Educator Impact Award Recipients (June 2024)

Congratulations to the Inaugural Recipients of the SRCE Educator Impact Awards Celebrating Educator Excellence
Posted on 06/10/2024
The Educator Impact Award certificate with gold and navy borders. The Strait Regional Centre for Education logo is at the top left.The Strait Regional Centre for Education recently launched the Ideas for Education pilot project, Educator Impact Awards, to celebrate educator excellence and recognize educators whose professional practices positively and significantly impact student well-being, achievement and success. The theme for this year is Equitable Assessment Practices and recognizes educators who implement innovative and effective teaching practices to foster equity and inclusion in their classroom and work practices.

On behalf of the Strait Regional Centre for Education, I congratulate the first recipients of the Educator Impact Awards and thank them for their commitment to equitable assessment practices. We appreciate and value the significant impact they are making as an educator in fostering student success,” said Paul Landry, Regional Executive Director of Education.

Congratulation to the following very deserving educators of the inaugural SRCE Educator Impact Awards:

Julie Jean, Antigonish Education Centre
Julie is working as a Literacy Support Teacher at Antigonish Education Centre. She is passionate about incorporating meaningful ways for students to communicate their comprehension of the reading instruction she facilitates. Julie provides her students with immediate feedback and students are always willing to engage and eager to please as a result. Increasing student independence is always a goal.

Amy Touesnard, Bayview Education Centre
Amy is a Grade 2 Teacher at Bayview Education Centre. She strives to provide students with varied methods of assessment and teaching strategies to best meet their individual learning styles. She consistently uses resources to reflect the diversity of her students and provides feedback and support to help students succeed by providing additional resources, guidance and opportunities for revision based on students’ individual needs.

Andrew Clarey, Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy
Andrew teaches Math and Science at the high school level at Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy, and has also taught at the junior high school level. Andrew has been exploring alternative assessment types to better meet the needs of students. He has, for the past couple years, presented students with hands-on labs and choice for the final assessment in Grade 10 Science. Students engaged in problem solving, trial and error, and safety protocols. This format covered a variety of outcomes where students were able to draw, write, and infer information on the content covered in the course. Students were able to choose from a combination of mini-labs and assignments to complete their final assessment.

Alicia Mills, Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy
Alicia is a leader who provides support to students and colleagues at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy. Alicia teaches Math courses to junior and senior high school students and also provides support through a Math Intervention role. She has embraced the Building Thinking Classrooms framework and always has ‘success criteria” visible to all who enter the classroom. Alicia builds strong relationships with students which allows her to have a good understanding of their knowledge and build a plan for how to best move them forward. Alicia fosters a growth mindset in her teaching practices and encourages students to take ownership of their learning.

Melissa Cummings, Dalbrae Academy
Melissa teaches Global History 12, Canadian History 11, Law 12, Sociology 12 and English 10 at Dalbrae Academy. She consistently uses culturally-responsive assessments to allow students to express their knowledge in a manner that works best for them. She incorporates choice and varied timelines so students can be successful.

Penny Samson, Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School
Penny teaches Pre-IB and IB French courses at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School. She prioritizes getting to know all students in her learning space. Building relationships and understanding who they are, what they stand for, and things that are dear to them are all factors that contribute to Penny's equitable assessment practices. Engaging and motivating students to shine as individuals is at the heart of what Penny does daily. Criteria, rubrics and assessment scales are all tools Penny uses regularly with students, she works hard to ensure that she is able to provide each student immediate feedback on their work to help them move forward and strive to produce their best work.

Lisa McNamara, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy
Lisa teaches Grades 4 to 9 Core French, Citizenship 9 and Art 10 at East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy. She is described as a special teacher who focuses on culturally-responsive assessment and has a passion for making sure students feel seen, safe and able to successfully demonstrate their learning. Lisa gives her students choices to best show their learning and because of this, students take ownership of their learning and work hard to complete tasks.

Gaye Middleton, East Richmond Education Centre
Gaye is a Grade Primary/1 teacher at East Richmond Education Centre. She continuously monitors student achievement against indicators and outcomes for the grade level. Gaye uses the school developed writing assessment to monitor student success as well as the writing rubrics provided on the Nova Scotia Curriculum website. Gaye uses the University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI) and running records to design learning activities and instructional materials that meet students where they are and helps them grow in their literacy skills. Gaye always ensures her students have what they need to be successful.

Renata Bouchie, Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy
Renata is described as a phenomenal Grade Primary/1 Teacher at Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy. She uses data to frame her instruction which is designed to meet all learners where they are and plan for their ongoing success. Renata meticulously records a lesson plan for each day which aligns with the learning outcomes, the student success plan and the students’ interests to provide engaging and exciting learning experiences for all. Assessment for learning is done every day and embedded throughout all activities and lessons. Renata is a strong promoter of “Best Work” and can often be heard encouraging students to do their best work and to be proud of it. “Best Work Celebrations” are regularly shared with parents, guardians, members of the school community and school administration. Students in Renata’s class are ready to learn and have a great deal of fun along their pathway to success.

Jennifer Burch, Felix Marchand Education Centre
Jennifer creates a safe space at Felix Marchand Education Centre where she teaches Grade 3/4 Integrated English Language Arts and Reading Recovery. In addition, as the Literacy Hybrid Teacher, she creates an environment where students are willing to take risks in their learning. Jennifer prioritizes questioning and developing tasks and activities to determine what her students are successful with and with what they may need more support. Jennifer tailors assessments and practices to support students in their learning journey. Each lesson, whether it is small group, whole class or individual, is designed for the learners in her class. She is able to adapt the lesson to meet the specific needs of students and does an exceptional job of creating multiple ways of showing and knowing while maintaining high expectations.

