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UWindsor education grad honoured by teachers’ union

UWindsor alumna Hilda Watkins (BA 1970, 1972, B.Ed 1972), a retired teacher with the Greater Essex County District School Board, received the highest form of recognition from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario at its annual meeting in Toronto this week—honorary lifetime membership.

Watkins began her education career in 1973, serving as a classroom teacher, speech and language instructor, and special education teacher. She became active in the provincial teachers’ union in the late 1980s, and served on the federation’s executive for five terms prior to becoming vice-president. She also served on the governing council of the Ontario College of Teachers, as the President of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, and on the board of directors of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.

The federation’s president, Sam Hammond, paid tribute to her commitment to improving working conditions for teachers.

“In her long career, Hilda always stood up for the principles and values that ensure high quality education and inclusiveness,” he said. “Her selfless contributions to the union movement have greatly benefitted the teaching profession in this province and across Canada.”

Watkins is the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award, the ETFO President’s Award, the Windsor and District Labour Council’s Education Advocacy Award, and the CAW’s Aboriginal and Workers of Colour Award.