A Red Deer College electrician instructor was named one of the top instructors in the province by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board.
Terry Welch, of Red Deer, received the 2016 Top Instructor Award for the south region on Friday.
Based on nominations, the award only recognizes two instructors in Alberta, one from the north and one from the south, and is presented to apprenticeship and industry training instructors who have performed above and beyond the regular requirements of their roles.
Welch was nominated by a former student who wrote that Welch was the best teacher he ever had and, “did more for us than just have us pass our trades qualification: he taught me so much about how to be a better electrician.”
“Terry is outstanding because he is passionate about his trade and his students,” the student wrote.
Welch, an RDC alumnus, said he can’t imaging doing anything else.
“I knew coming through fourth year that I wanted to come back and teach someday. I was in the field for a few years and an opportunity came up. I was hooked. I wanted to stay. I absolutely loved it,” said Welch who has been an RDC instructor since 2007.
“It’s helping people get somewhere, to improve, to help them push farther than they thought they could,” said Welch who was honoured to receive the award.
He said it’s a great moment when a student finally grasps a concept.
“It’s huge. It’s hard to explain.”
Electrician students have a lot to learn, but there are only 16 students per class so instructors can connect with students and provide individual attention, he said.
Outside the classroom, Welch has applied his knowledge and skills by volunteering as the trainer for RDC’s Electrical competitor for World Skills International Competition in 2008-09 and he travelled to Haiti in 2015 to assist Haiti Arise Vocational College set up an electrical lab space and improve its curriculum.
Welch has coached Red Deer Minor Hockey since 2007 and has been with RDC Kings Hockey for the last four years, taking on the role of video coach this past season.