Year: 2015 – Province: Nova Scotia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Charles P. Allen High School
200 Innovation Drive
Bedford, Nova Scotia B4B 0G4
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 10-12, Visual Arts, Advanced & IB, Textiles
For Ms. Anna Whalen, innovation is at the core of creating a great learning experience for youth. She is constantly on the lookout for new ways to inspire her students' love of art whether it is providing opportunities to link art making with technology or demonstrate how art can benefit a community.
- Instrumental in the development of a multimedia lab that focuses on making art and design through technology;
- Collaborated with music and drama departments to create a show about the exploration of the Halifax Explosion, entitled 904. Charles P. Allen High School was the only school invited to participate in the Nocturne at Night local street art festival;
- Provided students multiple opportunities to use their art to spark discussion around social issues such as "Art Against Youth Violence"—an annual event hosted by the Halifax Shopping Centre where several hundred youth create murals with positive messages;
- Spearheaded innovative projects such as "Creative Children Connecting with Community" which helps students use art to connect with the people and places where they live;
- Has won several awards for her work in education such as the Pioneer Teaching Award, Brault & Boutlier's Educators Award and the national FitzHenry-Whiteside Award for innovation in education.
Despite their competence in the arts, Ms. Whalen teaches young people to be the best people they can be. She demands the highest of standards, leads by example, and is rewarded by extraordinary respect and love from her students.
There were numerous occasions for former art students of Ms. Whalen to gather at her home during the school breaks to share their news, learn a new craft and share a meal. Great teachers form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them as people. Ms. Whalen is an example of one such teacher, always enthusiastic, accessible, thoughtful and above all, passionate about art.
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