Tom Kertes is a middle school teacher in the North Coast region of BC, in the territory of the Gispaxlo’ots and Gits’iis of the Ts’msyen Nation (Prince Rupert, BC).
Tom currently teaches Grade 7 and Drama at Prince Rupert Middle School. He also taught high school students in Haida Gwaii at GidG̱alang Ḵuuyas Naay Secondary in Queen Charlotte and he taught elementary students at Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary (Skidegate) and Tahayghen Elementary (Masset). Prior to teaching public school, Tom was an early childhood educator at the University of British Columbia, policy advisor at Ontario’s self-regulatory College of Early Childhood Educators, and instructor in Early Childhood Education at Seneca College in Toronto.
Before working in education as a teacher, instructor, and policy advisor, Tom was an AIDS activist (in the 1990s) and a community organizer in the poor people’s movement to end poverty (in the 2000s). He helped organize day labourers in Baltimore, working with the United Workers Association and the University of the Poor’s School of Labor. He also helped organize early childhood educators in Vancouver, working with the Liberation Learning Project, the Child Care Equity Campaign, and the BCGEU.
Tom is currently active in the PRDTU (Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union) and served on the BCTF Professional Issues Advisory Committee (2018-2020). He is currently Vice President of the PRDTU and President of the Prince Rupert Labour Council.
Tom has a Masters in Education (Educational Leadership) from Vancouver Island University, Bachelor of Education (Environmental Education and Indigenous Perspectives in Education) from Simon Fraser University, and Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Langara College. Tom attended one year of graduate studies at the University of Toronto/OISE (Human Development and Applied Psychology) and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington.