Grande Prairie, AB – Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) has nominated Anastasia Potratz, a teacher at Savanna School, for a 2019 Edwin Parr Teacher Award, presented annually by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) in recognition of one outstanding first-year teacher in each of the six ASBA zones.
Ms. Potratz graduated with distinction from Grande Prairie Regional College's Teacher Education North (TEN) Program in 2018 with a Bachelor of Education, Elementary degree. In addition to Grade 4 core subjects, she also teaches Grades 4-9 French and health, and shares responsibility for Grade 4 physical education.
When asked how she felt about the nomination, she admits to having no knowledge of the award until she shared the news with a former professor who was naturally very excited for her.
Reflecting on what it means to be a teacher, she says, "I believe part of being human means making a conscious effort to leave the world a better place – every day."
"For me, being a teacher is part of that view," she adds. "It is my contribution to leaving the world a better place. In action, this means working with students to make sure they are learning; talking with students to make sure they aren't feeling left out; and attempting, in all things, to act with kindness and compassion. As with all goals, I frequently fall short – and then the goal shifts to reflecting on what went wrong, letting it go, and not dwelling on it."
She says her first year of teaching has been busy.
"There is always something going on, something to learn, a situation to deal with. A major portion of a teacher's job takes place outside the classroom, sometimes making it difficult to strike a balance between work, volunteering, and family and friends. My excellent support system, both at home and at work, makes it easier to manage."
In his nomination letter to the awards committee, Savanna School Co-Principal Chris Young said Ms. Potratz's professionalism and competency are shining examples of what a teacher should strive for in their role.
"She shows an authentic passion for inclusive education," adds Mr. Young. "She works tirelessly to meet the needs of all learners. It is the norm to find her diligently searching for resource-based evidence to help develop programming for the differentiated needs presented by the student body."
He adds that during her first year of teaching, Ms. Potratz's ability to build relationships has created a network of resources for the betterment of students and the school. She is a regular face at community events. As a second-degree Karate black belt, she volunteers as the teacher of twice-weekly youth classes at the Kitakaze Martial Arts Club in Spirit River. She has also helped with the school basketball team and is a member of the yearbook committee.
PWPSD Trustees and the Executive Team congratulate Ms. Potratz on her nomination and wish her success as she moves forward to the Zone 1 competition. The winner for the region will be announced at the ASBA Zone 1 Fall General Meeting on September 11 in Peace River, AB.
About the Award
Edwin Parr, past-president of the Alberta School Trustees' Association during 1956-1962, instituted an 'Annual Teacher Award' in his school system. Now presented by the ASBA, formerly the Alberta School Trustees' Association, the Edwin Parr Teacher Award was established in 1964 as a way in which Mr. Parr's memory might be perpetuated, and to honour the profession he so dearly respected.
Each year, the ASBA honours six outstanding first-year teachers with Edwin Parr Awards, representing each ASBA zone. School Boards are restricted to nominating a single candidate for the award. Awards will be presented to the winners at individual zone functions prior to the ASBA Fall General Meeting. For more information, visit http://www.asba.ab.ca.
Photo Caption: Anastasia Potratz, a first-year teacher at Savanna School, is PWPSD's nominee for the 2019 Zone 1 Edwin Parr Teacher Award.