06 2015

Shirley Dysart and Roxanne Fairweather to Be Named Champions of Public Education

July 6th 2015


SAINT JOHN, NB – July 6, 2015 – The Learning Partnership will honour two prominent New Brunswick leaders for their commitment to education and community growth at the Saint John Champions of Public Education Tribute Luncheon on November 9, 2015. Shirley Dysart, O.C., Former New Brunswick Education Minister and Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and Roxanne Fairweather, O.N.B., President & CEO, Innovatia will be recognized at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Shirley Dysart was educated in the public school system of Saint John and is a proud graduate of the New Brunswick Teachers’ College and the University of New Brunswick. A former teacher, she took her passion for education and became actively involved in community affairs through leadership roles for many organizations and councils related to education and the arts. Mrs. Dysart was a trailblazer for women in politics since 1974, becoming the first female Liberal candidate elected to the Legislature, the first woman to become Minister of Education from 1987-1991, and the first woman to be Speaker of the Assembly from 1991-1994. As Minister of Education, she introduced full day kindergarten to all New Brunswick elementary schools. She has received many awards for her community service and support for education, including the Red Cross Humanitarian Award, the Order of Canada, and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Roxanne Fairweather is best known as one of New Brunswick’s most accomplished business executives, having contributed to several companies, boards and groups in the city of Saint John. She is currently the co-CEO and co-owner of Innovatia Inc. headquartered in Saint John. Her passion for education has led her to forge a partnership between Innovatia and the Elementary Literacy Friends program, which focuses on increasing literacy throughout the province by providing volunteer tutors to Grade 2 students. Ms. Fairweather was named one of the Atlantic region’s 50 most accomplished business executives by Atlantic Business Magazine in 2005, 2013 and 2014. She was named the 2013 EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the Atlantic Region and earlier this year became Chair of the “Opportunities New Brunswick” Board. Most recently, Ms. Fairweather received the Order of New Brunswick for her strong contribution to the business landscape in New Brunswick, for her work to advance research and innovation in the province and for her efforts in forging partnerships in the community to offer programs to increase literacy.
“Shirley Dysart and Roxanne Fairweather are two inspiring women who have contributed greatly to our province and our country,” says The Honourable Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, M.D., O.C., O.N.B., former Senator and Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick and longtime Tribute event honourary chair. “Through their efforts and leadership, they have paved the way for a strong and bright future for public policy, business growth and increased student achievement in New Brunswick. We are proud to be recognizing them as Champions of Public Education here in Saint John in November.”
Along with The Honourable Marilyn Trenholme Counsell as honourary chair, this year’s Champions of Public Education Tribute Luncheon is co-chaired by Patrick Darrah, Former Executive Director, Saint John Construction Association and Paulette Hicks, General Manager, Delta Brunswick & Brunswick Square Complex.
All proceeds from this Tribute event will go toward expanding The Learning Partnership’s student programs in New Brunswick including: Take Our Kids to Work™, which enables approximately 8,000 Grade 9 students in New Brunswick to explore career opportunities; Welcome to Kindergarten™, which supports a successful start to school for more than 7,500 preschoolers and their families across the province; Turning Points, which allows more than 3,700 Grade 6 to 12 students to express themselves while improving their literacy skills; Entrepreneurial Adventure, which instills 21st century skills and an entrepreneurial spirit in more than 560 children from K- 12; and I3 - Investigate! Invent! Innovate!, an integrated math, science and technology program for more than 740 students in Grades 7 and 8 that fosters problem-solving and innovative thinking.

About The Learning Partnership

The Learning Partnership is a national charity dedicated to building stakeholder partnerships to support, promote and advance publicly funded education in Canada. We do work from coast to coast to coast in both official languages. Every school in New Brunswick has at least one of our programs in English and/or French. We do this through five key deliverables - innovative student programs, executive leadership for educators, knowledge mobilization and policy, tribute celebrations of excellence and ongoing collaborations across Canada. Since 1993, more than 6.1 million students have participated in The Learning Partnership's programs.




High resolution photos of the 2015 Tribute Champions of Public Education Tribute honourees are available online at:


For more information, please contact:

Regional Contact:
Dennis Cochrane
Board Member, The Learning Partnership

National Contact:
Sachin Deshpandé
The Learning Partnership