None of CIVIX’s successes would be possible without the dedicated teachers across the country who champion democratic engagement in their schools. For our anniversary, we are highlighting 20 CIVIX Ambassadors — teachers who have gone above and beyond in their practices of civic education. Their names are here, and their stories will be added throughout the school year.

Christina McKay

Christina McKay teaches History, Social Studies, English and Social Action to grade 9-12 students in Halifax. She incorporates citizenship into her teaching at every opportunity, and operates from the belief that democracy needs to be protected and students naturally want to be included. In 2022, when the provincial government in Nova Scotia proposed a fixed election date in the summer — making Student Vote impossible to run — Christina and two of her students gave impassioned testimony before the Law Amendments committee about the importance of the parallel election program for engaging students in democratic processes. 

Read Christina's full profile

Anne Quesnelle

Anne Quesnelle has been teaching for the Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvel-Ontario for 18 years. She currently works at Ste-Marie, a French-language school in Greater Sudbury, Ontario. She recently began teaching art to all elementary students at her school. She’s organized the Student Vote program for all levels of government since 2018, always involving her colleagues and other classes in the process. She describes herself a “life-long learner” and believes that no one is ever too young to learn about politics or to get involved in their community. She takes to heart the idea that real life events can become teachable moments.

Read Anne's full profile

Oluyemi Adegbite

Oluyemi Adegbite teaches middle school at Earnscliffe Senior Public School in Brampton, Ontario. He originally wanted to study law, but ended up pursuing an education in political science in Nigeria, and hasn’t looked back after 19 years of teaching in Canadian classrooms. Oluyemi’s background in politics helps him to foster democratic values among his students, which he does through a range of methods and activities, including dramatization, giving students choices related to day-to-day classroom activities, and of course, Student Vote, which he runs to great success with the help of dedicated colleagues.

Read Oluyemi's full profile

Ted Mukhar

Ted Mukhar is in his 23rd year of teaching high school, in Kitchener, Ontario. A decade ago, when he became a co-op and student success teacher, he worried about the future of the Student Vote program, which he’d always run with his History and Civics classes. To solve the problem, he turned it into a club, with great success. Ted leads Grade 9-12 students in voluntarily organizing the vote and activities for all of St. Mary’s Secondary, with its population of 2,300 students. Ted continues to go above and beyond in providing opportunities for students to experience democracy. 

Read Ted's full profile

Katie Glover

Katie Glover teaches grade 9-12 at Brookswood Secondary School in Langley, B.C, where her courses include Social Studies, Economic Theory, and Political Studies. Students in Political Studies 12, a course she initiated, complete a semester-long “Do Something” project where they pick an issue and work with community mentors to propose solutions. Katie organizes a whole-school Student Vote and regularly brings elected representatives to class. She consistently takes every opportunity to create real-world connections that make political themes meaningful for students.

Read Katie's full profile

Noémie Gagné

Noémie Gagné teaches history and geography in a small, close-knit community in Gaspésie. Her school is largely composed of students from francophone, anglophone and Mi’kmaq communities. Noémie engages her students in the democratic process through CIVIX programs including Student Vote and PoliTalks. She believes that civic education should go beyond the textbook and help students practice what they have learned. The idea of being a good citizen for her includes showing kindness and understanding to those around you, a practice she models both at school and in life.

Read Noémie's full profile

Mark Glor

Mark Glor has been teaching for 30 years and involved with CIVIX for 19 of them. He runs the Student Vote program at his independent Winnipeg school, while also mentoring newer teachers. Mark has acted as a trusted CIVIX advisor, consulting on the development of resources. In the classroom he takes a day-to-day action-oriented approach, working with students to connect to their interests. He consistently offers democratic choices in the classroom as a way to give students a stake in outcomes and promote meaningful participation.

Read Mark's full profile

Charlene O'Hanley

Charlene O’Hanley teaches at a small English-language adult education centre in Lachute, Quebec, a town with high dropout rates and poverty levels. Her students range in age from 16 to 60-plus, and, regardless of who is in her classroom, Charlene sees her role as providing opportunities to engage students as citizens, to reduce apathy and foster a sense of agency. A teacher of 30 years, she’s been using CIVIX programs since 2012 and sees them as playing a key role in empowering her students to find their voices.

Read Charlene's full profile

Laura McCarron

Fredericton High School teacher Laura McCarron has been passionate about Social Studies since her first day as a teacher 22 years ago. While her approach incorporates a range of activities, she credits CIVIX programs with helping her inspire students to become agents of change. Laura works collaboratively with other educators and her leadership roles have allowed her to share CIVIX resources broadly. For example, she played a role in having the CTRL-F digital media literacy program incorporated into English classes at her school, as well as supporting its inclusion in the revised New Brunswick Grade 10 Social Studies curriculum. 

