Former Near North District School Board Trustee and Chair Jay Aspin has been recognized with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association’s (OPSBA) Bernadine Yackman Memorial Award.
“I was very pleased and astonished,” says Aspin. “It feels great. I’ve worked with Bernadine Yackman years ago and I know what a contribution she made to education. I’m very pleased to accept this terrific recognition.”
Officials with the association say it’s awarded to an active or retired trustee of a board for dedication, commitment, and an “outstanding contribution to education with special recognition of Northern Ontario service”.
Aspin represented Zone 1 North Bay on the NNDSB from 2003 to 2011, and again from 2018 to 2022. Prior to this, he served four terms on the former Nipissing Board of Education.
He says returning to the board as Chair in 2018 was one of his biggest accomplishments.
“I was fortunate enough to work with a board that knew education and were all willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and move the board forward,” says Aspin. “The previous board had an unfortunate time and had lost the public’s confidence. After being MP for one term, I was set to retire from politics. But I was educated by this board. I’ve been on the board twice before. […] I felt obligated to get back, pitch in, and get this board back on its feet and heading into the right direction. We managed to do that. It took us the full four years, under a tremendously disturbing pandemic, but we were successful. and I think that was probably one of my best accomplishments.”