May 9, 2013
A Year of Many Honours and Awards for PSD ...
It is quite fitting that I’m writing my monthly message during Education Week, as this week rightfully places our collective focus in Alberta on the innovative and creative practices that we see in teaching and learning in our K-12 schools across the province. Education Week provides a remarkable platform to share our accomplishments, celebrate our successes and to chart the course for a promising future. And, what a promising future we have before us in PSD.
The 2012-2013 school year has been a year of many honours and awards for PSD – our schools, students and staff have been showcased locally, provincially and nationally. And, we’re not just talking a couple of awards – it is almost a daily occurrence when I check my email to see that another PSD administrator, student, school or program has been recognized in some fashion at the provincial or national level.
What I find so inspiring about these acknowledgements for PSD is how they touch on every aspect of our four priorities as a school division – engaging our students, engaging our staff, engaging our community, and stewardship of resources. And, most importantly, while these awards/honours offer well deserved recognition to those involved, I know very well that the real motivation and celebration is about how this translates into what is best for kids – their success and well-being.
Let me provide just a brief snapshot of some of these awards/acknowledgements that I am referencing:
- Brookwood School has been selected as one of 32 finalists (from 123 nominations) for the provincial Emerald Awards. The Emerald Awards are presented each year by the Alberta Emerald Foundation to recognize and celebrate environmental initiatives undertaken by youth, educators, corporations, individuals, not-for-profit associations, community groups and governments. Brookwood School was nominated for the multitude of initiatives that the school created over the past five years to reduce their daily contributions to the local landfill. The entire school community of staff, students, and parents, which numbers over 600 people, works daily to ensure they continue their commitment to decrease the school’s ecological footprint now and in the future.
- Woodhaven School was recently selected as a Nutrition Innovation Award winner. The awards are sponsored by Alberta Milk, Breakfast for Learning Alberta, Dietitians of Canada and Ever Active Schools. Up to seven awards of $1,000 each are given to schools (K-12) in recognition of their creative healthy eating initiatives.
- Parkland Village School’s evolve Project was recently announced as the recipient of the ATA’s Award of Excellence for School-Community Relations. This award is open to qualifying schools that have developed and implemented a school–community relations program or project. The Award of Excellence winner in the school category will receive an engraved plaque and a $300 honourarium.
- I am also pleased to highlight that École Broxton Park School Principal Randy Hetherington and Assistant Principal Bryn Spence are recipients of the Distinguished Leadership Award presented by the Council for School Leadership of the Alberta Teachers' Association. The CSL Distinguished Leadership Awards creates a learning community of outstanding principals and assistant principals throughout Alberta who can share professionally, interact collegially and act as mentors to new colleagues.
While the awards I have outlined above are a brief snapshot of the many accolades we are receiving throughout all of our schools in PSD, they serve to highlight the meaningful and ongoing contributions that you, our PSD staff, make every day in guiding and supporting our students as we strive toward our ultimate goal of student success and well-being. We really couldn’t do it without you. Our award-winning staff and schools always emphasize what is best for our students and what benefits their learning most.
I can’t help but think that our new vision that emphasizes exploration, creativity and imagination is supporting a culture of risk-taking and innovation that we are seeing throughout PSD – creating that place where all learners aspire to reach their dreams. It was Francis of Assisi who said “Start by doing what is necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” With the remarkable effort of our 1,100 staff, in PSD we continue to do the impossible.
Parkland School Division