Four Central Albertan educators win Excellence in Teaching Awards

Four Central Albertan teachers have been recognized with 2009 Provincial Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Four Central Albertan teachers have been recognized with 2009 Provincial Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Karen Vanderwater, Grant Gosse, Thomas Christensen and Lois Spate are among 23 educators who will receive awards May 30 at the Westin Hotel in Edmonton.

The award recipients were chosen from 365 eligible nominees after a committee of representatives looked through letters of support from a colleague, principal, superintendent or member of the public. The awards allow recipients to access up to $4,000 for professional development and are given out each year to honour teachers and principals for their creative and inspiring work.

Karen Vanderwater is both the principal and school librarian at Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School in the Red Deer Public School District. She is the designated special education liaison and looks out for the needs of the school’s special education students.

Vanderwater knows each child in the school and finds a way to teach each one. She encourages a daily music appreciation activity and a school-wide drop everything and read time. Vanderwater shares her skills as a sessional lecturer in the University of Alberta Collaborative B.Ed. Program at Red Deer College.

Grant Gosse serves as the resource room co-ordinator and the Challenge Program leader at St. Patrick’s Community School in the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division. He is known for his infectious laughter and kindness. Gosse seeks progress, not perfection with students, who are often surprised by all that they can accomplish. Through positive reinforcement he encourages and celebrates even the smallest achievements in the students he helps.

Gosse regularly meets with kindergarten to Grade 9 staff to help them with new curriculum, resources and teaching strategies as the learning coach at the school. He acts as relief principal, technology co-ordinator, report card co-ordinator and ATA representative.

Thomas Christensen is the principal and a master social studies teacher at Olds Junior-Senior High School in the Chinook’s Edge School Division. He has facilitated one of five pilot project’s around the province called Youth Empowerment and established a mentoring program that pairs high school and junior high students. He has also helped with the management of the Community Learning Campus on the Olds College Campus site, where Olds High School will eventually open.

Lois Spate is a Grade 1 teacher and an assistant principal at Ponoka Elementary School in the Wolf Creek School Division. Parents describe her as a gentle and energetic teacher and her colleagues say she has admirable leadership qualities, excellent curricular knowledge and a caring teaching style.

Spate has recently been chosen as one of 12 provincial regional assessment advisors for the Alberta Assessment Consortium, which is a not-for-profit organization, which develops a range of assessment materials to enhance student learning and supports teachers with professional development.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

Keaton Wildeboer, of Lacombe, participates in the Westerner Championship Dairy Showcase at Westerner Park on Thursday. More than 150 cattle will be on display at the event, which continues until Saturday, carrying on a tradition started in 1954. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Western Canada’s first dairy showcase since last fall begins in Red Deer

Western Canada’s first dairy showcase since last fall is currently being held… Continue reading

Car thief opening stolen car doors. 
(Black Press File Image)
Idling vehicles attracting thieves, RCMP warns

About one-third of stolen vehicles left idling unattended

Police reveal a collection of drugs, cash and guns seized in an April 2016 bust. One of the men charged was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday.
Advocate file photo
Red Deer man sentenced to 27 months for role in “dial-a-dope” operation

RCMP Priority Crimes Task Force broke up drug operation in April 2016 after four-month investigation

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP’s downtown traffic stops lead to charges

Two traffic stops conducted by Red Deer RCMP officers on bike patrol… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

New York Giants' Evan Engram (88) tumbles after trying to leap over Philadelphia Eagles' Cre'Von LeBlanc (34) as Josh Sweat (94) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Carson Wentz rallies Eagles to 22-21 win over Giants

Carson Wentz rallies Eagles to 22-21 win over Giants

North Carolina State safety Jakeen Harris (6) tackles Virginia wide receiver Terrell Jana (13) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. Jana's last name doesn't appear on the back of his Virginia Cavaliers football jersey as a tribute to enslaved labourers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, The Daily Progress, Erin Edgerton
Canadian receiver Jana’s name missing from jersey to honour enslaved labourers

Canadian receiver Jana’s name missing from jersey to honour enslaved labourers

Tiger Woods hits from the 11th tee during the first round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Munoz in the lead and Woods with his worst score at Sherwood

Munoz in the lead and Woods with his worst score at Sherwood

The national anthem is performed ahead of the inaugural soccer match of the Canadian Premier League between Forge FC of Hamilton and York 9 in Hamilton, Ont. Saturday, April 27, 2019. Canadian Premier League champion Forge FC takes on El Salvador's CD Municipal Limeno in a CONCACAF League preliminary-round match Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett
Forge FC scores late to win CONCACAF League preliminary-round game in El Salvador

Forge FC scores late to win CONCACAF League preliminary-round game in El Salvador

NHL cancels 2021 Minnesota Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend

NHL cancels 2021 Minnesota Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2020, file photo, Mariah Bell performs her senior women's free skate program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C. When U.S. skaters and a few foreigners training in this country kick off the season at Skate America this weekend, it could be a rare opportunity to display their wares. So they will relish the chance to get on the ice for competition, knowing that two Grand Prix series events and the Grand Prix Final have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and prospects of national and word championships being held are uncertain.(AP Photo/Lynn Hey, File)
Skate America opens shortened, coronavirus-impacted season

Skate America opens shortened, coronavirus-impacted season

Kang, Song share lead in LPGA Drive On Championship

Kang, Song share lead in LPGA Drive On Championship

Vegas Golden Knights' Alec Martinez (23) is checked by Vancouver Canucks' Jake Virtanen (18) during first period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on August 23, 2020. The Canucks have signed Virtanen to a two-year contract with an average annual value of US$2.55 million. Virtanen had 36 points and 41 penalty minutes in 69 games in the 2019-20 season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Forward Jake Virtanen signs new two-year deal with hometown Vancouver Canucks

Forward Jake Virtanen signs new two-year deal with hometown Vancouver Canucks

Most Read