Bob Perrier receives Prime Minister’s Award for teaching
Posted: October 10, 2012
Recently retired Head of Math, Bob Perrier, was among this year’s honourees for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence, which are given each year to outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers who have made innovative use of information and communications technologies in the classroom.
“My first reaction to receiving this award was disbelief,” says Bob. “Could I really be this deserving? I was humbled, maybe shocked, when Kevin [McHenry], Mike [Paluch] and Gary [Godkin] put forth this nomination. At that point I felt over-acknowledged for so many at SAC do superior service. Quite honestly, I expected it to end there and felt the nomination alone reward enough. Realistically, without their support and initiative this would not have happened.”
Bob is one of 94 teachers from across Canada recognized this year for their outstanding contributions to teaching, receiving a regional Certificate of Achievement for Ontario.
For 22 years, Bob taught math at St. Andrew’s. He and his wife, Ann, served as Housemasters in Memorial House. Teaching grade 11 and 12 math, Bob introduced SMARTBoards into the classroom, provided students with access to tablet computers, and delivered course content through web-based applications.
Bob’s commitment to teaching extended beyond technology and the classroom. Generations of students fondly recall his Math Den: for two hours every evening he would offer extra help for those who needed it. He also ensured that all math teachers had digital portfolios to monitor student progress and provide constructive feedback, which led to a significant increase in student averages.
“Bob is the quintessential teacher who consistently demonstrates commitment, compassion and integrity,” says Headmaster Kevin McHenry. “I have witnessed first-hand the impact that Bob has had on the lives of the thousands of boys who attend or have attended the School. We are the benefactors of Bob’s talents and we couldn’t be prouder of his achievement.”
Believing that his students were capable of anything if they applied themselves, Bob encouraged them to enter math competitions. Over the years, his students accepted the challenge and competed in national and international contests, including the Gauss, Pascal, Cayley, etc.
Bob’s career as a teacher exemplifies Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s words at this year’s awards ceremony: “It is a real privilege to honour educators who have imparted their knowledge and inspiration to us and our children, helping all of us become the best we can be.”
Although he is humble about receiving his award, Bob certainly deserves the recognition. His positive approach and support are fondly remembered not only by all the students he taught but also by everyone in the SAC family.
He continues to demonstrate his devotion to teaching. “I was somewhat concerned about going cold turkey on teaching,” notes Bob about his retirement. “Right now I’m teaching a semester in Italy, which is a wonderful opportunity to really get absorbed into another culture.”
Bob is back in a familiar setting, the classroom, where he continues to inspire students and help them learn math, or matematiche, as they say in Italy.
Story by Lorne Chase