It was not enough that his parents and one of his grandfathers were educators, Gregg had to marry a teacher and become a teacher himself.
The president of the WTA has spent 12 years on the Executive where he advocates for the membership and works to protect teachers’ rights. During his 19 years in the Division, Gregg taught at Kelvin and Grant Park High Schools.
In his own high school years Gregg wrote for the school paper, played varsity football and rugby, and was an honour student – just an average guy. His childhood goals included social worker, counsellor, coach, psychologist and parent. To be safe, he became a teacher.
Favourite 90s (or 2000s) jam: Dave Matthews Band, The Tragically Hip, Spirit of the West, The Guess Who, Great Big Sea, Blue Rodeo, Skydiggers
Kristen is a Music teacher at Sargent Park School and has worked in the Division for ten years. Kristen became a teacher to encourage students in the Arts to pursue creativity and to show students that music can be fun while understanding the complexities of beat, rhythm, and form.
A 6-year veteran of WTA, Kristen aims to empower members to know when to ask for help and make use of all the supports available for them via WTA and MTS.
When Kristen’s not at school, she’s taking the dogs for a walk, reading a book, or singing in the kitchen at the top of her lungs while washing dishes. Kristen puts on an eclectic kitchen concert, singing her favourite grunge rock 90s jams and letting her inner Spice Girl shine.
In high school, you could find this self-proclaimed “book nerd” in the band or choir room!
A physics, math and computer science teacher at Elmwood, Sam Zurzolo has been with the Division for ten years and on the WTA Executive for six. Sam is especially passionate about teacher welfare and uses his influence to advocate for his colleagues in the Division.
Sam is driven by his desire to work with youth, giving them the opportunities and skills they need to explore the world around them and become educated, responsible citizens.
On an evening off, Sam enjoys going out for wings.
As a child, Kristy aspired to be either Canada’s Prime Minister, or a teacher. She chose the more challenging profession.
The Nursery/Kindergarten teacher had been part of the Division for 10 years and joined the WTA Executive four years ago with a passion to advance effective collective bargaining and ensure members’ needs are met.
She says she was shy and quiet in high school – always with a book in her hands. Today, Kristy’s shyness does not impede her love of learning and making a difference in the lives of her students.
Favourite 90s (or 2000s) jam: Smashmouth, Backstreet Boys, Nsync, Spice Girls
Cheryl may have skipped class using a forged signature in Grade 12 to see a matinee of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, but she paid her dues (suspended). Despite this apparent lawlessness, Cheryl says she always completed her homework and was in class more often than not.
The Behaviour Support Teacher has been with the Division for 20 years and on the WTA Executive for seven. She was inspired to be an educator by exceptional teachers in her life who supported her development as a person and ensured her school was a safe place. It led her to feel good about herself in school and nurtured her desire to help others feel the same way.
Favourite 90s (or 2000s) jam: Pearl Jam
This Grade 8 English/ Social Studies teacher brings his valuable high school experience as a 90s jock with bleached hair and bad musical taste to the WTA Executive this year.
Dan is passionate about inspiring students to be critical thinkers who love to learn. He’s been passing on that inspiration in our Division for eight years now.
Dan wants to focus on teacher welfare in his role on the Executive – something that he has never felt more important to our members than it does today.
Favourite 90s (or 2000s) jam: Rage Against the Machine.
A former student athlete (hockey and football) and friend to all, David Harack is a geography and history teacher at Tec Voc and has been with the Division for 25 years. His passion for teachers’ rights has led to him spending 13 years on the WTA Executive.
David credits his mother with his decision to become an educator. She taught for many years and made many positive differences in people’s lives, and she inspired David to do the same.
When he has an evening to himself, he enjoys what he refers to as “HBO time.”
As a Performing Arts/Integrated Arts Teacher at Faraday School, choosing a career path was easy for Katie. Growing up in the North End, she inherited respect for the value of education and service from her family. Katie loves how the Arts support learning in other subject areas while fostering a stronger sense of self.
Katie brings passion for Equity and Social Justice to WTA. She’s keen to build community and engage members in conversations around making WTA more accessible.
Even in high school, Katie was creating community. She organized her class’s beach trip for Senior Skip Day, giving out handbills and ensuring they departed after the physics test!
Outside the classroom, Katie can be found at her home ceramics studio where she loves getting dirty and making coffee cups, listening to records or playing guitar. Her favourite 90s jam is “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow.
Mike couldn’t wait to leave the farm to explore the big city. It was a time in his life when he had hair, which today he greatly misses.
He came to education later in life, though it was always something he was drawn to. It’s his second year in the Division and first with the WTA Executive. He would like to strengthen education through engagement – engagement that lifts the voices of all Division stakeholders on behalf of students.
Mike says he had fantastic teachers who encouraged and pushed him to achieve and challenge himself. The hair may be gone, but the spirit lives on.
Favourite 90s (or 2000s) jam: (Mike would not be nailed down) “It’s never about the era, great music is always great music. Jazz, blues, rock, folk, whatever…name a band, I probably listen to them.”
A teacher at Andrew Mynarski VC School, Paul has been with the Division for 18 years and was inspired to become a teacher after working in schools as a paraprofessional.
This is Paul’s fourth year as a member with WTA. He’s passionate about ensuring strong pensions, manageable class sizes, autonomy and other key contributors to teachers’ well-being.
Paul had a usual high school experience, enjoying activities like sports and hanging out with friends… except for the whole ostrich fiasco (you’ll have to find him and ask)!
When Paul isn’t at school and it’s the most wonderful time of the year – CFL season – you can find him watching a Bombers game and munching on chips and dip (specifically, sour cream and onion soup mix, the only dip that really matters to him).
As a young woman, Shelagh thought seriously about becoming a police officer. Luckily, for criminals and her students, she realized her true calling was teaching.
The Grade 5/6 teacher has been with the Division for 21 years. This year is Shelagh’s first year on the Executive, where she wants to advance teacher wellness. She wants to help teachers maintain a healthy work/life balance – something she has struggled with in the past. “Teachers are givers,” she says, “but it’s important their wellness is protected.”
Shelagh says she was an average high school student, though she did sell an unusually large number of oranges to subsidize a band trip to Florida and a French tip to Europe.
Favourite 90s (or 2000s) jam: Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two, The Tragically Hip, Van Halen, “and other hair bands were pretty monumental for me”
Winston says he was attracted to teaching by the zaniness and energy that kids bring to the a classroom, and he also wanted to support and encourage future generations of zany, energetic learners.
The teacher at Sargent Park has been with the Division 20 years and has been involved with the WTA Executive for about eight years, where he’s been most passionate about the issue of member workload.
In high school Winston says he was a sporty, busy, disorganized and caring person. He also found inspiration to teach in a pool as a teenager giving swimming lessons.
Favourite 90s (or 2000s) jam: Nirvana