A number of local teachers have won prestigious awards.
Teresa Borchers, an English as a Second Language teacher at St. Patrick’s Community School and Suzanne Bleaken, teacher with the Aboriginal Family and School Frontline Program in Red Deer have both received a 2010 Excellence in Teaching Awards.
“It’s very much an honour to be recognized for something that I love to do,” said Borchers. “I’m just so fortunate to be here at St. Pats where there is amazing administration and staff and students. It’s a joy.”
Borchers began teaching in 1997 and she taught for nine years in Whitecourt before coming to Red Deer.
“I love teaching and I’ve always dreamed since I was a little kid of being a teacher and here I am,” she said. “I’m very passionate about working with kids and creating activities that will help them in their learning. Here it is primarily helping them learn English. I work with some students who have just moved to Canada and who don’t know any English whatsoever and some who haven’t had any schooling. It’s a bit of a shock to them. I also work with students who have been in Canada for seven years.”
Bleaken, who has been a teacher for 20 years, said she is honoured to have received the award.
“It’s both an honour and very humbling,” she said. “I think the thing we sometimes forget is to be impactful on a child’s life we have to work together. I received the award but there are many influential people in that child’s life.”
Both Borchers and Bleaken received a $4,000 professional development allowance to better their teaching skills.
Borchers and Bleaken were amongst 21 other Alberta teachers who were recognized with a 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award.
The awards are given to those who have been nominated. They are then selected by a committee of representatives from Alberta’s education community.
This year there were 338 eligible nominees.
Meanwhile, Darcie McDonald, a teacher at St. Patrick’s Community School is a finalist for this year’s Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History and Paulette Hanna, superintendent of schools with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, is the provincial winner of this year’s EXL Award sponsored by the Canadian Association of School Administrators (CASA) and Xerox Canada Ltd.