York Professor Margaret Sinclair, co-director of the York/Seneca Institute for Math, Science & Technology Education and a professor in York’s Faculty of Education, died of cancer Feb. 21 at her home in Toronto. She was 62.
For 15 years, prior to earning her doctorate, Prof. Sinclair worked as a teacher and vice-principal with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. During her time with the board, she earned a master’s degree in the Mathematics for Teachers Program in the Faculty of Education. Then, after raising five children, she decided to pursue her PhD in math education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. At age 50, Prof. Sinclair successfully earned her PhD and came to York University as a professor in the Math Education Department.
Colleagues recall that while her drive was mathematics, Prof. Sinclair’s passion was teaching, researching and publishing. She balanced her life as wife, mother, student and teacher with precision and extraordinary energy.
“In her too brief time at York, Margaret had a major impact on a number of programs, including co-developing the Mathematics for Education Program in the Mathematics Department, and also developing closer collaborations at the graduate level between Mathematics and Education, designed in part help the MA in Mathematics for Teachers become a better pathway for others to a PhD in Mathematics Education,” recalled her colleague and friend, York mathematics Professor Walter Whiteley. “She played a critical role in a number of initiatives in the Faculty of Education, including College Math Project and the Summer Science program.”
Professor Sinclair leaves her husband of 43 years, Larry, and their five children Jennifer, Doug, Frank, Brian and Carolyn, and her grandchildren Jacob, Des, Max and Ben.
Visitation for Prof. Sinclair will take place at the Murray E. Newbigging Funeral Home, 733 Mt. Pleasant Road, on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 7 to 9 pm and Friday from 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm. The funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Anselm’s Church, 1 MacNaughton Road, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 11:30am, with interment to follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery. If so desired, donations in honour of Margaret may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.