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Honoured for growing skilled trades programs

PM Teaching Award
Posted on 10/05/2023

A pioneer in helping to develop skilled trades programming for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has been recognized for his efforts with a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM.

Cory McAiney, who is currently the board’s Curriculum Consultant for Technological Studies, Pathways and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), learned today that he has received a Certificate of Achievement from the Prime Minister for Leadership in Building and Developing Skills.

The awards were announced today as part of the federal government’s acknowledgement of World Teachers’ Day.

“Cory’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching and leadership is demonstrated on a daily basis,” said Director of Education Emelda Byrne. “He leads with confidence and is able to inspire others to follow. He has created a culture of continued learning to not only benefit our Skilled Trades and STEM programs, but by supporting other teachers to further grow and modernize learning in this particular area.”

A red seal carpenter with extensive experience in industry, McAiney was hired by the board in 1998 as a tech teacher. Between 2011-2019 while teaching construction at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, demand for his classes expanded so quickly that the board decided to launch a Construction Academy there. Since then, that academy has grown to include three schools that offer programs in masonry, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical, with plans for welding to be introduced in January.

Some of the accomplishments that he was acknowledged for include:

  • advocating for an all-female Grade 9 technical class so female students would feel comfortable and safe to learn about the programs
  • setting up day-long development sessions for guidance counselors to gain hands on experience with the trades to better market those programs to their students
  • leveraging partnerships with business, industry and labour associations to support the board’s skilled trades programs

“Cory's teaching is about building and developing skills – the transmission of concepts and methods applied to the workplace,” according to an online profile about him. “He provides not only the basic competencies to perform the work, but also the personal and social values that are equally important.”

McAiney will be recognized by the Board of Trustees at their regular meeting on Oct. 24.

You can read more about his award here.

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