Judges Bios


Andrea Blair

Andrea Blair is a music educator with the Greater Victoria School District in Victoria, British Columbia. As Music Director for Gordon Head Middle and Lambrick Park Secondary, Andrea teaches hundreds of students, from Grades 4–12, in various ensembles including Concert Band, Jazz Band and String Orchestra. Additionally, Andrea has been a mentor teacher to university students completing their final teaching practicum and has taught undergraduate music education courses at the University of Victoria. Over the last 20 years, Andrea’s teaching method has evolved specifically towards inclusion of all persons, especially those with special needs that may not otherwise be engaged.

Alison Gaymes San Vicente

Alison Gaymes San Vicente works to disrupt educational practices that continue to disadvantage historically marginalized students. Her passion for equity and justice has led to a secondment at York University, presentations at a variety of conferences and her current position as a Principal with the Toronto District School Board. Her passion has also been the impetus for her leadership with girls’ mentorship, elementary to secondary transitions and teaching praxis initiatives. Alison is the recipient of the Queen Diamond Jubilee Award as well as Canada’s Outstanding Principal. She is also an author in “Restacking the Deck: Streaming by class, race and gender in Ontario schools;Rhymes to Re-education: A Hip Hop Curriculum Resource Guide for Educators with social Justice Activities” as well as articles titled “Doing Just Fine? Giving Attention to the Needs and Interests of Girls” and “Is Social Justice Helping or Hurting? Mentorship Programs: Girls and the Human Responsibility”.

Heather Hughes-Leck

Heather Hughes-Leck has been an educator with the Halifax Regional School Board for 19 years. She has also taught students from grade 8 to grade 12 in Japan, Vietnam and Kuwait. She is the teacher advisor with the Human Rights/Eco Club at Dartmouth High School and enjoys watching students grow into young adults who feel they can make a change in the world. For the last three years she has traveled to the Dominican Republic with student groups to work with the organization Pasos de Esperanza on a cultural immersion/service trip.

Carmen Spiteri-Johnson

Carmen Spiteri-Johnson is the principal of Sir William Mulock Secondary School in Newmarket, Ontario. Carm has been an educator for almost twenty-five years. A committed life-long learner, she is currently pursuing her Masters of Education. She is also a proud mother of three children.

Amanda Wilson

Amanda Wilson is a Grade 4/5 French Immersion teacher at Ecole Barrie Wilson in Red Deer, Alberta. She was the recipient of a Canadian Family Teacher Award in 2015. She enjoys travelling, and has been fortunate to have the opportunity to go to Belize three times to work with teachers and students in schools as a member of the Rotary Literacy Alive program. She is passionate about 21st century learning, technology, project based learning and helping students develop the skills to become ethical, innovative, and informed citizens.

Charles Ungerleider

Charles Ungerleider, a sociologist whose research has addressed a wide range of topics from assessment to xenophobia, is Director of Research and Managing Partner of Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group, LLP. He is a Professor Emeritus at The University of British Columbia where he once served as Associate Dean for Teacher Education. Ungerleider has broad knowledge of government and public education systems in Canada from his research, from his direct experience as a researcher, and from serving as a Deputy Minister of Education in British Columbia.

Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith is a teacher at Brentwood Elementary in Sherwood Park, Alberta. He is a former winner of the Canadian Family Teacher Awards.