Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence

Meet Amare Demesie, 2006-07 Teacher of the Year


Amare Demesie, teacher (to students): Do you guys remembers when I did gravitational constant?

Amare: My name is Amare Demesie and I am a physics teacher. Teaching is a passion and a compassion. Kids have these clean brains.  When you tell them something, they will listen to you.

Amare (to students): The universe was what …

Amare: When we are teaching, we are not teaching only the subject matter. We are changing the lives of the kids. Their lives are in our hands.

Amare (to students): You guys are smart.

Innocent Karikoga, student: I can’t even imagine if I didn’t have Mr. Demesie. He made me learn not only to get the grade but to learn to get the knowledge. He is more like a mother trapped in a man’s body.

Amare (to students): … Some country as a refugee …

Innocent: The way he shares his life story, to me, it makes me feel like we’re just in the same boat.

Amare: I left my country in 1983.  My father was imprisoned. And so many children – students of high school – were murdered on the street. I became a refugee for five years.

Sam Miceli, former vice-principal: Mr Demesie evades most descriptions.  Most of his family perished in the red terror of Ethiopia in the early 1980s. He worked in a factory here and found his way with a Master’s degree in Science. He had opportunities to work at the university level but he felt a connection with kids at the high school level. 

Student: He related to real life.  He may joke and he still explains what he wanted to explain…

Shouts from students: Demesie

Amare: Then if Canada gave me something, how do I pay back that?  So, I said my dream will be teaching kids.

Amare (to students): The world will be a better place by children like you.

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne: Amare Demesie inspires students in his classroom.  The Premier’s Awards for Teaching Excellence are a set of awards that Premier McGuinty instituted specifically to recognize the wonderful work of educators in our schools.  If you want to acknowledge someone in your school who is an excellent educator, you can go on to our website — We look forward to hearing about the great educators in your school community.