Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 1998 – Province: Ontario

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Michael Zanibbi

School: Queen Elizabeth Collegiate and Vocational Institute

Principal: Caroline Worthy
School website:
Grades/Subjects Taught: Secondary business studies

Teaching approach:

  • Promote entrepreneurship. It is not just about teaching students how to start a small business, but about providing opportunities for students to develop and practice entrepreneurial skills by solving real-life business problems.
  • Create the circumstances for hands-on learning.
  • Demonstrate to students that opportunities for entrepreneurial ventures are often disguised as problems (i.e. something that a viable commercial service might fix).
  • Involve students in the local business community so that business organizations and member businesses can work with students and act as mentors.

Outstanding achievements:

Created Enviroworks, a business that recycles used or discarded building materials:

  • owned by the local school board and operated by students, who "learn by doing" rather than merely "pretending" in the classroom
  • now an internationally recognized program that gives students a dynamic framework in which to take their regular business courses (e.g. accounting, marketing, entrepreneurial studies and management).

Recognized internationally for innovative teaching strategies:

  • Nova Corporation Global Best Award in the Caring for the Community and the Environment category
  • National Partners in Education Award for broad community collaboration
  • L.I.F.E. Environmental Award from the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce
  • Award of Merit in the TVOntario Teachers' Award competition.

Rave reviews:

"Mike is regarded as one of Canada's foremost authorities on business/education collaboration, and has been invited to speak at conferences all over the world." Vice-principal

"As a person who wants to run my own business someday, Mr. Zanibbi and the Enviroworks program have given me realistic experience I will be able to use." Student

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