Peace Wapiti Public School Division’s (PWSD) Board of Trustees honoured a new teacher and a local organization for their contributions to education during the annual Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Zone One awards ceremony in Peace River on Wednesday, September 24.
Joshua Kostanuick, a Career and Technology Studies (CTS) teacher at Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) in Grande Prairie, was honoured along with fellow Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominees from other Zone One school boards. The annual award recognizes one outstanding first-year teacher from each school board.
Noted for his positive and innovative approach to education, Mr. Kostanuick has immersed himself in the culture of Peace Wapiti Academy. As head coach of the school’s football team, the PWA Titans, he facilitated the merger of the team with Beaverlodge Regional High School’s team. He is also the lead teacher for two of the school’s extracurricular clubs – Christians in Action and the Remote Control Car Club. Despite his busy schedule, Mr. Kostanuick also finds time to volunteer as treasurer for the Mighty Peace Football League and judges the local 4-H public speaking event.
Joshua Kostanuick says it is an honour to represent Peace Wapiti Public School Division. “I am blessed at PWA to be surrounded by administration and staff who allow me to be myself. Now in my second year, I am starting to see the fruits of my labour – the football team is 2-1, my construction and automotive classes are flowing smoothly, and the Christians in Action and Remote Control Car clubs have increased in numbers. I believe relationships are key to a successful teaching career. Every day I try to create memories with my students that they will remember for a lifetime. I love my job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” adds Mr. Kostanuick.
The County of Grande Prairie’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) team was also recognized at the ASBA event, receiving a Friends of Education Award for their contribution to the improvement of education for PWSD students. Nominations for the Friends of Education Award are by Board motion, with each Board in Zone One acknowledging an organization.
“FCSS is a dedicated group that goes far beyond the scope of their job description to contribute to the safe and caring culture of PWSD’s school communities. The group offers supports to assist the social and emotional development of students, which in turn benefits all students and school staff,” says Dana McIntosh, PWSD Board Chair.
“Our FCSS program has always enjoyed a tremendous partnership with Peace Wapiti Public School Division,” says Kathleen Turner, Director of FCSS for the County of Grande Prairie, who accepted the award on behalf of her team. “We all recognize that our playschool programs and our school liaison counselors benefit our students and our families, and that working together to make sure these programs continue is vital to their success. We are grateful to the PWSD School Board for nominating FCSS for this award,” adds Ms. Turner.
“On behalf of Peace Wapiti Public School Division, I express our appreciation to FCSS for their contributions to students in our Division,” adds Ms. McIntosh. “We congratulate Mr. Kostaniuk for his Edwin Parr Teacher Award nomination. His outstanding dedication is evident both in the classroom and on the field. We are thrilled to have him as a member of the PWSD team and wish him all the best as he embarks on his second year of teaching and coaching at PWA.”