Two GTA teachers have been honoured among the most outstanding in Canada with the prime minister's award for teaching excellence and teaching excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Rachel Luke teaches at Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga, while Jason Bradshaw teaches at Castlebrooke Secondary School in Brampton.
"It was a wonderful moment," Luke recalled about when she learned she had been selected for the award. "I'm humbled and honoured. I'm thrilled. It's such a wonderful thing to be recognized in this way," she added.
"I think someone said it's like the Nobel Peace Prize of teaching, so it's a wonderful honour and I'm humbled to receive it and I'm so grateful to my colleague who nominated me."
One of Luke's colleagues described her as a teacher who every single student respects and adores, and one who at-risk students respond to and have the utmost trust and respect for.
'It's such a great honour'
Meanwhile, Bradshaw said when the vice principal at his school nominated him he was touched, but in the back of his mind he did not think he would receive the award.
"It felt unbelievable to be honest, because it's such a great honour," Bradshaw told CBC News.
"This is perhaps the highest recognition that a teacher can achieve in Canada … so when I found out that I won, I basically felt like a dream. I thought that I'm going to wake up from this and, you know, it's a nice dream and all, but I can't imagine that I'm actually being honoured as one of the most outstanding teachers in the country."
Bradshaw is described as a master of digital and creative literacy in the classroom who creates virtual learning platforms for students to learn, demonstrate their learning and surpass course expectations. He brings students to express themselves in a multimedia landscape, particularly to publish and share their science project results.
The prime minister's awards for teaching excellence have honoured exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines since 1994, with more than 1,600 teachers honoured to date.
Teaching excellence awards recipients are honoured for their remarkable achievements in education and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation-based economy.
The teaching excellence in STEM awards honour outstanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers that help develop the culture of innovation Canada needs today, and in the future.