Read Laura's full profile

Melissa Hopkins

Melissa Hopkins teaches Grade 9 Humanities at Lakeshore School in Calgary, Alberta. She has been leading Student Vote since 2006, at two different schools. Melissa takes a cross-curricular approach to civic education and aims to help her students see connections between their lives and political processes. To help make politicians’ work more relatable she routinely brings elected representatives into class. She is motivated by a desire to help students understand their responsibilities as citizens in society, and encourages them to engage with issues from a variety of perspectives. 

Read Melissa's full profile

Jeremy Reid

Jeremy Reid is a high-school teacher at Westsyde Secondary School in Kamloops, B.C. He’s been involved with CIVIX since 2006, and has led whole-school Student Votes ever since. Jeremy uses every tool he can to help engage students in political processes. For example, for the past decade, he’s run a class Twitter account to successfully engage with elected representatives. He is a champion of CIVIX resources, regularly promoting them to fellow educators and forming professional learning communities dedicated to civic education. 

Read Jeremy's full profile

Stuart Mutch

Stuart Mutch has been with CIVIX since the beginning. The London, Ontario high school teacher participated in the first-ever Student Vote in 2003 and was invited to share program feedback soon after. He has since been an invaluable contributor to the development of CIVIX programs, all of which he uses regularly. He is committed to providing students with authentic learning opportunities, exposing them to a broad range of viewpoints, and helping them to see themselves as citizens in a democracy.

Read Stuart's full profile

Elena Wiens

Elena Wiens teaches Social Studies and English, and is the Social Studies’ Department Head at Grant Park High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was drawn to teaching through her realization that she could positively contribute to the world by impacting individuals, and the most significant way to do so is through education. Elena has been leading school-wide Student Votes and working with CIVIX since the 2004 federal election. She uses a broad range of experiential learning activities to help engage students in exercising their democratic rights and responsibilities.

Read Elena's full profile

Alistair King

Alistair King teaches Social Studies, Philosophy, Economic Theory, and Political Studies to grade 10-12 students at Dover Secondary School in Nanaimo, B.C. Originally a communications and PR professional, King made the switch to classroom teaching six years ago, motivated to empower students to be active citizens who can shape their world. He has incorporated all of CIVIX’s programs into his teaching and routinely engages students in activities designed to promote day-to-day civic action.

Read Alistair's full profile

Brennan Caverhill

Brennan Caverhill believes that participating in democracy is one of the most important things students can do in school. A Grade 7 teacher in downtown Toronto, Brennan strives to make real-world citizenship connections by creating opportunities for experiential learning whenever possible. His students cultivate relationships with local elected officials, visit real polls on election day and ongoingly discuss rights and responsibilities in relation to levels of government. Brennan is a champion of CIVIX programming, consistently involving students, parents, colleagues, and the wider-school community in activities.

Read Brennan's full profile

Christine Penrose

High school teacher Christine Penrose makes it her mission to keep civic education central, relevant and engaging for students. The high school teacher knows that Ontario’s Civics 10 course can often be sidelined, but not so at Barrie North Collegiate. Penrose and her department colleagues go out of their way to protect the course and ensure it succeeds. Christine brings civics alive for even the most skeptical students, empowering them to find their voice and make a difference in the world.

Read Christine's full profile

Jean-Pierre Bélanger

Jean-Pierre Bélanger describes himself as a “veteran” of CIVIX and civic education. He’s been teaching civics and history for 28 years in a private high school in the outskirts of Victoriaville, Québec. His students participate in a host of civic activities each year, including Student Vote, the Student Budget Consultation, Rep Day, Model UN, and the National Assembly’s parliamentary simulation, among others. Civic education programs, like those delivered by CIVIX, allow Jean-Pierre to engage his students in matters that affect their community. He seizes every opportunity to encourage his students to make their voices heard.

Read Jean-Pierre's full profile

Michele Cumberland

Michele Cumberland teaches middle-school in Penticton, B.C. A teacher for 24 years, she is a driving force for citizenship and democracy education. Michele leads whole-school Student Votes for every election and organizes all-candidates forums that are discussed in the greater community. She is a passionate advocate for increased day-to-day civics instruction, mentoring colleagues and providing them with accessible resources. She is currently working on a comprehensive cross-curricular initiative to bring civics to every grade in her K-8 school. 

Read Michele's full profile

Neeta Kumar-Britten

Grade 4/5 teacher Neeta Kumar-Britten has been teaching about citizenship and democracy in Cape Breton for 30 years. Over the course of her career she has taught every grade level, and recently began teaching pre-service teachers. Regardless of the students’ age, she is committed to bringing democracy’s “nuts and bolts” alive by making meaningful connections to their lives. Neeta has been involved with CIVIX since the early days of Student Vote, and credits CIVIX with helping her to empower generations of students as informed and engaged citizens. 

Read Neeta’s full profile

Jennifer Keay

Jennfier Keay is a grade 9-12 Social Studies teacher at Hilltop High in Whitecourt, Alberta. She ran her first Student Vote in 2004 as a new teacher, and has been passionately committed to democracy education and CIVIX programming since. Jennifer consistently inspires her students, enlists her whole school in programs, advocates for the importance of civic education in her district, and includes the broader community. She also regularly supports CIVIX as a spokesperson and advisor. 

