MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 –Michael Sweet, a teacher at Options I Alternative High School in Ville Émard, has been shortlisted, along with his former student teacher Raymond Tomasino, for a 2011 Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. The list, released this summer, shortlists 22 teachers from across Canada from which six will be chosen this fall for the prestigious Governor General’s Medal and a cash prize.
Sweet and Tomasino were chosen for their project titled We Who Listened, a book written by nearly 100 high school students which details their personal reactions to a Holocaust Survivor Alex Levin’s post-war journey to Canada. The project grew out of a partnership with the Azrieli Foundation and their free-to-teachers resources, most notably their award-winning Holocaust memoir series of books.
“It is an honour that our program and books was the spark for this creative and thought-provoking project” said Naomi Azrieli, executive director of the Azrieli Foundation.
The book, We Who Listened, produced by the teaching duo in 2010 was published by the Learning for a Cause Student Press which was founded by Sweet in 2005. It sells worldwide via most online booksellers.
Student author Catherine Rea says, “Stories like Levin’s give deeper meaning to our society today and how it came about.”
Michael Sweet was also chosen for a 2009 Prime Minister’s Award for teaching and was inducted into the Teacher’s Wall of Fame at the Teacher’s Hall of Fame in the USA. Raymond Tomasino is now a graduate of the McGill B.Ed. program and teachers at John Paul I High School.