Riverview High School teacher Armand Doucet has been made a member of the Order of Canada for his career advocating for public education.
Doucet, who teaches modern history and world issues, decribed feeling stunned, humbled and proud upon hearing the news.
"It's a phone call you don't expect," said Doucet, who learned of the honour in a phone call between classes.
"On my phone it popped up 'Governor General's office' ... It left me speechless, which doesn't happen often."
Gov. Gen. Mary Simon announced inductions into one of Canada's highest honours Thursday. Individuals across many sectors who have made extraordinary contributions to their fields, and to the country, are appointed each year.
In the last decade, Doucet has also received a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence and the Minister's Excellence in Teaching Award from the province, among many other recognitions.
Doucet, who has been in the classroom more than a decade, considers himself in service of the students under his care and sees his profession as one of developing the next generation — a job he says he is proud to do.
"We're trying to plant seeds," he says. "Our democracies are struggling. Populism is on the rise."
Doucet thinks it is important for education to arm students with digital literacy skills to create strong critical thinkers.
"The digital age revolution has had a real impact. We haven't seen this type of impact since probably the Industrial revolution where it rocked society. And to be able to try to be in service, and to try to help lead the way forward, is extremely important because our democracies are at risk."
He is also grateful for education advocates of the past for building the foundation of his career.
"I was lucky enough to have teachers, parents and community leaders that really had an impact on my life, and if I can pay that forward just a little bit every day then I've done good by them."