On April 23, 2014 The Learning Partnership recognized Alan N. MacGibbon with a 2014 Champion of Public Education award. His exceptional commitment to public education through his personal life has been exemplary. As a business leader, his initiatives have had a strong and positive impact on the Canadian public education system. The following is what he shared with the audience upon accepting the award, in his own words:

"Thank you to The Learning Partnership for this recognition as a Champion of Public Education. 
The Learning Partnership has meant a great deal to me.  Thank you Akela, your team, and the Board for the important work done in support of public education across Canada
Rex and Patti – thank you for your support and being with us this evening.

It is also great to have so many of my Deloitte Partners here this evening.
And … my spouse, Glynis is with me this evening as well.
Nitin – I am pleased to share the stage with you and it is great to see the support Cisco Canada has provided to schools, community colleges and universities.  Your company is a great example of corporate responsibility.
In my travels with Deloitte outside of Canada, I am always complimented on what a great country Canada is and how fortunate I am to be Canadian. 
In developed countries like the US or the UK – it is about fairness, good regulations and yes – good government.  
In the countries that would be called “emerging economies” such as Brazil, Chile, China, India, and others – my colleagues often speak about our sound and trustworthy institutions:  government, justice, police and education.
We should be proud that Canada is recognized as one of The Best Countries To Live In.  In fact in a recent survey in 2014,  we are number four.
I believe a vibrant public education system is a key foundation to enabling our country to continue to be the envy of the world.   
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against private education.  To the contrary, I want to know we have choices – in other words,  one should make the other stronger – and vice versa.
But one of the choices needs to be a strong public education system.  It can’t only be about affordability. If the richest only send their children to private schools and all others have to use the public system, we will create a divided society.
I believe the answer lies in a strong public education system as well as strong private schools.
Now while our school system is not broken - it is not perfect.  It is dependent on public resources  and these resources are more constrained in today’s weak economic environment.
This is why The Learning Partnership is so important.

Deloitte has been a proud sponsor of The Learning Partnership’s Canada’s Outstanding Principals for many years.
This week long program focuses on leadership and now over 300 top principals have had a direct investment made in them through The Learning Partnership.
I have been privileged to speak at the conferences for 9 years. My objective was to connect leadership in business – and our challenges – with leadership in education – and their challenges.
Bridging the gap between business and education can be challenging.  Investing in leadership development for our school principals may be one of the best avenues to create an impactful dialogue. However, I am always intimidated when I go in front of 30 principals at the Rotman School of Management.  But it always turns out to be one of my highlights of my yearI come away inspired by our leaders of education.
Glynis comes from a family of teachers, including her mother, three sisters and two brothers–in-law.  I have a sister who is a teacher.  I learned a long time ago that being from a business background meant I was often coming from a very different place  when discussing with teachers subjects like the corporate world, politics and government spending.
I recently read Bobby Orr’s book “Orr - My Story.”  
It is a great book about hockey by the greatest defenseman ever to play the game.  But I think it is really about the people who had an impact on his life.
And he writes about the importance of coaches and how important they are to a young person’s life.  He says that the most important lessons taught by the best coaches were about “respect” and “responsibility” – on and off the ice. 
The life lessons were the most important because they lasted long after the hockey game. 
What Bobby Orr states applies to our best teachers as well. Our teachers have such a big role in inspiring our children and teaching them important life lessons. 
As you sit here this evening - can you remember the teacher who had the biggest impact on you?
This past week Glynis and I were been able to spend Easter with our children who are now adults.  So we used this opportunity to ask them about their public education and any highlights that they could share. 
These comments are from our daughter Jill and her husband Ryan and our daughter Beth and her boyfriend Kevin.   A captive audience – and educated in 5 provinces.
What did they have to say:

And the favorite teachers:

To all our teachers in the room,  as a parent and a student – Thank you!
Thank  you to The Learning Partnership for the recognition this evening – and for the important work you continue to do across Canada.

Alan N. MacGibbon, F.C.P.A., F.C.A., C.M.C.,
Former Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte LLP
2014 Champion of Public Education
April 23, 2014