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From The Chair

Clear vision

The eighth College Council continues to focus on putting students first.

By Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT
Photo: Matthew Plexman

A photo of College Chair Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT.

In Grade 7, my teacher, Mrs. Maida, was concerned I couldn't see the blackboard, and so my mom took me to the optometrist. There, I was diagnosed with myopia and prescribed glasses to correct my nearsightedness. As I grew older and became more involved in sports, I often switched my glasses for contact lenses. Others would comment on the difference in my appearance when I wore contacts, perhaps because the trend in the '90s was large frames.

Even though my appearance sometimes changed, my vision remained clear. Of course, over the years, checkups and prescription adjustments were required, but the objective was always clear vision.

And so it is with our self-governance work at the College. There may be appearance changes but ultimately, after 20 years, the core work remains the same. I thank the seventh Council Chair Angela De Palma, OCT, and Vice-Chair Myreille Loubert, OCT, for their work.

I am honoured to serve as Chair of the eighth Council. Together with Vice-Chair Tim Gernstein, OCT, and all Council colleagues, we have a clear vision:

We are focused on continuing to avoid mandate creep by having mandate clarity. We are here to self-govern and focus on accrediting teacher education programs and Additional Qualification courses. This includes setting the standards of the teaching profession, licensing eligible applicants, investigating complaints and determining appropriate disciplinary action for those who don't maintain the standards.

Although Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) voted in our election to fill elected positions, Council members do not have a constituency. All members of Council are here to act in the public interest: specifically, putting students first.

As required by the Ontario College of Teachers Act, OCTs pay licensing fees to fund the execution of those core activities. I invite you to read the various bios of the Council members at councilmembers. Read about our mandate at and how we fulfil our legislated duties.

It is important that our membership understands what we do and that we have regular checkups to ensure our vision remains clear.

The signature for College Chair Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT.