A Pigeon Lake Regional School teacher has distinguished herself in the first year of her career.
Chantelle Stewart was named the Edwin Parr Award recipient for Zone 4 recently. Stewart said she wasn’t expecting it.
“I was shocked,” she said June 9 at the school. “It was exciting.” Stewart said it’s very rewarding to see that people acknowledge your work.
She said teaching has been a life goal of hers for many years. “I was pretty young,” she said, when asked when she first started thinking about becoming a teacher. “I was in about Grade 2.” Stewart said she has a special needs brother, so she understands teaching requires skill, effort and patience.
Also, she has other family members who worked in school. “I knew what I was walking into,” she said. “My mom was a teacher’s aide.”
Pigeon Lake School principal Kris Denney said he wasn’t surprised Stewart received the Edwin Parr. “She’s a teacher who brings passion, enthusiasm into our building,” said Denney June 9. “It’s contagious.”
The principal said the students pick up on Stewart’s enthusiasm and respond in kind. He stated the school community recognized this great teacher, and now other people have too. “We’re proud of her,” he added.
Stewart said her favourite part of teaching is working with students and suddenly they get it and have that “ah-ha” moment.
A press release from Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools stated “The annual award recognizes teachers who are new to the profession who show significant promise in their first year.
“The award was presented at an annual awards dinner, hosted this year by Chinook’s Edge School Division. ‘We are always so proud to acknowledge these talented teachers at the beginning of their careers,’ said Connie Huelsman, Zone 4 Chair. ‘Each of the eight nominees show such skill and professionalism, and each is committed to making a positive impact on students. They should all feel proud to be nominated by their School Boards for this award, and we congratulate this year’s Edwin Parr Award recipient for Zone 4.’”
WRPS stated Edwin Parr was an Alberta homesteader who was involved in education for much of his adult life. He instituted the annual teacher award many years ago, and his legacy continues today. Each school board in Alberta may nominate one candidate for consideration at their zone level, and the Alberta School Boards Association then honours zone winners from across the province at their annual fall conference.