Branksome Hall News

A Deserving Medal for an Extraordinary Math Teacher

Math Instructional Leader and Teacher Edith Louie has taught mathematics at Branksome Hall for 24 years and her cheerful nature and skill at math instruction are valued by the whole community. Recently, Ms. Louie’s talents have been recognized with a province-wide honour: the René Descartes Medal.
The Society of Descartes Medallists was founded in 1968 by the René Descartes Foundation for the Advancement of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. The Society meets annually to pay tribute to Ontario mathematics and computer science teachers who are worthy of special recognition. Every year, the Foundation admits new members to the Society, where they remain members for life.
 
To receive a nomination, the attributes a candidate must display are proof of excellent classroom teaching; evidence of leadership in school activities; experience in board activities; province-wide participation in activities; mentorship to students and other teachers; contribution to problem-solving initiatives and enrichment development.
 
Ms. Louie, who holds a Bachelor of Education from McGill University and a Master of Education from University of Toronto, earned the TVOntario Award of Merit in 2000 for creative use of innovative teaching methods in the classroom. For the past six years, Ms. Louie has been the Instructional Leader of Mathematics here at Branksome Hall, where she coaches her team members on teaching, learning and assessment practices, developing students’ social-emotional learning skills and provides mentorship to new teachers, associate teachers and math co-op students.
 
In addition to teaching math and supporting her math colleagues, Ms. Louie is also a Math Club Advisor and math contest coordinator. She encourages her students to extend their love of math through math enrichment, mentorship and outreach programs. Ms. Louie is a strong supporter of service learning and initiated a JUMP Math tutoring partnership between students from her school and a local elementary school. Ms. Louie has been the President of Independent Schools of Ontario Mathematics Association (a chapter of OAME) since 2011, and as a member of the International Baccalaureate Educator Network, Ms. Louie frequently leads and facilitates mathematics workshops for teachers in Ontario and the United States.

Due to COVID-19, this annual celebration was put on hold for the last few years, so the June celebration recognized winners of the medal from 2020, 2021 and 2022. Ms. Louie attended the event on Saturday, June 11 and noted she was honoured to be among other recognized math educators. In her acceptance speech, she shared her thoughts and feelings with the audience:
 
“I am humbled to join the esteemed members of the Society of Descartes Medallists,” she said. “As I look around this room, you are outstanding math educators that I look up to from when I first started teaching 26 years ago. I learned from reading your publications and attending your workshops. There have been many mentors who are instrumental in my teaching career. In particular, I am honoured to be accepting this medal in the presence of my former Department Head, Charlotte Danard (inducted to the Society in 2007), who has been an inspiration for the work that I do beyond the classroom.”
 
Ms. Louie movingly dedicated her award to her mother, who passed away a few months ago, and noted that the ceremony was taking place on her birthday, the day her mother brought her into the world. “I would like to dedicate this medal to my late mother, Anna,” she said. “Mom, thank you for your unconditional love and the values you instilled in me. I love you. This high honour is for you!”
 
Principal Karen Jurjevich was thrilled to hear of Ms. Louie’s award. “This is such a deserving award. I could not be more proud of Edith, as she is the most deserving math educator and truly caring individual with whom I have ever worked.”
 
View a video of Ms. Louie being introduced and inducted into the Society.
 
Congratulations to Ms. Louie for all her hard work and dedication and service to mathematics education in Ontario schools over the last 26 years. 
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Land Acknowledgement
We wish to acknowledge this land on which Branksome operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and go to school on this land.
Branksome Hall
10 Elm Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada
M4W 1N4

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