Peace Wapiti Public School Division's (PWSD) Board of Trustees honoured their 2016 Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominee and Rotary Clubs of Grande Prairie for their contributions to education during the annual Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Zone One awards luncheon in Peace River on September 22.
Geoff Berg, a Grade 3 teacher at Clairmont Community School (CCS), who was named PWSD's 2016 Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominee in March, was honoured along with fellow nominees from other Zone One School Boards. The annual award recognizes one outstanding first-year teacher from each Board.
"Mr. Berg demonstrates his appreciation for individual differences by going the extra mile to ensure all students are learning," says CCS Principal Kevin Elias. "Through varied instruction and willingness to try new things, Mr. Berg has created an exceptional, interactive learning environment for his class. His willingness to see the best in each student, while challenging them to succeed, is truly a gift."
During his first year of teaching, Mr. Berg became immersed in the school's extracurricular activities and community events. In addition to planning activities to promote rapport among students and staff, he helped to organize the school's basketball team and also coached the soccer team.
Mr. Berg says he was honoured to be nominated for the award by people he respects immensely as educators. "The support I received during my first year has been fundamental, and I am constantly inspired by the staff at CCS and what is being accomplished throughout PWSD. I find great joy in coming into the classroom each day and feel very fortunate to be part of the environment which has been built at CCS. Edwin Parr was an educator who truly understood the impact teachers can have on kids, and to be nominated for an award in his honour is very meaningful to me."
Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs were also recognized at the event, receiving PWSD's annual Friends of Education Award. The award recognized four local Rotary Clubs – Grande Prairie After Five, Grande Prairie Rotary, Grande Prairie Sunrise, and Grande Prairie Swan City – for their focus on supporting youth and education. Nominations for the award are by Board motion, with each Zone One Board acknowledging an organization.
During the award presentation, PWSD Board Chair Dana McIntosh said, "Rotary Clubs are committed to service, fellowship, diversity, integrity and leadership. They are united by common values and vision, and work to tackle challenges at the local and the global level. Support of education is one of the six areas of Rotary focus, and Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs truly demonstrate outstanding leadership and competence in this area."
At the school level, Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs support students in developing leadership skills through Interact Clubs. Additional opportunities offered outside of school include Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp, the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) Conference, scholarships, and international exchange opportunities. Rotary Clubs also support an extensive list of community-based initiatives which impact youth, including the popular Mighty Peace Day event. Rotary Excellence in Education Awards recognize educational leaders in the school system.
"We are grateful to the Rotary Clubs of Grande Prairie for the work they do in our schools and beyond, and especially for the way in which their programs work toward shaping the next generation as ethical citizens," adds Ms. McIntosh. "Congratulations to Mr. Berg on his Edwin Parr Teacher Award nomination. We are thrilled to have him as a member of the PWSD team and wish him the best as he embarks on his second year of teaching and extracurricular involvement at Clairmont Community School."
1. Geoff Berg, PWSD's 2016 Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominee (right) with Clairmont Community School Principal Kevin Elias (left).
2. Dana McIntosh, PWSD Board Chair (left) with Sheldon Rowe (right), PWSD Superintendent and Rotarian, who accepted the 2016 PWSD Friends of Education Award on behalf of the Rotary Clubs of Grande Prairie.
Photos courtesy of High Prairie School Division. For additional photos from this event, visit the PWSD Facebook page.