The 30th Anniversary: Looking Back on the Founding of CCLCS
Hi. It’s Mike Simpson. I’m a proud graduate and I’ve been a teacher and website designer for the school. My connection reaches back to the TESL program I first attended in 2001. I am delighted to have been associated with the school for two decades and very happy to congratulate the founders, staff and students on their amazing 30th anniversary. It’s a tremendous milestone!
How CCLCS Came Together and Who Made it Happen
Back in 1991, Dawn founded the school along with Peggy Irwin and Beverly Shellrude Thompson.
I interviewed Dawn Michael, current Director, and one of the founders of the school, and she relates, “We registered as a not-for-profit cooperative and a charity: Canadian Cooperative for Language & Cultural Studies, Inc. In 2008, we amended the organization to become The Canadian Centre for Language & Cultural Studies, Inc. We remained a not-for profit and a charity.”
As a former student and staffer and as someone who has kept up with the staff for two decades, I can attest to the power of the CCLCS approach. They offer a welcoming environment, inclusive approach, and a professional practice supporting high quality teaching and training. From the classrooms to the kitchen to the office, friendly vibes are the way of CCLCS and their staff.
Dawn shared the CCLCS Mission Statement which has guided the school through the past 30 years:
We believe that people learn best in an environment that is
intellectually stimulating and emotionally accepting.
We commit ourselves to providing
quality teaching, small classes and a welcoming learning environment.”
Roots in the Annex, Toronto
The school is headquartered near Bloor and Bathurst in the amazing neighborhood of west downtown Toronto.
Dawn relates: “We started teaching our TESL courses in classrooms rented from Canadian Crossroads International, on Madison Ave. We rented and renovated our current space at 635 Markham Street, in 1992.
How did the first programs and teachers come onboard?
“We initially only taught TESL classes (Dawn, Peggy and Bev developed and taught the TESL courses). As the administrative load increased, we hired more TESL instructors: Barbara King, Stephane Larouche Lallande and Wendy Hounsham.”
That is a little about the initial early 1990s history of the school. In future posts we’ll continue to celebrate and share memories of the people and programs that make CCLCS so special.
Grateful / Going Forward
I for one am grateful that Dawn, Bev, Peggy and all the other teachers, including my teacher Martine, applied their passion and knowledge to growing and building the school.
Between 2001 and 2002 I finished my TESL program and was the beneficiary of so much hard work from folks who came before me. I have now been a teacher for twenty years and no matter what subjects I teach the things I learned at CCLCS are deeply ingrained and guide me toward success.
I wonder as we enter a new decade, how students from the 2000s, 2010s and now 2020s will fare and how their CCLCS experience will guide them on their journey. Will they teach in Toronto or overseas? Will some of the ESL teachers become TESL trainers? So many paths and options!
Thanks all who contributed to this amazing school and wishing you a happy 30th anniversary. To 30 more years! 🙂