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For the love of children

Cathy McCormack is the latest recipient of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Administration.

Most of the people you ask about Cathy McCormack and you’ll hear the same types of things – she is a ‘rock,’ a true professional, a good listener, hard worker, someone who never loses sight of what really matters in life.

That’s why so many friends and colleagues dabbed their eyes with tissues as Lieutenant Governor Frank Lewis awarded the longtime administrator of the province’s early childhood programs with the Award for Excellence in Public Administration.

It wasn’t hard to see McCormack is the real deal.

In her 30-year career, she brought government and community together and never lost sight of what was most important – the children – especially those with special needs.

From her contribution to the Healthy Child Development Strategy or the creation of a new Early Learning and Child Care Act, which brought kindergarten into the Island school system, McCormack’s leadership, dogged determination and passion was vital.

But even in accepting the prestigious award, McCormack was humble, giving kudos to her co-workers.

“I have been privileged to work with an exceptional number of very gifted people who have all done their best for children and their families,” she told the crowd in the main foyer of Fanningbank.

McCormack was emotional remembering John Yeo, who passed away in 2012. Yeo, a beloved Charlottetown citizen who lived with intellectual disability, “had more friends than most of us will ever have” she said, adding that’s what she wants for all children with special needs.

“We have to do what’s right for these children because they are an important part of the fabric of our communities and they have so much to give, to teach us,” she said.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration recognizes the exceptional achievement of a person who has shown distinctive leadership in public administration.

For more information about McCormack, her career, and the award, read the news release.

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