Teacher hon­oured by Dream­catcher foun­da­tion

Simcoe Reformer - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

Photo cour­tesy Fred Cat­troll

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.

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