Council for Exceptional Children - Yes I Can Awards

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) - York Region Chapter #543

2022 Yes I Can! Awards



In York Region, a joint CEC Yes I Can Awards Ceremony is held each spring with the York Region District School Board, York  Catholic District School Board and the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children. Together we celebrate the accomplishments of students, while recognizing the educators, staff and parents who teach, support and inspire students with exceptionalities.

The Yes I Can Awards honour children and youth with exceptionalities who shine. CEC has recognized the accomplishments of thousands of students since the program started in 1982. Every year, teachers, support staff and administrators are invited to nominate students with special education needs who have demonstrated outstanding growth in the areas of the CEC International categories of:

  • Academics
  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • School and Community Activities
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Technology
  • Transition to Work / Vocational Training / Independent Living

The Council for Exceptional Children also recognizes educators, parents and businesses, agencies or community organizations who have given outstanding service to the CEC or directly to exceptional children and youth.  The adult award categories include:

  • Business/Agency/Community Organization Award
  • Educational Leader of the Year
  • Paraprofessional of the Year Award
  • Parent Award
  • President's Award
  • Teacher of the Year Award

Additionally, the York Region Chapter #543 nominates students and adults for a Provincial Yes I Can Award presented by the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children at their Annual Special Education Conference.  For more information about the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children or the awards process or past recipients, please visit the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children webpage


2022 Yes I Can! Award Recipients

On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the CEC York Region Chapter hosted its first virtual awards ceremony! We were thrilled to celebrate all the outstanding students, parents, teachers, education staff and businesses with our 2022 Yes I Can Awards ceremony. With over 270 attendees, we presented awards to 155 students and 12 adults.  Please see below for highlights of this year's YRDSB adult award recipients.

Dr. Steven Reid - President's Award

Dr. Steven Reid, Associate Director of Education, continues his advocacy and promotion of student potential through his participation on the Special Education Advisory Committee. He is deeply committed to improving student outcomes for all students.
Photo of Steven Reid

Matthew Watts - Teacher of the Year

Matthew Watts is a teacher in a Complex Needs Community Class at Rouge Park PS. He is valued for his special education background and experiences, as well as his flexibility, professionalism, and desire to dismantle barriers for all students.

Jared Yoshiki - Educational Leader of the Year

Jared Yoshiki, Principal of Coppard Glen Public School, demonstrates his strong commitment to inclusion by ensuring all students, staff and families feel accepted and included, and their voices are heard.

Jennifer Nedanovski - Paraprofessional of the Year

Jennifer Nedanovski is an Intervention Support Worker at Barbara Reid PS. She is an integral part of the team and supports students' social emotional well-being in addition to their academic needs.

Motion (Cam Tabobondung) - Business Award

Cam Tabobondung, equipment technician at Motion, embraces and enacts the tenets of inclusion, identity affirming and relationship focused work with students, families and educators.

Christine Graham - Parent Award

Christine Graham has provided unconditional support and advocacy for the students and staff at James Robinson Public School. She now continues to support students in her new role as Educational Assistant at Beckett Farm PS.