Julie Hicks, H.M. MacDonald Elementary School
Julie teaches Integrated Language Arts and Math in a Grade 1/2 classroom at H.M. MacDonald Elementary School. She continuously monitors student success and is always able to describe how her students are doing and has data to inform her instructional practices. Julie uses this formative assessment data to create mini-instructional groups based on learning needs to strengthen student understanding. Julie offers multiple opportunities and ways for students to show their knowledge. She consistently reflects upon the learning strategies she chooses to support student learning. Julie discusses and demonstrates numerous ways of approaching problem-solving to allow students to identify, as a learner, strategies that work best for them.

Laura Ryan, Inverness Education Centre/Academy
Laura is a Grade 3 Teacher at Inverness Education Centre/Academy who employs a strategic approach to student assessment, utilizing data to foster individualized learning and student success. Laura's commitment to one-on-one interaction with her students allows her to provide personalized feedback and targeted support, ensuring every student receives the attention and guidance they require to thrive. By implementing small group instruction as a regular practice, Laura gains valuable insights into her students' strengths and areas for growth. Through ongoing observation and assessment, she develops a deep understanding of each student's learning style, preferences and academic needs. In addition, Laura emphasizes the importance of revisiting content regularly, recognizing that mastery is a process that requires reinforcement and practice over time. By leveraging assessment data to inform her instructional decisions and tailor her teaching approach to the unique needs of each student, Laura creates an inclusive and supportive learning environment where every student has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Shaun Kennedy, Richmond Education Centre/Academy
Shaun teaches Canadian History 11, Communication Technology 11/12, Health and Human Services 12 and Sociology 12 at Richmond Education Centre/Academy. He prioritizes getting to know students and understanding their individual learning styles and needs. Shaun encourages students to demonstrate their learning in a wide variety of ways. Students respect him for this approach and, as a result, they are engaged in his classes and enjoy learning. He clearly outlines expectations and success criteria with students and encourages them to push themselves.

Chris Martins, St. Andrews Consolidated School
Chris teaches Grade 4 at St. Andrews Consolidated School. He is actively engaged with students and builds meaningful relationships with them allowing him to connect on a school and personal level. Chris involves students in the assessment and evaluation process creating more ownership and engagement. Expectations and outcomes are clearly explained and reviewed with students and, when necessary, Chris will adapt, modify or further explain so all learners are successful. He is constantly moving throughout the classroom prompting and encouraging students while giving descriptive feedback for deeper understanding.

Cory MacNeil, SAERC
Cory teaches a variety of subjects in the English Language Arts and Social Studies subjects along with providing English as an Additional Language support to students at the Strait Area Education Recreation Centre (SAERC). Cory's approach to assessment is an excellent example of culturally-responsive practice and individualized program planning. He uses a variety of assessment methods and incorporates hands-on, movement-based activities to ensure all students can engage meaningfully with the material, regardless of their learning style. He provides multiple options for assessment, including traditional pen-and-paper tasks, artwork, oral presentations, projects and use of technology to accommodate different preferences and abilities among students and ensure equitable opportunities for demonstrating understanding. Cory creates an inclusive learning environment where every student can thrive and showcase their knowledge effectively.

Morgan Gero, St. Andrew Junior School
Morgan is an outstanding educator who focuses on teaching students and supporting other classroom teachers in Culturally Responsive Practices and Pedagogy at St. Andrew Junior School. Morgan uses backward design in her classroom planning where she allows students to identify the learning goal, determines what students already know, then designs activities based on what students need to support their success. This classroom design plan is responsive to the learning needs of all students and fosters a collaborative approach between student and teacher helping to move students from dependent to independent learning.

Ruth McGinn, St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy
Ruth is a true leader at the elementary level at St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy where she is a Grade 1 Teacher. She has a willingness to consistently strive to reach all learners demonstrating diversity and professionalism in the universal design of learning. Ruth demonstrates care and compassion for all students and provides a multitude of learning opportunities promoting growth and development, both academically and socially. Ruth is a true professional who aligns assessment for and of learning creating a safe, positive and effective environment allowing students to achieve their highest potential. Ruth fosters a fantastic learning environment. Ruth has the ability to reach students through positive constructive conversation, modeling and emphasizing student engagement to reach their highest potential.

Nicole Campbell, Tamarac Education Centre
Nicole teaches Grade 7/8 Math and Healthy Living at Tamarac Education Centre. She uses assessment data to understand the strengths and challenges of each student which in turn drives student success. Nicole uses formative assessment to help students gain confidence which leads to the further development of independence and ownership.

Shelly Campbell, Whycocomagh Education Centre
Shelly supports all teachers at Whycocomagh Education Centre through her role as a Math Hybrid Teacher. As the Math Hybrid Teacher, she develops, organizes and helps interpret student Math data. She models assessment practices to help support other staff with their assessment practices. Shelly also uses Short Cycle Planning to help staff follow and/or use new strategies to assess students and use this data to support their teaching. She communicates with students in Grade 7/8 Math and Gaelic Language classes by posting learning goals on her visual slide at the beginning of each class. She then reviews the learning outcome with the students at the end of the class to make sure they all understood. Shelly meets students where they are in their learning and supports them on their learning journey.

Educators will be nominated by school administration or a regional staff supervisor. The Award will be presented twice a year based on a theme that aligns with the SRCE System Improvement Plan and the Nova Scotia Teaching Standards.

Educator Impact Award recipients will be celebrated at the school level with students whose learning has been impacted by their professional practices.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.