ETFO Waterloo has lost a friend and a lifelong advocate for Public Education.
Judy Perkes was ETFO Waterloo's First Vice President from 2002 until her retirement in Spring 2013. During that time, she dedicated herself to improving the working conditions and everyday life of educators and their students. She was awarded the ETFO Provincial President's Award in 2008 and was an Honourary Lifetime Member of ETFO Waterloo.
Those that had interactions with Judy will remember her supportive approach and a passion for public education. She understood that the work of our union must be rooted in the experience of educators. In looking back at past ETFO INFO newsletters, I was not surprised that Judy's advice to members continues to ring true today.
"Teachers tend to hold themselves to very high standards and we are constantly reflecting upon how we can make a lesson better, learn a new evaluation technique, try a different behaviour strategy... Yes, we are life-long learners but we have to give ourselves permission to rest awhile. It's not always easy to put ourselves first but in order to prepare for tomorrow and to make it through the days ahead, we need to have the strength to make it through today."
Judy supported countless members to make it through their most challenging days. She was one of a kind.
We were saddened to hear of Judy's passing this weekend. Like many ETFO Waterloo current and retired members, we are heartbroken but know that Judy would want us to continue our work defending our Public Education system.
But in the meantime, we should listen to Judy...
Those looking for further information about visitation and memorial service can click this link.