Lifetime Achievement Award goes to first female recipient

Published on June 28, 2015

From left, CEO of Ooka Island Kelly Shaw and Dr. Kay MacPhee, the 2015 recipient of ITAP’s Lifetime Achievement Award, at the event in Charlottetown on Thursday.

Dr. Kay MacPhee was the 2015 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and is the first female to be recognized for her work in the IT industry on the Island.

The Innovation and Technology Association of Prince Edward Island (ITAP) presents individuals with the award who have distinguished leadership in the development of the Island’s IT industry.

MacPhee is the Director of Learning and Research and Co-Founder of the Charlottetown-based company, Ooka Island. There, children from Pre-K to Grade 2 learn to become confident readers.

Built on 25 years of research and innovation, Ooka Island’s learn-to-read program combines scientifically proven teaching methods with adaptive learning technology.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to be given this award. My journey has been fuelled by a passion to unlock the potential within every child to become a confident reader. Technology has made my dream a reality by making our program adaptive in nature and accessible for any child with a computer and Internet access,” said MacPhee.

In 1994, MacPhee launched SpellRead, a scientifically based intervention program for struggling older readers. The U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse ranked it the number one program for developing comprehension in older readers.

MacPhee earned both her Honorary Doctorate Degree as well as her Level 5 Teacher’s Certificate from the University of Prince Edward Island. She also completed extensive course work in the area of speech and language at McGill University in Montreal and studied audiology at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.