2017 Recipients - Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence
Certificate of Excellence
Certificate of Excellence Recipients
Once an aspiring actor, Jim Crescenzo chose teaching over a rising career in show business turning his classroom into a multi-disciplinary studio, where students are the stars of the show. Jim conducts extensive community outreach and fundraising activities to build multi-media classroom spaces with stages and studios for film, television and theatre. Partners have included Lions Gate Entertainment, Vancouver Film Studios and even the Vancouver Canucks.
Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards program teacher Johanna Gordon-Walker takes a boat to work and lives off the grid, empowering youth by showing them the importance of connecting culture to the outdoors. She has brokered partnerships with five post-secondary institutions, leveraging opportunities for her students to participate in marine-based and archeological science activities such as counting salmon or participating on inter-tidal scavenger hunts.
Individual talents are celebrated as Northern teacher Erica Thompson weaves the importance of community traditions and practices throughout practical learning. For example, she used a Caribou hunt led by Elders to teach her students about body systems. Erica also initiates and leads a variety of extra-curricular activities like photography and digital media clubs, tours to Europe, and serves as a snowshoe coach for Team Northwest Territories at the Arctic Games in Greenland.
Dropping eggs from the height of the school roof, measuring trees and running as fast as they can – in a small school in rural Nova Scotia, Robert Hammer's students discover how much better they learn when they get to use their hands, or even their feet, to solve problems. Students say, "It's Hammer time", as they are inspired by a math teacher who literally runs an extra mile to show how math skills are useful in the real world.
Bill Nye, Ada Lovelace and the Energizer Bunny have nothing on Beth Alexander and her innovative science lessons that focus on getting young girls more involved in STEM. From a life-size model that allows students to climb inside a computer, to a lab exploring the chemistry of candy, Beth consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform school into a magical place for her students.
Thinking globally and acting locally, Don Ball encourages his students to challenge conventions and to think critically about the social issues around them. Don organizes a biannual cross-curricular travel program for science and visual arts students to Latin American countries and Inuit communities in Canada. His students complete community service projects while exploring the art, culture and ecology of the areas.
Sixteen -year veteran high school chemistry teacher Kathy Cepo started a competitive robotics team in her rural Ontario community, that in five years has inspired 84% of graduates on her team to pursue STEM related fields. Kathy also partnered with Just Cause Education Outreach to develop curriculum for robotics programs for students in Uganda. Workshops are run on the ground in Uganda, while Cepo runs them in tandem with her students.
A strong enthusiasm to share his Métis heritage with his students, a respect for the land and a regard for the Ojibwa culture and language; Thomas Doherty embraces a cross-curricular approach that is consistently tied back to Indigenous teachings. For example, in a presentation about ice safety, Doherty had his students apply their knowledge on an ice fishing expedition with local Elders, later bringing their catch to the local homeless shelter.
"Legacy is not what you leave for people but what you leave in people". This is the mantra that guides this business teacher as he leads his students to create projects that are not just for profit, but to give back to a community. Rahim has also led students to provide assistance internationally, raising funds to build a school in Nicaragua, and to creating partnerships with businesses to improve the local community.
Learning to know, knowing to understand, and understanding to act. Manon St--Hilaire has chosen to make civic engagement and educational projects the cornerstone of her professional activities. Dedication, creativity and integrity are the three words that best describe Ms. St-Hilaire. She fosters a climate of trust in her classroom that promotes discussion and that facilitates comprehension by using a concrete educational approach where students can learn through stimulating, real-world situations.
From creative games and music in the classroom, to challenging educational experiences in state-of-the-art research facilities, Andrea Regier has her students reaching great heights. Andrea's approach has been described as refreshing, engaging and innovative. With thematic music always playing in the background, she understands the importance of motivational tools and games to teach complex scientific concepts and theories.
Certificate of Achievement
Certificate of Achievement Recipients
Trust, respect and performance form the three pillars of this teacher's classroom – where students are not just studying communications technology, but also applying it in real and relevant contexts.
Striving for inclusion, this computer science teacher creates a class culture of faith and trust where computers are the how and what we use to function and connect with each other in an ever-changing world.
Kindergarten teacher sits behind the wheel of students' abilities and knowledge and lets their interests and curiosities drive the journey as they visit fascinating places together.
This teacher creates music with his students and creatively integrates a multi-disciplinary approach to show them different viewpoints, by inviting members of local and national level music communities into his classroom.
High school teacher fosters the growth of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, encouraging students to evaluate issues by examining the moral and ethical decisions made in the past.
A champion for her community and a believer in an interdisciplinary approach, this teacher infuses Indigenous learning into her classroom, asking her students how science and math can bring out the creative power of language.
Skateboard ramp building and custom long boards: in a classroom filled with the sounds of humming machines, active minds and hands at work, this teacher shows students what a career in trades could look like, as well as how to be a better citizen.
Local park keepers, visits to the marine station and forest exploration: an empty classroom characterizes this science teacher's approach as he takes his students outside and connects the content he teaches to the real world.
Passion for language fuels this teacher to spearhead partnerships with community and outside agencies to develop countless opportunities for her students, and to provide support for incoming Syrian refugees and their families.
It's full STEAM ahead when this teacher takes the conductor seat and brings a hands-on and well-rounded approach to teaching science to his students.
Enthusiasm and positive energy resonate beyond this teacher's classroom walls as she demonstrates first hand that hard work can be fun through locally-recognized events like Mole Day.
"Light's On! Drugs and Alcohol Off" - dubbed Inuvik's best kept secret, this dedicated art teacher keeps students off the street and founded a travelling art club that has her isolated rural students experiencing the world.
Physics teacher assumes untraditional interdisciplinary approach that brings together STEM and industry, allowing students to learn from former graduates, specialists and community members.
Teacher duo heads multi-grade, family-based outdoor Adventure Class that emphasizes connections to the environment, global citizenship and local community.
"A man for all seasons", accordion playing teacher has paved the road for computer science in schools and inspired countless students to achieve their passions.
Integrating arts subject matter across other disciplines, this teacher shies from convention and encourages students to create community and business-education partnerships that allow them to succeed in the real world.
Described by students and colleagues as a mentor, builder and risk taker, after 40 years of experience this teacher still makes sure that no lesson is ever delivered the same way.
Online simulations, 3D modelling, electronic probes and countless large and small scale conferences, this teacher is a STEM enthusiast who stops at nothing to ensure the success of her students.
This teacher does not call her students, "students" – she calls them family; with a passion for community, she demonstrates the value of youth-led initiatives and the lasting impact they can have on others.
Preparing students for a digital-based innovation economy, this science teacher turns courses into video games as students can gain points and progress to the next level.
From zombie games to jelly beans, no matter the material, this high school math teacher finds engaging and exciting ways to make learning relevant.
Lawyer, radio host, author, credit union director, or policewoman: this dynamic teacher presents a wide range of resources to her pupils in order to foster an awareness of their future reality.
Star Académie, Disney Performing Arts on Stage, Festival Jass-Pop de Québec, the possibilities are endless thanks the passion of this music teacher.
Those are sounds of success coming from this music teacher's classroom, where digital design meets physical craftsmanship, and creative teaching techniques with Indigenous youth inspired a visit from Prime Minister Trudeau.
"When you're green you grow and when you're red you rot": Entrepreneurship teacher pushes students to step outside their comfort zone to surpass their goals and reach their dreams.
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