August 20, 2019
It is with great sadness that EQAO has learned of the passing of Dr. Bette M. Stephenson, a member of the EQAO family since the agency’s early days.
Bette’s lifelong passion was her commitment to public service. As we mourn this loss, we find some comfort knowing that her legacy lives on in a wide range of areas, from medicine to education. A leader and a trailblazer, she touched many lives and organizations. She was Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities from 1978 to 1985, the first woman ever to hold these positions. Her many achievements include becoming a member of the Order of Canada (1992), Order of Ontario (1999) and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (2013).
EQAO will remember and cherish her for her many contributions to this agency. She was a respected board member and served as Director Emeritus for many years. Since 2009, we have sought to honour her work through the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement, an initiative that recognizes schools that have effectively used data to support student learning. At our EQAO forum in 2017, Bette spoke passionately about the importance of supporting young learners. She also encouraged everyone in the room never to stop learning.
EQAO offers sincere condolences to Bette’s family at this difficult time. As we reflect on Bette’s life, energy and passion, we are grateful for her service and her many contributions to the people of Ontario.