TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Keisha Iahtail, a student at Timmins High & Vocational School, is the recipient of the highest honour that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) can bestow upon a student—the Student Achievement Award (in honour of Marion Drysdale).

Iahtail won the intermediate grades 9-10 applied/essential category in the prose or poetry division of this prestigious award for her entry entitled, "Shannen Koostachin: A Youth Leader Who Became the Solution." She was sponsored by her teacher Bill McGillis.

"Each of this year's eight winners is a shining example of what is possible when dedicated educators are able to inspire great learners," said OSSTF/FEESO President Ken Coran. Keisha wrote a touching tribute to her friend Shannen Koostachin – a name we are all familiar with. Keisha's essay A Youth Leader who 'Became the Solution' reminds us of Shannen's call to action, her achievements and her spirit."

This is the 26th consecutive year in which the Federation has presented the Student Achievement Awards (formerly known as the Marion Drysdale Awards). This year each winning student was awarded with a cash prize of $1,000 and a framed certificate.

The awards were presented for poem or essay submissions in five prose/poetry categories:
  • intermediate grades 9-10 academic;
  • intermediate grades 9-10 applied/essential;
  • senior grades 11-12 university;
  • senior, grades 11-12 college/workplace;
  • French.
And for creative entries there are three categories:
  • intermediate visual art;
  • senior visual art; and
  • French or English video/audio/animation.

Entries are judged at four successive levels: school, district, regional and provincial. The competition is open to all Ontario public high school students. This year's theme was "Become the Solution: Words into Action."

The contest is named after Marion Drysdale who died of cancer in 1983 just after retiring from the position of secretary to the general secretary of OSSTF/FEESO. Drysdale was noted for her keen interest in reading and history.

A booklet containing all the winning student submissions can be obtained on request from the OSSTF/FEESO provincial office. A professionally produced DVD about the students and their work is also available.

OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Timmins High & Vocational School student Keisha Iahtail, is the winner of a 2011 OSSTF/FEESO Student Achievement Award. Presenting Keisha with her award are Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education and Ken Coran, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

Contact Information: Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
Randy Banderob
416.432.3304 Cell (before March 15)
416.751.8300/1-800-267-7867 Office (after March 14)