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President's Message - June 2018

Reflecting

JILL LAZARUS


jill.lazarus@oame.on.ca
Writing my final column as the OAME President presents an opportunity to reflect on the journey so far, and on the possibilities that lie ahead. Looking back, it has been an exciting year of growth for the OAME. Various activities and initiatives were offered locally and provincially. Chapters hosted local events. Grades 7 and 8 students participated in the Ontario Mathematics Olympiad. A successful Leadership Conference was held in Ottawa for the first time, for Canada 150, and, for the second year in a row, the Annual Conference sold out quickly.

As I mentioned in the September issue of the Gazette, it is the efforts of many individuals who contribute to the success of the OAME. If you have been following the Executive Directors' Reports this year (OAME Gazette Volume 56), you know that Lynda and Fred Ferneyhough have been acknowledging the contributions of many people, including board members and chapter representatives, presidents, and conference co-chairs. As the OAME evolves with the times, we continue to reflect on the various roles and responsibilities within this organization.

I look forward to seeing how the roles and committees take shape. More recently, the structure of the role of the President has been under consideration. In a Letter to the OAME Editor in September, Ralph Connelly, who has been the only person to take on this position twice, raised questions about the length of the President's term. He pointed out that quite a few years ago, the two-year term idea got as far as having a group come up with a plan for carrying it out, and that "perhaps it is time to dust it off" (p. 4). From my own experiences as President, I have also wondered whether it is time for a two-year term. Or, since this would require a longer commitment, should we reconceptualize how a team of presidents (Past-President, President, and President-Elect) might share the responsibilities? Or, is it appropriate to do both?

The OAME President is fortunate to be surrounded by the collective wisdom of an Executive Committee that includes two Executive Directors, two Vice-Presidents, a Past-President, and a President-Elect. It was an honour to be in the President position this year and a pleasure to work with Lynda and Fred Ferneyhough, Bill Otto, Sandra-Jean Price, Judy Mendaglio, and David Petro.

David, our incoming President, has an exciting Leadership Conference planned for November 89, 2018. This "Learning in the 21st Century" conference, to be held in Windsor, will feature Dan Meyer, Cathy Fosnot, and Graham Fletcher. The OAME 2019 Annual Conference, "All In," will return to Ottawa in May of 2019. Stay tuned for more information and be sure to register early!

As the annual conference has continued to reach capacity for the second year in a row, the complexity of organizing this event has increased. I would like to express my gratitude to the OAME 2018 and OAME 2019 organizing committees for the work that you do to support these events. A special thanks to the conference chairs, Wayne Erdman for 2018, and Marian Small for 2019. With the conference continuing to grow, and reaching more than 2000 registrations for 2018, running this conference takes the time and dedication of many volunteers. Thank you to everyone who has made these events possible.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight one role that might not be recognized in the OAME Executive Directors' Report. Our Executive Directors, Lynda and Fred, are invaluable to the OAME. It seems that the roles and responsibilities attached to this position have continued to grow. I am fascinated by, and grateful for, Lynda's ability to do everything that she does.

Moving forward, I wish to welcome Paul Alves back to the OAME Executive as President-Elect. Paul is now the second person to take on two terms as President. Sandra Jean Price will be returning this year to the Vice-President role. Finally, Melissa Black returns to a Director position on the Board.

It was an honour to be President of the OAME this year, and a pleasure to be a part of this community. Echoing my message in the September issue of the Gazette, I encourage you to consider exploring the many opportunities to get involved in this organization.

Have a wonderful summer. I look forward to seeing what the next year brings!

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