Read Jennifer’s full profile

Honourable Mentions

CIVIX’s call for educators to recognize for our 20th anniversary received an overwhelming responses. It is a privilege to work with so many dedicated educators across the country and we would like to acknowledge the following teachers, who each excels at engaging students as engaged citizens in our democracy.

  • Peter Takach, Valemount, BC
  • Jean Ann Stene, Richmond, BC
  • Jeremy Hart, Mill Bay, BC
  • Heather Derkson, Fraser Lake, BC
  • John O’Flynn, North Vancouver, BC
  • Jessica Hall, Port Alberni, BC
  • Kimberley Pavan, Port Moody, BC
  • Melissa Sharratt (nee Lackey), Victoria, BC
  • Andrea Dunlop, Vancouver, BC
  • Stephanie Halldorson,  Cranbrook, BC
  • Sonia Nasmith, Surrey, BC
  • Harvinder Sahai, Surrey, BC
  • Paul Best, North Vancouver, BC
  • Jyoti Kahlon, Conrich, AB
  • Christian Terry, Fort McMurray, AB
  • Frank Spilak, Edmonton, AB
  • Scott Burden, Calmar, AB
  • Kate Ladret, Myrnam, AB
  • Sean Sommerfeld,  Edson, AB
  • Landon White, Boissevain, MB
  • Marrietta Anterola, Leaf Rapids, MB
  • Scott Templeton, Winnipeg, MB
  • Trevor Pierce, NS
  • Anne LeBlanc, Dartmouth, NS
  • Nikole McCormick,  Amherst, NS
  • Darren Stoddard, Shelburn, NS
  • Jessica Wells, Timberlea, NS
  • Karl Van Hees, Ottawa, ON
  • Michael Anthony, Toronto, ON
  • Bosede Ojo, Toronto, ON
  • Michael Langford, Brampton, ON
  • Laura McKillop, London, ON
  • Christina Raso, Toronto, ON
  • Sahana Shanmugam, Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON
  • Deborah Reid, Toronto, ON
  • Guylaine Moffatt, North Lancaster, ON
  • Corrina Dowling, Brantford, ON
  • Chris Brouillard-Coyle,  Windsor, ON
  • Marianne Whittaker, Brampton, ON
  • Marianne Cayetano, Toronto, ON
  • Catherine Akinrinola, Markham, ON
  • Don MacKinlay, Richmond Hill, ON
  • Laura Masucci, Hamilton, ON
  • Mary-Ann Campanelli, Mississauga, ON
  • Allison Fuisz, Ottawa, ON
  • Todd Bosak, ON
  • Conrad Walpot, Brockville, ON
  • Mathieu Robitaillle, Belleville, ON
  • Brian Skinner, Toronto, ON
  • Beverley Fullerton Lewis, Charlottetown, PEI
  • Helen Smith-Macphail, Cornwall, PEI
  • Michelle Holdway, PEI
  • Shaelynn Senyk, Davidson, SK
  • Bryan Doerksen, Calgary, AB
  • Mike Wilson, Calgary, AB
  • Kimberly Collins, Calgary, AB
  • Emily Jarvis, Hinton, AB
  • Steven Bain, Edmonton, AB
  • Tim Beyette, Fisher Branch, MB
  • Jonathan Standring, Rothesay, NB
  • Shane Kelbaugh, Rothesay, NB
  • David Lynch,  St. John’s, NL
  • Margie Hillier, Greenfield, NS
  • Sonya Tancock, Auburn, NS
  • Bill Banks, Halifax, NS
  • Rory Bain, Thunder Bay, ON
  • James Trudeau, Brampton, ON
  • Jessamyn Polson, Toronto, ON
  • Rita Drutz, Toronto, ON
  • Nadia Broley, Barrie, ON
  • Katherine Ellis, Lakeview, ON
  • Michelle Munk, Toronto, ON
  • Craig Aitkenhead, Toronto, ON
  • Laura Kirby-McIntosh, Mississauga, ON
  • Scott Searle,  Ottawa, ON
  • Khurrum Mirza, Longueuil, QC
  • Melissa Sullivan, White City, SK
  • Judith Chouinard, Gatineau, QC
  • Johanne Berthiaume, Montréal, QC
  • Jean-Pierre Lagueux, Saint-Martin, QC
  • Nathalie Viau, QC
  • Angéline Gyebré, Pickering, ON
  • Geneviève Larose Farmer, Vancouver, BC
  • Léo Beaulieu, Hamilton, ON
  • Julie Robert, Sainte-Thérèse, QC
  • Eric Comtois, Wawa, ON
  • Émilie Laviolette, Ottawa, ON
  • Ousmane Gueye, Grande Prairie, AB
  • Bruno Orsini, Montreal, QC
  • Alexandre Lavoie, Mont-Joli, QC
  • Nicolas M. Théoret, Montréal, QC
  • Caroline Boutet, ON
  • Charles McEvoy, Rothesay, NB
  • Kellie Rodgers, St. John’s, NL