Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Second Vice-President - Barb Dobrowolski


While working as a part-time educational assistant and carrying a full course-load in university, Barb Dobrowolski decided to pursue teaching.

After gaining two degrees, one in biochemistry and nutrition and one in English, she went to teachers' college. The Ottawa native has been a teacher at the elementary level (Grades 2-4) ever since.

“It’s rewarding in that the kids generally love their teacher and show a lot of appreciation for things you do for them,” says Dobrowolski. “It’s very joyful, but challenging.”

She taps into her background for the subjects she enjoys teaching most – math, science, and language arts.

“I always had it in the back of my mind to go to secondary eventually, but I became too involved in OECTA,” says Dobrowolski. “And this became a career path on its own.”

When she saw hard-working teachers being maligned by boards, she was “incensed,” and this compelled her to advocacy. She became involved in OECTA in her first year of teaching, on a work-to-rule during the Rae Days. She was asked to chair the Communications Committee and “never looked back,” becoming involved in the local executive.

“We’re entering a pretty tumultuous time and we need strong leadership during this time and our membership to support us,” Dobrowolski says. “It’s such a busy profession – people have different priorities, but when times are tough, everyone engages as it should be.”

When she’s not busy, Dobrowolski likes to hike, cook, take on home renovation projects, and travel.