The winners of this year’s Excellence in Education Awards were announced during the annual South Slave Divisional Education Council staff in-service, held Aug. 29-30 at Princess Alexandra School. The peer-nominated awards recognize the achievements of recipients from two categories: Program Staff, which includes teachers, administrators, consultants and education assistants; and Partners in Education, which includes support staff, parents, students, volunteers and various other community groups.
Hay River’s Dorie Hanson, a vice-principal and instructional coach at Harry Camsell and Princess Alexandra Schools, is one of two winners of the Program Staff Award. The other is Christie Soucy, a teacher at Joseph Burr Tyrell Elementary School in Ft. Smith.
Hanson has helped significantly improve the literacy scores of students at Princess Alexandra School over the years.
“She works with each individual, seeking to understand what they know and what they are ready to learn, while working to stretch her own and teachers’ expertise,” according to a news release.
She said she owes much of her success to her colleagues.
“This is a collaborative effort between some amazing educators in the building and I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.
She is motivated by positive results, which stem from her students’ involvement.
“I love watching kids do well and improving students success. Everyone here works really hard and in the same direction, and I find that energizing and it keeps me involved.”
Canada’s Governor General David Lloyd Johnston, who visited Ft. Smith last year, delivered a special taped message to the teacher contingency, praising them for helping students improve their literacy and numeracy scores.
“I was inspired to learn about your literary initiative and to hear of the impact it’s having on students,” he said.
“This truly outstanding success is the result of many students, teachers, parents, partners and elders, working together in common cause. This broad approach is an effective way to help students and ultimately, it can build smarter, more caring communities in a fairer, more just Canada.”
More than 150 teachers were on hand for the two-day professional development conference, which offered a variety of workshops, resources and teaching strategies to help teachers sharpen their skills.