For her exceptional commitment to sharing Canadian history from a new perspective, Chantal Clabrough, a teacher at Westmount High School, has been named a laureate of the Governor General’s History Awards for Excellence in Teaching— the country’s most prestigious history honour.
Administered by Canada’s History Society, this award recognizes and encourages teachers and schools to strive for excellence in the teaching of Canadian history. This year, five other teachers from across the country will receive their awards from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, at an upcoming ceremony.
“History is an important lens for understanding the world around us,” said Melony Ward, President and CEO of Canada’s History Society. “These teachers have created meaningful and engaging opportunities for their students to research, investigate, and reflect on the past, and to consider how it continues to influence our present. Their dedication to nurturing a deeper understanding of Canadian history is both inspiring and invaluable.”
Exploring the Second World War
Ms. Clabrough designed Westmount High School’s Memorial Project to get her 10th grade history students involved in the preservation of their school’s history. From 2014 to 2022, students researched the lives of 141 former Westmount High students who died in service to Canada during the Second World War (1939-1945). After having studied sources from the school, the City of Westmount, and national and international digital archives, the students created profiles of each former student who perished in combat. In so doing, they were able to tell the story of their youth, their hopes, and their lives during the war. The portraits were posted on Westmount High School’s website, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of Quebec’s oldest English-language public school.
“The award honours our school’s former students who served during the Second World War,” explained Ms. Clabrough. “Today’s students have, become historians highlighting the contributions that students of the past—and that our school—have made to Quebec and Canadian society. I am proud to see that my students were able to learn from the untold stories of Canadians who showed that, together, we can achieve extraordinary things,”.
Each award is accompanied by a $2,500 individual prize, as well as a $1,000 prize for the teacher’s school To learn more about all of this year’s award recipients, visit CanadasHistory.ca/GGHA2023.
About the English Montreal School Board
With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 73 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.
About the Governor General’s History Awards
The Governor General’s History Awards recognize excellence in five categories: Teaching, Museums, Scholarly Research, Community Programming, and Popular Media. The awards are Canada’s top history honours and involve the leading agencies of Canada’s history and heritage community. Each award category is administered by the presenting organization and has its own jury, selection process, and prize structure. The Governor General’s History Awards are administered by Canada’s National History Society, with the support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Power Corporation of Canada.
About Canada’s History
Canada’s History Society is a national charitable organization that seeks to encourage Canadians to engage more deeply with their country’s past. We share the stories behind the history through our magazines, Canada’s History and Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids (available digitally at CanadasHistory.ca), as well as through our education and award programs, including the Governor General’s History Awards. We believe all Canadians should see themselves reflected in our publications and programs