A number of educators in the Kamloops-Thompson school district are finalists in this year's Premier's Awards for Excellence in Education.
"This year's finalists have gone to incredible lengths to help B.C. students inside and outside the classroom,” Premier John Horgan said. “I commend these hard-working education professionals for their leadership, innovation and determination."
Launched in 2018, the annual Premier's Awards for Excellence in Education are an opportunity to recognize the contributions of public, independent and First Nations school system teachers, principals, vice-principals, school and district leaders, and support staff who go above and beyond to make life better for K-12 students in B.C.
This year, 10 awards will be given, with six honouring teachers, two recognizing school and district leaders and two honouring support staff members. The nomination period ran from Jan. 7 to April 30 and 140 nominations were received.
"These awards give us an opportunity to hear amazing stories of the innovation and dedication being shown by our province's finest educators," Minister of Education Rob Fleming said. "Their efforts make schools inclusive, thought-provoking and enjoyable places where B.C. students can thrive."
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 4, the day before World Teachers' Day. Winners will receive a $3,000 personal bursary for professional learning, a $2,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning and a commemorative work of art. Runners-up will receive a certificate of recognition signed by the Premier and Minister of Education.
2019 Premier's Awards for Excellence in Education finalists include:
Indigenous Education Award
• Maria Bruneau, teacher, École Dr. Charles Best secondary, SD43 (Coquitlam)
• Ivy (Qeqeltsin) Chelsea, Indigenous language and culture teacher, Chase secondary/Haldane elementary, SD73 (Kamloops-Thompson)
• Jordan Smith, teacher/program co-ordinator, Twin Rivers Education Centre, SD73 (Kamloops-Thompson)
Technology and Innovation Award
• Brendan Robertson, teacher, École Beairsto elementary, SD22 (Vernon)
• Tammy Tomm, grades 6 and 7 teacher, Columbia Park elementary, SD19 (Revelstoke)
• Denise Underwood, teacher, McGowan Park elementary, SD73 (Kamloops-Thompson)
School Leadership Award
• Carol DeFehr, principal, Juniper Ridge elementary, SD73 (Kamloops-Thompson)
• Brett Hancock, district principal, learning alternatives, SD68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith)
• Troy White, principal, École Kelowna secondary, SD23 (Central Okanagan)
Community Engagement Award
• Alan Gee, teacher, Clarence Fulton secondary, SD22 (Vernon)
• Casey Litton, teacher, Nechako Valley secondary, SD91 (Nechako Lakes)
• Sheila Monroe, teacher, Okanagan Landing elementary, SD22 (Vernon)
Extracurricular Leadership Award
• Sabha Ghani, teacher, Burnaby South secondary, SD41 (Burnaby)
• Paul Lilly, teacher, École Chief Dan George middle, SD34 (Abbotsford)
• Scott Stefanek, teacher, École Brantford elementary, SD41 (Burnaby)
Outstanding New Teacher Award
• Grace Broadfoot, teacher, J.V. Humphries elementary and secondary, SD8 (Kootenay Lake)
• Robert French, teacher, South Central Interior Distance Education school, SD58 (Nicola-Similkameen)
• Prabhjot Grewal, teacher, North Delta secondary, SD37 (Delta)
Social Equity and Diversity Award
• Bryan Gidinski, teacher, Chaffey-Burke elementary SD41 (Burnaby)
• Chad Jobe, co-ordinator/teacher, Vast Centre/Learning Alternatives, SD68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith)
• Antony Wilson, Upper School head of global engagement and service learning, Mulgrave School (International School of Vancouver), West Vancouver
District Leadership Award
• Lisa McCullough, superintendent, SD48 (Sea to Sky)
• Jordan Kleckner, district principal, learning technology, SD23 (Central Okanagan)
• Colleen Minnabarriet, principal, Desert Sands community school, SD74 (Gold Trail)
Outstanding Support — School Community
• Jodi Guy, Indigenous youth care worker, École Phoenix middle, SD72 (Campbell River)
• Dorothy Jones, Indigenous education worker, A.L. Fortune secondary SD83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)
• Wendel Williams, safe school specialist, École Alpha secondary, SD41 (Burnaby)
Outstanding Support — Teaching Assistant
• Elaine Bayles, educational assistant, Glanford middle, SD61 (Greater Victoria)
• Sandra Breslin, educational assistant, Prince Charles elementary, SD34 (Abbotsford)
• Marie Kielpinski, educational assistant, Mount Boucherie secondary, SD23 (Central Okanagan)