2023 Distinguished Contribution Award Recipients
Joan Reynolds – Toronto, Ontario
Joan Reynolds’ long and distinguished career has been, for most of her professional life, devoted to the area of English as a Second Language teaching in Ontario.
Joan is well respected among colleagues, friends and other professionals in the sector alike. Among her many qualities, Joan is a lifelong learner who has always embraced new roles, responsibilities, and initiatives with open arms. She is not afraid to learn, question, and examine. She takes a deep dive and presents her viewpoints respectfully and firmly and takes a stand for issues that matter to her.
A teacher by profession, Joan began teaching ESL to adults in 1991 in TDSB and joined the TCDSB Adult Ed Program in January 1995, where she remained until 2008. Joan then held the positions of Chair of Language Studies and Manager of International Programs and Partnerships at George Brown College until 2015.
This year, she served as a team participant for Project Abraham’s Ride for Refuge fundraiser; her task was to reach out to family, friends, and former colleagues to support this initiative by finding sponsors for her in the 5 km walk in September 2023. Over the past decade, Project Abraham has provided aid to traumatized refugees settling in Canada, beginning with the Yezidis.
Along with a group of friends and colleagues, Joan privately sponsored a Syrian refugee family. She reached out to colleagues, friends, and family to appeal for donations toward the sponsorship. This private sponsorship group raised $30,000 in aid for this family.
Beyond her humanitarian efforts and her professional roles, Joan has contributed greatly to the development of accreditation services at TESL Ontario over the past twenty plus years. This involvement and the changes and developments she has helped to usher in have had a lasting and positive impact on English language educators across the province.
Joan was a member of the TESL Ontario TESL Training Institution Recognition Advisory Committee from 2000 to 2009, after which she served as the Chair of the Accreditation Standards Committee until 2014.
Joan served as a member of the task force that developed the TESL Ontario Code of Ethics in 2014, and has served as a TESL program accreditation adjudicator for the past five years. In 2018, Joan also rejoined the TESL Ontario Standards Committee, where she continues to serve today.
Few members in the history of our association have done as much to advance the cause and credibility of the English language learning section as Joan Reynolds.