By Jasmine Franklin
Taking time out of their day to make a child smile or simply going that extra mile to enable a better learning experience are all attributes that helped to identify eight teachers in the region as nominees for the 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award.
“These teachers are chosen because of the excellence they portray in their craft,” said Jamie McNamara, superintendent of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic school division.
Nominee Kevin Prediger, principal of St. Augustine School, is no stranger to the award program. In 1998, Prediger was a finalist.
“Kevin is such a builder in his catholic community and school,” McNamara said. “He finds a way of making things happen.”
A humble Prediger explains his key to teaching success.
“We are here to support parents in the formation of their children. Developing those relationships is important so when they’re 19 or 20 years old we have made strong, well-rounded individuals who can contribute,” Prediger said. “That’s what I strive to do.”
Also nominated in the STAR division is Leduc teacher Chad Starko, Christ the King junior and senior high school.
“We have over 400 excellent teachers in our division,” said Kurt Sacher, assistant superintendent of Wolf Creek schools. “The teachers nominated are the ones who really exemplify tremendous interpersonal skills and interests in bettering children’s education.”
From across the jurisdiction, six teachers in the division are nominated for the award. Ponoka Elementary teachers Althea Lewis and Brenda Zimmerman; Korey Von Kuster, Eckville Junior and Senior High School; Kathy Knapp, Mirror School; Vanessa Howey, Rimbey Elementary and Laurie Berezowski, Terrace Ridge.
Criteria to win
All teachers nominated are instructors who help to foster student development in social, emotional and physical growth. They demonstrate caring for the well-being of students and colleagues as well as display an in-depth knowledge of their teaching matter.
Highlighted in the criteria form was one key point: “How the nominee’s teaching or leadership is innovative or creative in supporting student learning in one or more areas.” This includes introducing or applying new approaches into the classroom.
Nominess receive certificates of recognition, semifinalists who are not award recipients also receive certificates as well as access to $1,500 for professional development.
Finalists award recipients will receive certificates along with $4,000 toward professional development and commemorative pins.
All finalists will be posted on www.education.alberta.ca