Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 2002 – Province: British Columbia

Certificate of Achievement Recipients

Walter Swetlishoff

School: W. E. Graham Community School
915 Harold Street
Slocan, British Columbia  V0G 2C0

Principal: Brian Butcher
School Telephone: 250-355-2212
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grades 7-9, mathematics, science

Teaching approach:

  • Education should always be viewed in a broad social context.
  • Technology education should be a component of a student's education from Kindergarten through to retirement.

Outstanding achievements:

Broadens and expands students' career opportunities with "value-added" courses teaching not only a wider range of technical skills but also creativity, flexibility and commitment to continuous learning to enable students to adapt to constantly changing work environment. Created and successfully implemented a new Grade 11-12 technology education course addressing practical skills, problem solving and also students' emotional connection and commitment to their work. Through his career, Swetlishoff has also developed an innovative course in forestry with relevant math, physics, biology and environmental science connections and the Value-Added Wood Manufacturing Program that moves students beyond mill work to furniture construction and finishing.

Transformed the science/math classroom at W. E. Graham by engaging students in active learning. For example, students have designed and built a working model of an Apollo rocket (and are now in the process of selling the plans to an educational supplier). Other Grade 8 students challenged themselves with the Grade 9 math course and gained high B marks. The classroom is now the favoured hang-out during recess and lunchtime, for students of all grades.

Rave reviews:

"Mr. Swetlishoff is one who truly teaches 'from the heart,' always placing the interests of the students first." Fellow teacher

"This generosity with his time, talents and energy has a very positive effect on these around him: he 'brings out the best' in people with whom he works." Colleague

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