Almost 15 years ago, Anne McDonagh responded to an ad that we had placed for a project in adult education run by the Workers’ Educational Association. She had just retired from a career teaching for the Toronto District School Board and volunteered her services. There was no retirement.

As editor of Learning Curves, Anne was responsible for its content and oversaw the work of dozens of writers. She wrote dozens of carefully-researched editorial columns too, all of which dealt with issues that Anne cared deeply about. Many of her articles are posted on our LC websites: and


The lives of ordinary people were her beat – people whose lives had been stalled for one reason or another and for whom going back to school offered a second, or third, chance. She remains a passionate advocate for the rights and responsibilities of all Canadians.


That Anne remained editor of Learning Curves for 15 years, as well as a writer of compassion and conviction, is not only a testament to the strength of her personal and journalistic ideals, it is crucial to this newspaper’s success. (Learning Curves is truly a publishing miracle. About to start its 18th year, it now has a print run of 20,000 and is delivered to over 700 sites in Toronto and across the GTA).


We may be saying good bye to Anne in her capacity as editor of Learning Curves but, thankfully, not as a contributor. She will also continue in her role as Vice President of the Workers’ Educational Association - the publisher of Learning Curves - and as an active participant in University in the Community, a humanities program for adults that the WEA initiated in 2003. Please visit:


As co-members of the WEA Board of Directors, it has been our privilege to work with Anne on the Board, on Learning Curves and on University in the Community. Thank you, Anne, for your sound advice, your patience and your steadfast commitment to the mission of the WEA.


With this issue, we welcome our new editor, Deborah Visconti. Like Anne, Deborah believes in the liberating power of education and can personally attest to how going back to school can positively affect the course of a life. We look forward to another long and meaningful partnership!


With heartfelt thanks from the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Educational Association of Canada, Wendy Terry, President; Gerard Nuberg, Treasurer; Patsy Bruff, Rumana Khalifa, Elizabeth Merchant, Andrew Oliver, Deborah Visconti, Mina Wong.

Toronto, Canada