Deborah Berrill (2006)

berrillAffiliation at the time of the award: Trent University.

Citation: “In my initial year as an undergraduate I thought Deborah Berrill was superhuman. How could someone be such an incredible human being and such an amazing teacher?” Many scholars have mastered the complex theories of education, but only a few can translate their profound meanings into concrete teaching and learning. Starting with strong theoretical foundations, Deborah still keeps students—as human beings—at the focus of her teaching. For Deborah, teaching means “recognition, legitimization, and valuing of student’s identities,” “a sense of belonging in their communities.”

At Trent University, as Director of Education and Professional Learning, Deborah is in charge of the overall direction and management of the Bachelor of Education K-12 program. Her responsibilities require not only a comprehensive knowledge of the University’s various faculties, schools, and boards, but also a thorough understanding of the standards and structures of teacher education in Ontario.

A role model, Deborah has been one of the main contributors to the Trent University Interactive Learning Center. She has given more than 50 presentations and workshops on virtually every topic related to teaching and learning. Deborah has won several awards in two different universities. Although it might sound far-fetched, Deborah’s students regularly rate her as almost perfect in their teacher evaluations. “Deborah has shown me how to be kind yet ambitious, how to have fun and be academic. Deborah’s influence on me has demonstrated that the sky is the limit, and that, truly, one teacher can make a difference.”