I proudly wear my grad T-shirts to school almost every week."

The Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence celebrate exceptional educators and support staff and the contributions they make to student success. The awards are presented to five experienced teachers, two principals, a school team of five and three new teachers within the categories of Teacher of the Year, New Teacher of the Year, Excellent Support Staff, Excellence in Leadership, Team of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

"Vernon is an outstanding teacher and the UOIT Faculty of Education could not be more proud of him," said Dr. Jim Greenlaw, dean of the Faculty of Education. "This award clearly reflects Vernon's passion for teaching and the quality of education that has been the building block to his success as a teacher."

Kee was presented with the award during a ceremony on May 5 at Ontario Place in Toronto, Ontario. To help him celebrate the occasion, Kee invited two UOIT faculty members, Dr. Liesel Knaack, associate professor, and Diana Petrarca, assistant professor, who helped him develop the teaching skills that he implements in his classroom each day.

UOIT Bachelor of Education graduates are highly sought after for their technology expertise and the emphasis that is put on science, math and language arts. This combination ensures that as they take a leadership role in educating the next-generation of learners, they are equipped with the skills to integrate technology into their own classrooms, prepare imaginative and creative lessons and influence and nurture learning minds.

To learn more about UOIT's Bachelor of Education programs, visit

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