Dr. Stirling McDowell
Foundation is honoured to be named after Dr. Stirling McDowell,
a Saskatchewan educator who made an enormous contribution to the
development of education and the teaching profession in Canada.
in Nipawin in 1931, Stirling McDowell graduated from Regina Central Collegiate
and the Saskatoon Normal School. He began teaching in the 1950s in Outlook and
Rosetown. In 1957 he joined the staff of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation
as an Executive Assistant. He became Assistant General Secretary in 1966 and General
Secretary in 1967. He served in this position for 15 action-packed years before
moving on to become the Secretary General of the Canadian Teachers' Federation,
a position he held for 10 years.
his career, Dr. McDowell was at the forefront of educational development.
He made cooperation in the solving of educational problems a Saskatchewan
tradition. He helped to develop the province's system of bi-level
bargaining for teachers. He was also instrumental in completing
the 1978 Education Act and instituting a minimum four-year, teacher-training
program in Saskatchewan. For seven years he chaired the Saskatchewan
Universities Commission, and in 1995, he chaired the independent
commission on compensation for Saskatchewan MLA's. On numerous boards,
committees, and commissions, he provided valuable leadership with
a sound sense of history and a mind fearless in the breaking of
McDowell was also a scholar of note. He earned B.A, B. Ed and M.
Ed degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as a Ph.D.
in educational administration from the University of Alberta. His
thesis topic was, appropriately enough, "The Dynamics of the
Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation". Few people could match
his encyclopedic knowledge of Saskatchewan communities and the province's
political and educational history. His clear analysis and deep insight
into complex situations made him much in demand as a speaker, not
only provincially, but also nationally and internationally.
McDowell retired to Saskatoon after completing a last challenging assignment for
the Canadian Teachers' Federation in 1993, as a delegate to the founding convention
of Education International in Stockholm. In retirement, he remained active, serving
as president of both the Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan and the Canadian
Association of Retired Teachers.
McDowell received numerous honours during his lifetime. He was a
life member of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, the Canadian
Education Association, and the Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan.
He was presented with the Canadian Teachers' Federation Special
Recognition Award in 1993. In 1997, he was awarded the Saskatchewan
Order of Merit, the province's highest honour.
passed away in Saskatoon on February 4, 2002. He is survived by
his wife, Kathleen, and their three children, Donna, Diane and David,
all of Saskatoon.
the success of the McDowell Foundation, the name and reputation of Dr. Stirling
McDowell will carry on. He has provided a legacy of leadership and caring that
epitomizes the best in leadership. We proudly carry on his work.