On December 6th, 2021 we received the very sad news that our remarkable colleague and friend, Martha Rogers, had unexpectedly passed away during the past weekend at her home in Elora.
Just four months before, Martha had finally retired as head of the Upper Grand District School Board, a position she had held for 26 years. She had also been an active and valued member of our Rotary Club of Guelph for 30 years. 
A celebration of life will be held in the new year.
As conversations are shared amongst her colleagues and her Rotary friends, these two quotes say a lot about the legacy of Dr. Martha Rogers.
"Martha always made me feel special, and now I realize that her gift was to make EVERYONE feel unique, appreciated, worthy and capable of greatness.  What a legacy for us to aspire to!"  
"She was the very best of what we hope to be like when we grow up - compassionate, communicative, an active listener, a positive person, and fun...so much fun."
December 25, 1947 - December 5, 2021 
Former Director of Education of the Upper Grand District School Board

Martha Rogers, a lover of cats who cohabited with two of the friendliest cats one could ever meet, a lover of Indian cuisine, and a master of boeuf bourguignon, will be greatly missed.

And so it is with great sadness we announce that Martha Carolyn Rogers (nee Dean), 73, of Elora, Ontario, beloved wife of the late Paul Rogers, passed away on December 5, 2021 - peacefully in her sleep at home in Elora.

Martha will be sorely missed by her dear kitties, Jacqueline and Kyle, her beloved brother, Thomas Wesley Dean and his partner Enza Iovio of Fort Erie, and his daughters Jennifer Brown (Evan) and Kimberly Dean (Andrei) and grandchildren: Jackson, Emily, and Evelyn - in Victoria, British Columbia. And she will be fondly remembered by Paul's daughters Roberta Appleton (Bryan) and Susan Freiheit (Roger) of Muskoka and grandchildren Kyle, Carmen, and Ashley and great grandchildren Tristan and Edwin. 

Martha was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She was the elder child of Dr. Thomas William Dean and Audrey Alice Dean (nee Archer) on December 25, 1947. She attended what was then called Ancaster High and Vocational School and graduated in 1965. She went on to earn a BA (Psychology) from Western University, and an MEd in Educational Theory with a major in Curriculum, and PhD in Educational Theory (with a double major in Special Education and Statistics) from University of Toronto in 1980. 

In 1972 she began her teaching career in the Peel District School Board. Ten years later she went to the Dufferin County Board of Education as a primary teacher and a Curriculum Consultant (1982 - 1985). She was also a part-time Lecturer (1980 - 1985) and a Program Coordinator (1982 - 1983) for University of Toronto's Faculty of Education. 

Martha was an Education Officer for the Ontario Ministry of Education, in Toronto from 1985 to 1987 before serving the Wellington County Board of Education as its first female Superintendent of Special Services (1987 - 1989 followed by Superintendent of Program Services (1989 - 1993) and Superintendent of Human Resources (1993 - 1995) before becoming the first female Director of Education in 1995. When the Dufferin Board and the Wellington Board amalgamated she became the first Director of the Upper Grand District School Board - a position she held for 26 years: making her the longest serving Director of Education in Ontario. Martha won the YM-YWCA Woman of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award - in Education and Training - in 2012. 

The hallmark of her almost 5 decades in education was her emphasis on building and retaining relationships with all facets of the Education community. Evidence of her years of exceptional service were honoured, in June 2021, when the Ontario Public School Boards' Association presented her with the Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award in June, 2021 which is given each year to retired or active teaching professionals for their outstanding contribution to education in Ontario. 

Martha was raised in a household that honoured giving back to others. She was an active member of the Rotary Club of Guelph for 30 years and a member of the Children and Youth Committee for many of those years. Her influence, with husband Paul, extended far into Wellington and Dufferin Counties. Both Martha and Paul emphasized in their living the importance of family, friends, and tradition. 

A graveside burial service for family will be held at Elora Municipal Cemetery on December 18, 2021. Arrangements are entrusted to the Graham Giddy Funeral Home, Fergus. A Celebration of Life will occur later in 2022.

In remembrance of Martha, and in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to any women or children's causes - especially to:
The family wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to all employees, trustees, and other partners of the Upper Grand District School Board - and region. Your many years of focus on team-driven service and success for all students has made her career satisfying and joyful in so many ways. Thank you.
December 6, 2021
Many of us woke up this morning with the sad news that our Club member Martha Rogers passed away over the weekend. We will all miss Martha not only for her leadership in many avenues of Rotary but also for her kindness and for her friendship. Martha devoted all her career to Education. For 26 years, Martha was Director of Education with the Upper Grand District School Board from where she retired this past summer.
Martha was introduced to the Rotary Club of Guelph (RCOG) on May 3rd, 1991 by Terry Lynch who was then an administrator with the local school board where Martha was also employed.
While interested in all aspects of Rotary and those areas the RCOG focused on, Martha had a devoted interest in Children and Youth. In her first year of Rotary, Martha volunteered to serve on the Childrens’ and Youth Committees and continued to do so throughout her Rotarian years. Over time, Martha served as Chair of the Membership Development and the Youth Committees.
Other committees Martha served on include:
Christmas Lights Committee (now Sparkles in the Park), Roster, Publicity, Lobsterfest, Literacy/Numeracy, Attendance, and Classification & Membership
Our condolences go out to her family and friends. May she rest in Peace.
Mahmud Hassain