Red Deer has two new award-winning educators and they both teach at Red Deer Public Schools’ Glendale Sciences and Technology School.
Grade 2 teacher Ashton Lutz and Grade 7 teacher Amy Mathison are recipients of Prime Minister’s Awards, Canada’s highest honour for teachers and early childhood educators.
The awards celebrate outstanding and innovative elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines. Recipients are recognized for their remarkable educational achievements and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation‑based economy.
“Educators play a foundational role in our children’s lives and help them grow into thriving adults,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who announced the 72 recipients of the Prime Minister Awards for Teaching Excellence, Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and for Excellence in Early Childhood Education.
“During my time as a teacher, I met so many outstanding educators who dedicate their lives to inspiring the next generation of leaders in classrooms right across the country. To the teachers and educators we are recognizing today, I would like to say thank you for everything you do and congratulations.”
The awards are offered annually at the national (Certificate of Excellence) and regional (Certificate of Achievement) levels.
Lutz was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in recognition of her leadership in new learning approaches and her success in harnessing the power of educational technology.
“Ashton is a school leader. As an avid learner and implementer of new learning, Ashton’s style is to lead by example. Her classroom stands as proof of concept of what is possible in education,” said a statement about the award recipients.
She facilitates the connections between the Grade 2 curriculum and the daily lives of her students in order to fully engage each and every one of them.
Lutz recognizes the importance of establishing a direct and relevant connection with the digital world with her young students. By harnessing the power of educational technology, she engages her students, deepens their understanding, expands their creativity, and helps them solve problems.
She has also developed a guided science fair research project called “The Insect Research Report” for students to build a foundation of technology literacy that will grow with them over the remainder of their academic life and beyond.
Mathison was awarded a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of her commitment to the success of her students, both as learners and as members of their community.
“Amy is driven, passionate and hardworking. I believe that her keen interest and talent in teaching mathematics has led many students to succeed in areas that they never felt they could. Her love for math goes hand in hand with her desire for all students to learn it at the deepest level possible,” said a statement about the award recipients.
As a Grade 7 and 8 math teacher, all of her students are mathematicians in her classroom. By applying her unique approach of engagement and curiosity, her students become excited about the content and are able to perform at high levels.
Mathison’s strength in building relationships with students naturally brought her to lead the school’s Positive Behaviour Intervention and Supports committee and she ushered in the school’s new ‘Character Education’ program which focuses on students’ Gladiator ARMOUR (Achievement, Respect, Mindfulness, Openness, Unity and Resilience) and organized the school’s first and subsequent School Pep/Spirit assemblies that teach ARMOUR traits and celebrate them with the students.