Central Alberta teacher nominated for national award

Blackfalds teacher recognized for her work in early childhood education

Meaghan Bouchard, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Iron Ridge Elementary Campus, has been nominated for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. (Photo contributed)

Meaghan Bouchard, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Iron Ridge Elementary Campus, has been nominated for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. (Photo contributed)

A Blackfalds pre-kindergarten teacher has been nominated for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education.

Meaghan Bouchard, a teacher at Iron Ridge Elementary Campus, was nominated for the award that honours outstanding and innovative early childhood educators for their leadership, exemplary early childhood education practices, and their commitment to help build the foundation children need to make the best possible start in life.

Each year, the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education awards up to five Certificates of Excellence and up to 10 Certificates of Achievement. Awards recipients are generally announced in the fall.

“Meaghan’s classroom is intentionally designed to promote a calm, comfortable, and inclusive learning environment. She is a dedicated passionate teacher who creates many opportunities for skill development, play-based learning, social skills, building and nurturing emotional intelligence and fostering critical thinking skills,” said Maureen Schlemko, Iron Ridge Elementary Campus principal.

The Wolf Creek Public School said Bouchard was very quick to organize and establish a successful online program that continued to engage and interest her students and connect with families in 2020 during the pandemic.

“It is an incredibly challenging task to keep pre-school-aged children engaged in online learning, but Meaghan always found new and exciting ways to keep families logging in for our next meet. Her communication skills with parents and her willingness to help with anything families needed made this time successful for all,” Schlemko said.

Bouchard is currently enrolled in Guided Play: Closing the Covid Gap Through High Impact Practices in Early Childhood Settings through the Calgary Regional Consortium.

She has also attended learning/information sessions specialized in speech-language pathology support, and programs for students with developmental speech problems, Apraxia, Autism Spectrum disorder and mild/moderate speech delays.

“Meaghan is a leader and a mentor within Bright Futures Play Academy staff. She has willingly mentored new teachers to the program by meeting with them, sharing resources, answering questions and doing some joint planning,” said Schlemko.

“There is no doubt that she will continue to grow and positively provide leadership to her students, families, colleagues and school community.”



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