Congratulations to Mr Zohar for winning the Journalism Educator of the Year Award!

He knew that through journalism, we could experience the world, and that writing was the best way for students to inspire each other.


June 22, 2021

Elena Vlitas


North Toronto Collegiate Institute’s staff, students, and teachers extend their sincerest congratulations to Mr. Zohar for receiving the Youth Journalism International’s Journalism Educator of the Year award. Each year, this award is issued “to honor a teacher who inspires students and brings out the very best in them.” Judges from the Youth Journalism International association stated: “Rarely have we seen anyone rave about a journalism teacher with the enthusiasm shown by Baruch Zohar’s students and former students.” Their comment captured what NT staff and students know; teachers like Mr. Zohar don’t come along often.

Having been a teacher in the Toronto District School Board for over 30 years, Mr. Zohar has led his career with a focus on the community. At North Toronto, Mr. Zohar is not only regarded for his role as a teacher and coach, but for the vital role he has played in enriching the school community through journalism.

Mr. Zohar’s continued commitment to journalism and the NT school community had already produced notable achievements, including making Graffiti, the school newspaper, an award-winning publication for many years. Among those awards is the prestigious Toronto Star Award for best high school newspaper.

His contributions to the Graffiti newspaper has fostered a positive community of students who think globally and have been able to enhance their written communication skills through the program. Students that have participated on Graffiti’s editorial board are incredibly grateful for the opportunities and guidance that Mr. Zohar has provided. Former Editor-in-Chief Sara Chiarotto O’Brien stated that, “Mr. Zohar never failed to encourage our ideas and inspire us with his own. He was deeply encouraging of whatever students were interested in, allowing me to report on a local organic butchery, a venture capital fund, and school politics.”

By combining his humour which some students call “Zoharisms”, journalism, and encouragement, Mr. Zohar has left a profound impact on NT. Sean Lee, a departing grade 12 student, believes that Mr. Zohar is a source of inspiration, stating that, “As an aspiring teacher, Mr. Zohar serves as an amazing role model for the type of educator that I would dream to be.” Emma Frasheri, Graffiti’s Humour Section Editor perhaps put Mr. Zohar’s connection to NT’s student body best, explaining that “[t]his is a man with over 100 students day in, day out, all while managing a newspaper on the side. He probably knows half the school. Yet, he knows everyone’s name, personalities, hopes, and issues. He knows his students not as students, but as individuals.”

As Sara said, ”He knew that through journalism, we could experience the world, and that writing was the best way for students to inspire each other.” NT’s staff and students look forward to seeing how he continues being a source of inspiration and encouragement to all of us. Thank you, Mr. Zohar.
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