By Kate Hawkins

Former Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) President, beloved educator and engaged teacher leader Maureen Morris is the recipient of one of CTF’s 2014 Special Recognition Awards.

Maureen was an active educational leader from 1977 until her retirement in 2008. A graduate from McGill University, Morris held a Bachelor of Education degree and a Special Education Diploma. She taught for 24 years in English and French schools before being elected as CTF President.

Morris’s  extensive involvement led to her being elected President in at least two other capacities aside from her work with CTF; as the President of the Lakeshore Teachers’ Association (LTA) Committee in 1982 and as the President of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) from 2004 until 2008, by whom she was nominated for this award. Additionally she was CTF’s representative on the Education International Executive Board from 2001 to 2002.

Morris taught for many years at the primary and secondary school level, and was a strong advocate for public education throughout her career. Aside from her widespread involvement as a teacher union leader, she also attended conferences such as CTF’s Status of Women Conference in 1990, the National Action Committee Round Table on Violence Against Women in 1992 and the XIV Congress of the Confederation of Educators of the Americas in 1991. Morris was also a participant in the founding meeting of Education International in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1993.

"I have seen things that have frustrated me, angered me, or reduced me to tears. But I have also seen things that made me roar with laughter, that reinforced my sense of pride as a teacher, and that left me feeling exhausted but exhilarated. We must talk about our successes for they are numerous; we must promote our public schools with pride; and, we must attribute that success for our schools to those people who deserve the credit, Canada's teachers," Morris said, in her presidential address to delegates attending the 1996 CTF Annual General Meeting.

Although Maureen passed away in on June 2, 2014, she is survived by her husband, Jeff Roberts, children Charles and Sarah, and grandson, Guillaume.

(Kate Hawkins is a journalism student who has worked as a communications officer with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation during the summer of 2014)