By Eraina Hooyer
Hard work, passion and many hours of teaching has awarded Catherine Knudskoc, a teacher at the Ponoka Alternative Supports School (PASS), with the 2008 Provincial Excellence in Teaching Award.
Knudskov was surprised to be a finalist and was pleased to accept the award.
“I’m speechless,” said Knudkov. “Making it as a semi-finalist was incredible and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Knudskov accepted this award alongside 23 other teachers in the province at a special dinner and award ceremony on May 10 in Calgary.
Knudskov was impressed with her fellow nominees at the semi-final banquet and was honoured to be recognized with them.
“The master of ceremonies got up near the end of the banquet and read excerpts our of everyone’s nomination records and I was sitting there thinking, ‘wow, I’m included with these people,” she said.
She takes care in focusing on the behaviors and social skills development her students need to help them excel in life and in school.
Knudskov makes sure that each of her students are working at a place where they are comfortable but can be challenged and can experience a sense of accomplishment.
In addition to her teaching, Knudskov has also helped develop a comprehensive social skills curriculum.
The finalists for the award were chosen from 334 nominees by a selection committee of representatives from Alberta’s education community.
Each nominee was elected by a teaching colleague, principals or superintendents and a member of the public who wrote letter of support and spoke of the nominee’s passion for teaching and creativity in the classroom.
Lisa Tidd, a teacher from St. Augustine School was a semi-finalist for the award and is able to access up to $1,500 to attend an education conference of her choice.
Alberta Education hosted the awards with the support of the Alberta School Council’s Association, the Alberta School Boards Association, the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Edmonton Journal and the SMARTer Kids Foundation.
The award has been given to teachers around the province since 1989 and has awarded over 400 teachers for their work. Knudskov’s students were excited to hear the news and organized a thank-you tea in her honour at the school that was finished off with a power point presentation showing their appreciation of Knudskov’s can access up to $4,000 to attend an education conference of her choice.
Knudskov has been teaching 19 years and thoroughly enjoys her work at PASS. Knudskov’s students are between the ages of 10 and 18 years old and have been diagnosed with psychiatric and/or emotional conditions and severe behavior challenges.