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Sister Evanne Hunter 

Young Women in Leadership Award


In honour of International Women’s Day, the Sister Evanne Hunter Young Women in Leadership Award is a new award that will be given annually to two exceptional female students of the Toronto Catholic District School Board in their graduating year (one grade 8 student and one grade 12 student) in recognition of their leadership qualities and involvement in social justice efforts in their school and community. 


Award Criteria: 

  • a female student in their graduating year (grade 8 or 12)
  • demonstrates leadership traits of Sr. Evanne Hunter: modest, humble, thoughtful, excellent communicator, respected role model, social justice focused
  • a successful student leader who has initiated, planned and fostered teamwork and collaboration to steer a school-based project to completion for the betterment of the school or greater community
  • demonstrates a passion for giving back and shows initiative, creativity and perseverance in creating positive change in the school or community
  • shows effort and commitment to academic achievement
  • shows resilience in facing difficulties and challenges
  • shows promise of the ability to play a strong leadership role in society in the future


Each November, all schools will be invited to nominate one female student in their graduating year (grade 8 or 12) for the award, together with the nomination form detailing the candidates' achievements or contributions.

  1. Each January, Area Superintendents will each form a committee composed of 2 Elementary Principals and 2 Secondary Principals to review nominations and to select 1 student from each panel to move forward to the final round of consideration.

  2. Each February, a committee composed of Sr. Evanne or an IBVM representative (if available) and at least 2 Superintendents (central and/or business) will review nominations that reach the final round of consideration and select 1 award recipient per panel.
  3. At the Board or Student Achievement and Well-Being Committee meeting closest and prior to International Women’s Day (March 8) each year, the names of the award recipients will be announced and shared with the system through a communication from the Chair of the Board and the Director of Education.

  4. The award will be presented to the students by Sr. Evanne at the Annual TCDSB Awards Night in May. If Sr. Evanne is unavailable, a representative of the IBVM will be invited to present the award.

  5.  A financial award of $250 for the elementary school recipient, and $500 for the secondary school recipient will be issued at the award ceremony.
  6. A standard award “perpetual” plaque will be kept at the TCDSB Catholic Education Centre, with recipients names added annually.


The Sister Evanne Hunter Young Women in Leadership Award​ nomination form will be made available each November.


About Sister Evanne Hunter

“Women should and can provide something more than ordinary” - Mary Ward


Sister Evanne Hunter is a Loretto Sister with the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM). She has worked at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School, as a Teacher (1966-1969), Vice Principal (1972-1973) and as a Principal (1973-1985), in the Metropolitan Separate School Board (MSSB, later TCDSB).


Sr. Evanne was the Provincial Leader of the IBVM in Canada from 2006 until 2012 (with an office at Loretto Abbey in the TCDSB) and prior to that spent 3 years in New York establishing the IBVM presence as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with Associative Status with the Department of Public Information at the United Nations. 


Since 1988 she has been working with SalvAide, an Ottawa based NGO, as coordinator of the Loretto/La Bermuda Project, a twinned relationship with a rural repopulation in El Salvador.


Sr. Evanne was awarded the TCDSB Award of Merit in 2012 for outstanding contributions to the TCDSB and Catholic education. Sr. Evanne remains a strong supporter of the TCDSB and an advocate for publicly funded Catholic Education. 

She was instrumental in ensuring that Loretto Abbey remain part of the MSSB when full funding was introduced for Catholic schools and part of the TCDSB when the IBVM sold the property. She established the Loretto Fund, supported by donations from schools, through the Angel Foundation for Learning, to support newcomers to Canada. Sr. Evanne remains involved in many aspects of education for justice, promoting learning experiences for students with the Sisters of Loretto in India, at the UN in New York and at the Mary Ward Centre in Toronto.

Sr. Evanne’s leadership, embodies the core values of the IBVM, the vision of the TCDSB and Pope Francis’ call to action in pursuit of social justice. Sr. Evanne is a modest, humble, fair, thoughtful, articulate, and respected role model for all women leaders.​