Presenting PHE Canada's 2022-2023 National Award Recipients

Red background with text in the front that says "PHE Canada National Awards / Prix nationaux d’EPS Canada"

PHE Canada is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 National Award recipients and recognize their commitment to physical and health education. We congratulate all of the award recipients for their quality work, passion for the field, as well as their exemplary conduct and significant contributions to the PHE Community.

R. Tait McKenzie Lifetime Achievement Award

Named after the distinguished Canadian physical educator, physician, and sculptor, the R. Tait McKenzie Lifetime Achievement award epitomizes Dr. R. Tait McKenzie’s professional ideals, service to humanity, and dedication to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of physical and health education, recreation, and dance. This award honours an individual's extraordinary and life-long dedication to the advancement of quality Physical and Health Education practices across Canada.

This year's R. Tait McKenzie Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are:

Janice receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Dr. Janice Forsyth
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. Janice Forsyth is a well-respected leader in Indigenous sport development in Canada. She has more than 20 years of experience examining the relationship between sport and culture from Indigenous perspectives. Her work helps organizations and governments align their policies and practices with Indigenous priorities for sport.

Sylvain's professional photo

Dr. Sylvain Turcotte
Université de Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke, Québec

Since obtaining his bachelor's degree in teaching physical and health education at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 1998, Sylvain Turcotte has devoted his career to the development of knowledge in the sciences of physical activity, as well as in the training of teachers in PE. Holder of a doctorate in education (inclusion in physical and health education), Dr. Turcotte is currently dean of the Faculty of Sciences of Physical Activity at the Université de Sherbrooke.


PHE Canada Impact Award

This award honours an individual, group, or organization for their exemplary and unique contribution to Physical and Health Education and/or Healthy School Communities through the development of innovative resources, practices, pedagogy or research and has demonstrated results that show their transformative impact.

This year's PHE Canada Impact Award recipients are:

Champions for Life foundation receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Champions for Life
Baie d'Urfe, Québec

The Champions for Life Foundation (CFLF) is a charitable organization that empowers children ages 4 to 8 to develop their physical literacy. It was founded by David Arsenault, a former National Taekwondo champion who is driven by a love of movement and a deep passion for empowering children to build the skills, confidence, and motivation to be active for a lifetime.

CIRA receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

CIRA Ontario
Stoney Creek, Ontario

CIRA Ontario started as a national government funded organization in 1977 and transitioned to a charitable organization in 1989. For more than 30 years, CIRA Ontario has created resources, delivered workshops, run conferences, and delivered creative and unique programs.

Jim receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Jim Watters
Anglophone North School District
Miramichi, New Brunswick

Jim Watters has been an integral part of Physical Education in New Brunswick for the past 25 years. Jim has held numerous roles from Phys Ed teacher, coach, volunteer, organizer, and has served on the executive of organizations such as Basketball New Brunswick, NBIAA, Miramichi River Hoops, Adventures in Miramichi and more. He has coached numerous provincial teams that attended Canada Games and National Championships.

Katelynn receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Katelynn Theal 
Ever Active Schools
Edmonton, Alberta

Katelynn has been a leading voice for comprehensive school health and public health for over a decade in her professional and volunteer time. In her role with Ever Active Schools, Katelynn has worked in and alongside communities to improve approaches to after-school programming, with partners to develop toolkits and resources to meet their school health needs, and as a leader of Ever Active Schools' Comprehensive School Health portfolio, overseeing school health projects and staff, and stewarding the organization overall.

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Kris Ewing 
University of Toronto Schools (UTS)
Toronto, Ontario

Kris has been the department head of HPE for seventeen years where she has been a leader in curriculum development and supporting the health (especially mental health) of our students. She has led the Best Buddies program for many years, and developed many curriculum resources aimed at raising awareness for mental health and wellness.

Ross's profile photo

Ross Calder 
Nackawic Senior High School
Nackawic, New Brunswick 

Ross Calder has had an immeasurable impact on the health and wellness of youth and adults in the Nackawic area, the Anglophone West School District, and the Province of New Brunswick.


National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical and Health Education

The PHE Canada National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical and Health Education honours Canadian teachers at the elementary, middle, or secondary levels, who have an exceptional ability to motivate students to engage meaningfully in their journey through physical and/or health literacy with thoughtful and inspiring teaching practices and pedagogy, exemplifying high quality Physical and/or Health Education in Canada. 

This year's National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical and Health Education recipients are:

Dan receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Dan Ray
Auburn Drive High School
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Dan Ray is a teacher champion for PHE Canada's Game Changers pilot project who went above and beyond in his pursuit to support his students working with this project.

Jeff receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Jeff Van Wely 
Princess Elizabeth Public School
Welland, Ontario

Jeff Van Wely is a passionate educator and advocate for Physical and Health Education with over 22 years of teaching experience. His passion for inclusive, equitable and engaging movement education has influenced his involvement as a member of numerous provincial and national committees across Canada.

Katherine receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Katherine Lalonde 
Ridgemount High School
Ottawa, Ontario

Katie graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in 2004 and earned her Bachelor of Education in 2005 from the University of Ottawa. She has been teaching at Ridgemont High School for 9 years and previously at West Carleton High School.

Milena receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Milena Trojanovic
Boyne Public School
Milton, Ontario

Mel began her career in education as an Educational Assistant, moving into a teaching role where she has had a long and impactful career as a Health & Physical Educator.

Stacy's profile photo

Stacy Payne
Cavalier Drive Elementary School
Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

Stacy Payne has been a teacher with the Halifax Regional Center for Education for 18 years. She has worked all over the Halifax Region from classroom, to physical education support teacher as well as circuits and now resides at Cavalier Elementary school (K-5).

Stefanie receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Stefanie Pavlovich 
Eden High School
St. Catharines, Ontario

After just eight years of teaching, Stefanie became a PHE program leader and athletic director. In her 11-year career, she has developed many courses that become oversubscribed including senior fitness and leadership.

Tammy receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Tammy Kenzie
Eastside Secondary School
Belleville, Ontario

Tammy grew up in Edmonton, Alberta before moving to Ontario to play varsity basketball for Laurentian University and earn her Bachelor of Health, Sport, and Physical Education. To continue sharing her love of healthy active living, she went on to complete her BEd at Nipissing University in 2002. 

Teresa receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Teresa Borrelli 
Edgewater Elementary QC
Notre-Dame-de-L'Île-Perrot, Québec

With 15 years’ experience, and seven of them at her current school, Teresa Borelli has established a well-rounded physical education program that constantly evolves.

Tim receiving the award at the 2023 PHE National Conference

Tim Giannotti 
Waywayseecappo Community School
Waywayseecappo, Manitoba

Tim Giannotti is an active member of the Waywayseecappo Community School and community. Physical Education classes provide not only movement, theory and team sports but Tim provides leadership, mentorship and encouragement across the PE curriculum and beyond.


Related News:

Sylvain Turcotte reconnu pour l'ensemble de ses réalisations

National honour for Eastside teacher

Brock grad student recognized for equity, diversity and inclusion research

About PHE Canada National Awards

The PHE Canada National Awards program recognizes those who exemplify excellence in our field and make an impact in their schools and communities. For more information, visit:

For media inquiries, please contact: 
Megan Gilbertson, Lead, Engagement and Knowledge Mobilization
PHE Canada
(613) 523-1348 x2340
[email protected]