Three devoted teachers who inspired their students to succeed have been named the winners of Humber’s annual The Greatest High School Teacher contest.

Gordon Geier from Banting Memorial High School in Alliston, Lisa Pomeroy from E. L. Crossley Secondary School in Fonthill and Tamara Graham from John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute in Guelph were all selected as this year’s winners. They attended a special reception at the Humber Room on May 21 that was hosted by James Cullin, Associate Dean, Longo Faculty of Business; Gina Antonacci, Humber’s senior vice-president, Academic; and Vera Beletzan, Humber’s associate vice-president, Teaching and Learning.

Humber’s long-standing contest offers entrants an opportunity to win a $500 gift certificate from the Humber Bookstore while honouring a special high school teacher who went the extra mile to inspire them and their peers.

To enter, they needed to write a 500-word essay describing their greatest high school teacher along with completing the registration form.   

Samantha Hilson, an Advertising and Graphic Design student, nominated Graham. Hilson wrote in the essay how Graham’s impact on her high school journey was unforgettable.

“Participating in this contest was not driven by monetary incentives but rather by the conviction that Mrs. Graham is the most deserving of this recognition,” wrote Hilson. “She played a pivotal role in shaping my high school experience into a memorable and enriching period. Gratitude is an understatement; I am profoundly thankful to have had Mrs. Graham as my teacher."

Two smiling people stand together for a photo.

“When you’re working with young people it’s really exciting to see that connection and spark when you’re touching on things that they also have a passion for,” said Graham.

Pomeroy, meanwhile, was nominated by an Animation – 3D student, who wished to remain anonymous in this story.  

“Ms. Pomeroy was incredibly supportive and helpful and passionate in helping me find my professional interest,” read the essay. “She took a lot of time out of her day to help me even though she by absolutely no means was obligated to and I think this is the kind of passion for teaching and helping students that all teachers should strive to have.”

Principal Tyler Graham said Pomeroy has a knack for finding out what a student is passionate about and then supporting them in their journey.

A smiling person stands in front of a mural.

“I hope that my students are taking away that it’s okay to get messy when you’re being creative or when you’re learning or growing as a person and that mess can lead you to some great things,” said Pomeroy.

Geier was nominated by Kieran Stubbs, who’s enrolled in the Professional Golf Management – Business Administration program.

“During my high school years, there was one person who truly stood out as an inspirational figure and a pillar of support; Mr. Gordon Geier, my favourite teacher and coach. He was much more than just an educator – he became our mentor, motivator and role model,” wrote Stubbs in the essay.

Four people stand together. One is holding a plaque and another is holding an envelope.

Geier, who bonded with Stubbs over their shared love of golf, works hard to support the students and was pleased to hear Stubbs was enjoying his time at Humber.

“That’s what I really try to push in Phys ed class is those life skills you need to have to be successful in life,” said Geier. “Not giving up when pursuing a passion, setting goals and accomplishing those goals.”

The winning teachers received a plaque commemorating the honour. In addition to the award, the winning teachers will also get to choose a current high school student to receive a full tuition scholarship to Humber in their name.

Those who nominated the winning teachers will also have their names added to the plaque and will receive a recognition certificate.