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Michelle Goodeve portrayed teacher, Ms. Karen Avery in all three seasons of Degrassi Junior High. She's best known for the infamous episode "Rumor Has It" in which Caitlin (Stacie Mistysyn) was afraid the dreams she was having about her favourite teacher might indicate the girl was a lesbian (especially as rumours were flying that Avery herself was gay).The reason the episode was so controversial was due to the la When Caitlin apologized for thinking Avery was gay, the teachers' reply was to ask if it would make any difference if she were ... if Caitlin would think anything less of her?
When Caitlin realized she wouldn't, that reaction got the show banned in England and "flagged" in the U.S. "Bible Belt." (Why? "For promoting a homosexual lifestyle." Don't forget, that episode first aired in 1987 and attitudes have changed a lot since then.)
And if you watch the episode carefully, you'll notice that Avery never really said if she was or wasn't gay.
That vague response has followed Michelle (& Stacie Mistysyn) to this day. Both women are frequently asked, "So was Avery gay?"
I've asked Michelle the same question myself, but all she'll say is, "Only Avery knows, and she ain't talkin'."
Michelle continued on as Avery throughout the first season of Degrassi High, but asked to be written out for personal reasons. The final episode of that season, "Stressed Out," was Michelle's official farewell to Degrassi ... but as she still has "Ms. Avery's face," fans continue to recognize her on a regular basis.
While Michelle was shooting Degrassi, she guest-starred on several other TV Series, including "Danger Bay," and the pilot for her own series, "Vulcan E.F.T.S." She played a Pilot in both of those episodes - and for good reason.
In real life, Michelle Goodeve IS a Pilot. And not just an ordinary pilot - she specializes in flying antique, classic & homebuilt aircraft. She's been flying since she was 16 and has owned her own airplane - a 1929 style, open-cockpit, Pietenpol Aircamper - since 1979. She's also flown numerous antique aircraft for Guelph's Tiger Boys Flying Museum, including a rare 1937 Thruxton Jackaroo biplane (which she used to own and flew across North America), several WW2 de Havilland Tiger Moths, a 1935 E-2 Cub (the first one in Canada), as well as an open-cockpit "Baby Ace" - Canada's oldest homebuilt aircraft.
And in 2003, The Canadian Owners & Pilots Association presented Michelle with their prestigious Award of Merit, “...for the outstanding work Michelle has undertaken during her life promoting general aviation, and actively encouraging women to become pilots.”
(Sidebar: You can see Michelle flying several of these aircraft if you visit the "fearwidge" channel on www.youtube.com )
After Degrassi, Michelle continued guest-starring on shows such as "Street Legal" and "Ready or Not," but creating "Vulcan E.F.T.S." left her with a growing desire to write her own material ...
So she became a Screenwriter - then a Story Editor - on TV Series such as "White Fang" (which required moving to New Zealand), and "Mysterious Island."
She continued Acting (scoring a trifecta on "White Fang" by Guest Starring in an episode she also Wrote and Story Edited!), but more and more her dream was to Act in a Series she'd Created and Written herself.
While she worked on that goal, "to pay the mortgage" Michelle wrote numerous episodes for several animated series, including Redwall, Mattimeo, Martin The Warrior, and Maggie & The Ferocious Beast!
(You can read Michelle's interview on writing for Redwall here: http://rwtv.longpatrolclub.com/interviews/writers.html )
Michelle almost pulled off her Aviation Dream in 2005's "Barnstormers;" a Series' pilot for the Outdoor Life Network in which she portrayed a fictional version of her real-life self. Michelle not only created the show - and starred in it - she was also the Creative Producer and did her own flying (in her old Thruxton Jackaroo).
The show received the strongest response in OLN's history (and even won a Gold Award at the 2005 Worldfest Film & Television Festival), but failed to get picked up, as the network decided they wanted a male lead for their primarily male audience .
Michelle passed (for obvious reasons) and began creating a new dramatic Aviation Series, which she is currently preparing to shoot.
It is her hope to involve several of her former Degrassi "co-stars" in this new Series for - despite the passage of years - Michelle has remained friends with quite a few of the DJH cast. (And both Stacie Mistysyn and Dan Woods have flown with her!)
Once I figure out how to post images, I'll try to dig out some photos for you.
BTW: Michelle is also Creative Director for the Online Aviation Journal, www.whyfly.aero It's a free site, so if you want to learn even more about the real-life Ms. Avery, drop by and check out some of Michelle's Columns, Articles, Photo Essays and Hi-Def Videos.
Hope this gives you a better idea of Michelle Goodeve's "Life After Degrassi."
And please be assured ... like Arnold ... "She'll be back."
P.S. One final piece of trivia: Ever wonder about all Ms. Avery's references to "Native Peoples"? The reason is simple. In real-life, Michelle Goodeve is a proud, registered member of The Métis Nation of Ontario - which makes her the only First Nations member in the original cast!