Now in the final year of her studies in the UWindsor concurrent education program, Mikayla Bornais is looking forward to beginning a teaching career. Recognition she received this month from the Ontario College of Teachers may help her on her way.
Bornais is the 2021 recipient of the $1,500 Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education. Named to honour the college’s second registrar, the award acknowledges outstanding academic achievement and high level of preparedness for teacher education.
“It’s a validation of all the hard work I put into making myself a better teacher,” says Bornais. “It is humbling knowing the number of teacher candidates who will graduate. I am grateful to all of the teachers and my mentors who provided me with great experiences, research and learning opportunities that helped shaped me into who I am today.”
She says the award is less important than what it represents.“It’s a reflection of all the things that can help me succeed in my goal: to empower my students to face their challenges,” she says.
Dean of education Ken Montgomery calls the award a “tremendous accomplishment” for Bornais.
“The Faculty of Education is very proud of her,” he says. “Her success also shines a bright and positive light on the University of Windsor and the Faculty of Education for which we are honoured.”
Bornais can provide instruction in French and has biology and chemistry as teachable subjects. She hopes to inspire young women in science.
“They have the potential to take whatever career path they want,” she says.
Derek Haime, CEO of the Ontario College of Teachers, notes that its scholarship program reinforces high standards and sustains excellence in the province’s schools.
“It rewards the achievements and characteristics of individuals who model the values of teaching as a respected, time-honoured, and forward-looking profession,” says Dr. Haime. “This year’s application pool was of a very high caliber and the selection workgroup considered carefully the academic achievements and experiences of each application.”