Provincial Grad Rate Increases 8.5 Per Cent: Allan
The annual Celebration of Excellence in Teaching awards were announced today by Education Minister Nancy Allan as part of Education Week 2010, a week-long tribute to educators across the country.
“Education Week is a fitting time to recognize Manitoba educators who inspire students to stretch their imaginations and keep trying when new skills or concepts are difficult to learn,” Allan said. “This year’s award recipients deserve to be recognized for their exceptional contributions and for inspiring in their students a love of learning and the confidence to follow their dreams.”
Teachers and administrators in partnership with the provincial government have worked hard to help improve graduation rates and develop new, innovative ways to increase student success, the minister said. Some school and community partnerships support mentoring while others offer a safe, comfortable place to do homework. Schools have worked with immigrant, war affected and Aboriginal students who were at risk of dropping out of school. The combined efforts have seen Manitoba’s graduation rate increase to 80.9 per cent in 2009 from 72.4 per cent in 2001.
“This increase can be attributed in part to innovative programs and mentoring supports already set up in schools and communities to encourage students to stay in school,” Allan said. “I congratulate students, teachers and administrators in schools and school divisions, along with trustees and parents, on achieving this success.”
Awards were handed out in six categories: three teaching excellence awards, one for outstanding new teacher, one for outstanding school leader and one for team collaboration.
The teaching excellence awards category was divided into early, middle and senior years. Dawn Gunter from Centennial School in the Lord Selkirk School Division received the award for early years; Scott Stephenson of Onanole Elementary in the Rolling River School Division received the award for middle years; and Roberta Mitchell of St. John’s-Ravenscourt School received the award for senior years.
The award for outstanding new teacher went to Jason Hofer, of Hofer School, Greenwald Hutterite Colony, in the Sunrise School Division. Hofer is the first recipient from a colony school to receive a minister’s award for excellence in teaching.
Three educators from Rosser Elementary School in the Interlake School Division – principal Wendy Fielder and teachers Dayna Quinn-LaFleche and Margaret Wonko – received the team collaboration award. The award for outstanding school leader went to Barbara Miller of Alexander School in the Brandon School Division.
“Many of us recall that one special teacher who made a difference in our lives, the teacher who pointed us in the right direction when we floundered and taught us to trust ourselves,” said Allan. “I applaud each individual nominated for an award. Thank you for working daily to ensure our young people have the skills and capabilities to make good decisions about their futures and the world around them.”
Each recipient received a minister’s award certificate of recognition and a $500 cash award at a luncheon held at the Legislative Building today. The recipients’ schools also received $500 each for projects or equipment. Partners in this endeavour included the Manitoba School Boards Association, the Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools and the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils.