Bailey Oake Making Changes, Winning Awards
July 2, 2013
Not that long ago, Education student Bailey Oake was standing on Westerland Road holding a sign and trying to make a difference. The sign was a picture, an X-ray to be specific, of damage she sustained after being struck by a driver on the crosswalk there in her time at MUN.
Now, with her degree completed and her rehab behind her, Oake is the recipient of two excellent pieces of news: she won the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association (NLTA) medal as she left the faculty, and her protest didn’t fall on deaf ears – there will be changes to the Westerland Road crosswalk configuration.
Oake, after her protest garnered plenty of support from faculty, staff, and students and even found its way into local media coverage, took her petition to the City of St. John’s. Only a few short months later, the city has agreed to improve the area.
“The Committee reviewed a petition requesting the installation of improved lighting for the crosswalk on Westerland Road,” a statement from the city reads.
“It was noted that a recommendation has already been approved to upgrade the crosswalks on Westerland Road and a request has been submitted for capital works funding under the Pedestrian Crosswalk Upgrade program. It was agreed that the Traffic Services Division enter into discussions with Memorial University about an area wide traffic study that would include pedestrian safety.”
Oake has moved back to her home in Nova Scotia, but was elated to hear she made a difference at the site of her accident.
“This accident has been a life altering experience but knowing that my efforts to bring greater safety to the campus and to Westerland Road has been a success gives me hope that accidents like mine won't happen again,” she said. “Taking charge of the situation was something I needed to do to allow myself some closure; it was part of my healing process.”
On top of the Westerland Road success, she begins her career in teaching as the recipient of the NLTA award at her recent convocation. The award is given to a student who has had a consistently good academic record in the professional courses required for the degree and who has made an outstanding contribution to the Faculty of Education and to the university.
“I am honoured to receive the NLTA award this year. It shows that persevering pays off; I finished my degree even though I had emotional and physical struggles to face daily,” she said.
“My chosen profession as an educator has been re-confirmed upon receiving the award and I am confident that as I move forward into the career I will flourish. Each new step I take, I take it with gratitude.”
The Faculty of Education would like to congratulate Bailey on her successes.