2014 Excellence in Education Award – Elizabeth Artwell


Elizabeth Sinclair Artwell

Whatever your chosen occupation, one thing is certain, a teacher was pivotal in your development. Among these great champions of education and learning, is Dr. Elizabeth Sinclair-Artwell.

With a career encompassing more than three decades, it is prudent to encapsulate her impact to education.

Sinclair-Artwell says her mission is “to ensure that every student is motivated, and has the opportunity to maximize his or her potential as a learner and as a contributing member of our society.”

A transformational and value-driven educator, she has proactively encouraged principals to hire staff reflective of the community, to serve as role models, to motivate and inspire students to be the best that they can be, and to see themselves reflected in the teaching staff.

Born in the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Kitts, Sinclair-Artwell grew up in England, where she garnered her formal and university education and was actively involved since a young girl in various community organizations.

Migrating to Canada in 1980, she continued to pursue her dreams and her community involvement by getting involved with various groups and organizations.

Her extensive academic qualifications include: Doctorate in Education, Walden University; Master of Education – Culture and Teaching, York University; Bachelor of Arts, York University; Bachelor of Education, York University; Certificate of Education, Leeds University England; Social Workers Diploma, Leeds University England.

She is the recipient of various awards, including the Award of Distinction from Peel District School Board, Excellence in Education and Community Award from the St. Kitts Canadian Association, Vaughan City’s Volunteer Award and Excellence in Teaching Award from York University.

With experience in all areas of the educational system, from Junior Kindergarten to Secondary and Adult Education, Dr. Sinclair-Artwell has been a classroom teacher in England and Canada, a Curriculum Consultant, a Vice- Principal, a Principal, and a Superintendent of Education.

As the Principal of Maple Leaf Public School with the Toronto District School Board, she turned the school around, from “worst to first”, before assuming her role as a Superintendent of Education with the Peel District School Board.

Wife to Roy and mother of two grown up children, Vanessa and William, it is important to Dr. Elizabeth Sinclair-Artwell that she makes a difference in the lives of the children that she serves.

This transformational value-driven educator has a strong dedication to lifelong learning and an interest in maintaining up-to-date knowledge regarding educational issues, social justice, and applying it to improve classroom practice, and school success outcomes.

There is no doubt about her capabilities. Dr. Sinclair-Artwell has the demonstrated ability to build positive relationships, promote successful partnerships, and establish collaborative, safe and caring teaching and learning environments.

The permeating theme with Dr. Sinclair-Artwell is excellence, and she relays that mindset to her community involvement.

She is Scholarship Program Coordinator for African Canadian Christian Network, Chair of Peel Association for African Canadian Educators, President of the St. Kitts Progressive Society and President for the Peel Sisters of Colour in Action.

Of excellence she says, “As a people person, excellence for me is seeing the potential in people and then building on that so that they can become excellent themselves.

“As my grandmother would say, ‘Don’t tell me who I was; tell me who I can become.’ It’s a matter of seeing the best in everyone and working with that individual so that they can become better.”