Presenting PHE Canada's 2020 National Award Recipients

More on the Authorship

PHE Canada is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 National Awards and to recognize their commitment to physical and health education. Their hard work and leadership contribute to a future wherein all children and youth in Canada live healthy, physically active lives.

R. Tait Mackenzie Honour Award Recipient
M. Louise Humbert (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

Dr. M. Louise Humbert is an award-winning university educator whose career accomplishments and lifelong commitment to enhancing the quality of physical and health education for children and youth in Saskatchewan and beyond is meritorious in every way. Through her academic background, research skills and personality, Louise has been able to translate her many research findings so that PHE practitioners can understand the results and, most importantly, implement the recommendations appropriately. Through her research, teaching, administrative and professional leadership, Louise has demonstrated the professional ideals, service to humanity, and dedication to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of physical and health education, recreation, and dance.

North American Society Fellowship Award Recipient
Ken Lodewyk (St Catharines, Ontario)

Dr. Ken Lodewyk is recognized as a strong academic, inclusive leader, active collaborator, and one who listens and responds to student and collegial voices. He is considered one of Canada’s leading scholars in movement pedagogy, publishing in several top journals in the field, publishing a book, and authoring chapters in several other books. He has developed numerous resources for PHE Canada, Canada Sport for Life, Government of Ontario, and the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association on topics such as physical literacy, physical education curriculum, and authentic assessment. Ken has also contributed widely to the profession through practical, active workshops for an array of children and youth, teachers, coaches, and parents. 

Health Promoting Schools Champion Award Recipient
The RSB and LBPSB Community Champions (Montreal, Québec)

The RSB and LBPSB Community Champions* pioneered the development of a whole-school approach for school-based sleep health promotion, integrated it into the broader school curriculum, and used community-based participatory research to develop effective means for school-based sleep health promotion. The group demonstrated that the approach and tools developed can have a positive impact on students' sleep and academic performance. Their research has also contributed to the publication of manuscripts and numerous presentations in which the rationale, tools, and outcomes of the approach have been explained and demonstrated, and have gained national and international recognition for the success of the communities involved.

*Riverside School Board (RSB): Gail Somerville, Johanne Boursier (Heritage Regional High School), Sujata Saha (Heritage Regional High School), Chantale Scroggins (Director of Complementary Services), Sylvain Racette (Director General); Lester B Pearson School Board (LBPSB): Cindy Finn (Director General)

National Award for Teaching Excellence in Health Education Recipient
Amanda Brewer (Yarmouth, Nova Scotia)

Amanda Brewer is a champion of health and physical education and has had a tremendous impact both provincially and in her own school community. True to the philosophy that beauty comes from within and that our bodies are a gift to be cared for, regardless of shape or size, Amanda has inspired her students who are struggling with body image and physical activity. She has been the lead teacher and co-chair of her school's highly successful health promotion program and helped write the provincial health and physical education curriculum. 

National Award for Teaching Excellence in Health Education Recipient
Thomas Doherty (Red Lake, Ontario)

Thomas Doherty’s exemplary contribution to youth in health and physical education, advocacy, and community development began over 30 years ago. Thomas has also supported and initiated various programs for schools that encourages all children and youth to participate in safe, active, and engaging activities. Thomas’ outstanding contributions in the field extend from sport and recreation to student and community engagement. Thomas exemplifies what it means to be a dedicated educator who knows how to motivate students. Committed to making a positive impact in students’ lives, Thomas’ expertise and experiences have demonstrated his strive for excellence in and outside the Classroom.

National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical Education Recipient
David Bard (Narol, Manitoba)

Dave Bard is an experienced educator who has made a substantial contribution to the development and implementation of health and physical education in the Winnipeg School Division and throughout Manitoba. He has provided outstanding teaching performance at all levels and has motivated students to participate in a lifetime of physical activity. Previously, Dave was responsible for supporting 150 divisional physical education specialists, providing professional development opportunities on a variety of instructional and assessment strategies, program implementation, report cards, and year planning. He has been a member of several provincial curriculum development teams.

National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical Education Recipient
Élodie Pépin (Sherbrooke, Québec)

Élodie Pépin has been a physical and health education teacher at the Commission scolaire régionale de Sherbrooke for 12 years. Passionate and dedicated to her work, she has created and led many initiatives, activities, and events aimed at promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, while taking into account and respecting the needs and characteristics of her multicultural environment. Élodie innovates through her pedagogical practices and constantly adapts her teaching to her environment, offering a variety of physical activities that strengthen motor skills, and using innovative and stimulating approaches to motivate students with behavioural and mobility challenges and to advance their physical and social development.

National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical Education Recipient
Jennifer Lloyd McKenzie (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

Jennifer Lloyd McKenzie has worked for over 25 years as an elementary physical education specialist. Despite the challenges (limited size of gyms, equipment, etc.), Jen has created a quality physical education program in two elementary schools in Cole Harbour. Jen focuses on teaching fundamental movement skills through games, activities and challenges to ensure that her students have the confidence and basic elements to become physically literate and lifelong movers. Jen has developed a well-balanced, culturally responsive and diverse program, allowing her students to have increased and adequate exposure to activities such as dance and gymnastics. Jen has also made an outstanding contribution to the field by having a direct impact on physical and health education through her efforts as a TAPHE executive for over 9 years.

National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical Education Recipient
Richard Christopher (Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador)

Richard Christopher is currently a physical education teacher and athletic director at St. Peter's Junior High School in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Richard has developed a diverse, safe, balanced, and inclusive physical education program, and explored partnerships with sports organizations. These partnerships have strengthened the school's quality physical education program by integrating traditional and non-traditional activities and sports for their students, including wheelchair basketball, flag rugby, ultimate Frisbee, gymnastics, Angel Ball and tennis, all with the same goal: every student will have at least one physical activity that they will enjoy throughout their lives. Richard has also coached and organized many clubs and teams, including the cross-country movement, badminton, soccer, softball, baseball, volleyball and ball hockey club.

Research Council Emerging Scholar
Carl Adrian Xavier

Carl Adrian Xavier is currently completing a Master of Education in Curriculum and Pedagogy, with a focus on health and physical education at the University of Alberta. He has spent more than eleven years as an elementary school teacher with the Toronto District School Board and he is also approaching two years in his current role as a school health facilitator with Ever Active Schools in Edmonton. Adrian has spent most of his professional life mining, crafting and refining a curiosity and passion for school health promotion, wellness and physical literacy.

Research Council Emerging Scholar
Jeffery Zahavich

Jeffery Zahavich is a PhD candidate and Instructor at Dalhousie University. Under the supervision of Dr. Sara Kirk, Jeff's doctoral research aims to build knowledge about how physical education is supported and implemented in public schools in the province of Nova Scotia, with the goal of giving teachers and students a greater voice in the pursuit of physical education as a priority. To gain a better understanding of the curriculum and first-hand teaching experience, Jeff worked as a PHE specialist in an independent school in Halifax during the first year of his PhD, where he was responsible for delivering the Nova Scotia health and PE curriculum (grade 7-9).