When we think of excellence in education, our inclination is to think of teachers. This is not so with the Wetaskiwin Rotary Club’s project called “The Excellence in Education Award”. This award is open to teachers, teacher assistants, secretaries, librarians, custodians and other staff, parents, students and volunteers.
Karen Hok, business manager, Wetaskiwin Composite High School, one of the recipients, shared her feelings about being selected for the award by her peers. “I work with an amazing team of individuals at WCHS. No one understands your role and its demands more than your co-workers so to be recognized by them is a true honour.”
To be nominated (one per city school) the candidate must exemplify the Rotary “Four Way Test” by the way in which they perform their daily tasks. The test includes 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? and 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Rotary Secretary Dana Badke describes the importance Rotary places on the awards. “This project provides our club and the entire school community with the opportunity to recognize all individuals who do great things for our children. The project is designed to recognize anyone who contributes in a meaningful way to the education of the children at each school.”
The 2015 winners included:
Jamie Befus, C.B. McMurdo School serves as a parent volunteer at the CB McMurdo Parent Council and Educational Booster Fundraising Society. Jamie goes above and beyond to make sure staff feel appreciated in every possible way and has been known to leave sweet treats in the staff room for a quick pick-me-up. She willingly volunteers for school events and continues to share positive messages about the great things she sees occurring in our learning community.
Latisha Dingman, Centennial School has worked as the Maskwacis Wahkotowin liaison for two years. She has committed a tremendous amount of time and effort in building positive relationships with students, staff, parents and the Maskwacis community. Working with and involving Elders and community role models, Latisha has developed a rich and varied program of opportunities for all students at Centennial including arts and crafts, drumming, cultural performances and student leadership.
Shauna Satre at Norwood School plays an active role as a teaching assistant in the Norwood School community. She has been instrumental in facilitating an intensive Math and Language group for students who require this. Shauna was also very supportive in the Norwood LAP program, when there was a staffing transition mid-year. Shauna is also active in organizing and supervising the Norwood patrollers as well as organizing the tetra recycling program.
Joanne Walker, École Parkdale School supports the school staff with the delivery of programs but is also very diligent in the support that she provides to students. She makes phone calls to wake families up starting at 7:30 in the morning. Breakfast is served daily to students, and Joanne greets them with a warm smile and a bowl of cereal, all while forming relationships with the students and making them feel a part of the school community. She often reaches out to community organizations to support the school families as well.
Shelly Rule, Sacred Heart School has been a part of the Sacred Heard family for the past 31 years. She was the Sacred Heart School Librarian for 20 of those years, and the school Secretary for 10. Shelly is a beautiful person who you will first meet upon entering the school. Shelly is the “pulse of the heart” in Sacred Heart School.
Grace Krook, Clear Vista School has been the pre-school teacher and a teaching assistant at Clear Vista School for a number of years. Grace has worked in various teaching assistant positions ranging from kindergarten to the division special needs program. Grace is always willing to put the extra effort into additional tasks that she is called upon to assist with for the betterment of the students of Clear Vista School.
Nelda Layton, École Queen Elizabeth Junior High is the learning support teacher at École Queen Elizabeth School. Her role is to assist teachers to help students with their various learning styles and needs. She spends countless extra hours during weeknights and on weekends ensuring that student needs are met and maintained in the school. Nelda has a gentle way about her which offers comfort to the students who often struggle within a classroom setting and she has a reassuring way with parents and staff.
Karen Hok, Wetaskiwin Composite High School manages the administrative assistants at WCHS, and her leadership skills have enabled the development of an amazing team. Her professional performance is impeccable and her knowledge is incredible. Karen is patient, detail oriented and goes out of her way to meet the needs of all. Whether she is helping a past grad from 1985, or tracking every dollar spent in a multi-million dollar budget, Karen does an excellent job.