Teacher honoured by Dreamcatcher foundation
Simcoe’s John Macdonald has never shied away from helping others, especially Indigenous youth.
For his efforts, the teacher at Brantford’s Pauline Johnson Collegiate was honoured by the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation during its annual gala celebration in Hamilton. Located in Ohsweken, the foundation celebrates the achievements of native peoples, supports youth programming and the development of leadership.
Macdonald, of Mohawk descent, is a former defensive lineman with the CFL’S Hamilton Tiger-cats.
A recent inductee to the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition, Macdonald brings his experience to Pauline Johnson’s SOAR program (Strength opportunity, achievement and Results), which supports the needs of student-athletes.
“A great coach of mine, Andy Cox, once said that money and fame don’t mean anything; what matters is the quality of the relationships you forge with people,” Macdonald said during his acceptance speech.
“This is a profound message and, of course, one that has echoed for generations from our traditional stories, ancestors, and elders.
“I encourage Indigenous role models to get out there and work with our youth because our lessons, presence, and spirit are needed by both Indigenous and non-indigenous students alike.”
Macdonald coaches Pauline Johnson’s football team and Brantford-area minor sports, too.
He led a squad to the Ontario Women’s Field Lacrosse U-11 championship in 2017, while also getting involved in both rugby and hockey.
As a player, Macdonald was named best lineman for the Simcoe Sabres three times and won the team MVP in 1996.
He enjoyed success with the Mcgill University Redmen, twice winning the Willie Lambert (most dedicated) trophy and also was recognized the team’s most valuable lineman in 2001.
In the 2002 CFL draft, Macdonald was taken seventh overall by the Hamilton, where he played from 2002 to 2004.
At Pauline Johnson, he serves as the head of the English department.
“Grand Erie is so proud to count John among its team of dedicated and passionate educators working each day to ensure students succeed,” said Brenda Blancher, director of education for the Grand Erie District School Board.
“He brings a wealth of experience to the role and a commitment to equity that allows his students to prosper, and he couldn’t be more deserving of this honour.”
John Macdonald was honoured by the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation during its annual gala celebration in Hamilton last week. The Simcoe native is an English teacher and football coach at Pauline Johnson Collegiate in Brantford.