Norman Nuri Bayram Ahmet
The Albanians of Canada
Norman Nuri Bayram Ahmet
(photo to come)
Renowned Canadian Educator, Director of Education and Secretary Treasurer for the Board of Education for the City of York, First Honorary Consul of Albania in Canada
Norman Nuri Bayram Ahmet was born in Toronto in 1941 of Albanian parentage. His mother, Fitret, and father, Bayram, were both born and grew to adulthood in the Devoll region of Albania. His maternal grandfather, Xhafer, was a military courier for Gani Butka and Mihal Grameno, the two illustrious leaders of the “Cetas” guerilla movement in 1909 that finally resulted in the declaration of Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912.
A top academic student, Norman graduated 1st in his Grade 12 class. He was also the first ethnic Albanian to graduate from the University of Toronto in 1963.
Beginning a teaching career in 1964 at York Memorial Collegiate Institute, Norman’s organizational talents became evident through his innovative teaching methods of Geography. He extended traditional classroom learning to include field trips in Ontario and Quebec, culminating in the production of a feature length documentary produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This film documented a trip to Scandinavia and the Soviet Union with his students - a learning experience of a lifetime!
While teaching, Norman attained a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, and was a successful contestant on 4 separate Canadian quiz shows. In addition, he was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Canadian Army reserve.
During his long administrative career in education, Norman served – consecutively - as vice principal, principal, superintendent, senior superintendent and, finally, in 1990, as Director of Education and Chief Executive Officer for the Board of Education for the City of York. When asked during an interview which of his many educational roles he preferred, Norman responded simply, “I enjoyed them all!”
Norman’s reputation as an outstanding Canadian educator quickly became noticed because whenever he was confronted with either simple or complex educational problems, he invariably resolved them through thoughtful analysis and carefully constructed solutions. Without question, his imaginative, problem-solving capabilities became his legacy in the field of public education in Canada.
Upon his retirement after 36 years of exemplary service to the Canadian educational community, Norman received an appointment as associate vice president for human resources at York University, Canada’s third largest university. He has also served as a Board member for a number of organizations, and received an appointment by Albania’s Foreign Minister as the first Honorary Consul of Albania to Canada in 1998.
Norman is perceived as a man who - professionally and personally - has worked tirelessly in the cause of improving the lives of others. He has continuously reached out to assist people in need, and all those who have had the good fortune to know him are well aware of his kindness and his generosity of spirit.
Norman Ahmet is married to Linda, a secondary school principal. They have two children - a daughter, Alexandra, a pediatric endocrinologist, and a son, Byron, an associate at one of Canada’s premiere commercial real estate firms