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The Board Connection

December 27, 2017

Education is a collaborative effort. It takes more than just one teacher. It even takes more than a whole school full of teachers, staff and students. Educating a child is a partnership between the school system, parents, government and community organizations. Earlier this month, Edmonton Public Schools celebrated some of these partnerships during our annual District Recognition Awards.

These annual awards give us a chance to celebrate the students, staff and community partners who make Edmonton Public Schools a great place for kids. This year, with the help of our event sponsor, Scotiabank, we honoured a dozen individual parent and community volunteers who helped students achieve success at school and beyond. We celebrated the work of 13 teams of parents, community partners and students who put in special efforts in the past year. We also recognized a number of staff and staff teams.

As Board Chair, I was so honoured to be involved in the Dec. 6 ceremony and am so proud of the work happening in our schools. What stood out for me was hearing the stories of the staff members going the extra mile, teams working to support kids in school and the community members who give so much of their time in Edmonton Public Schools, making a difference, each and every day.

During the ceremony we heard about Dianne Walker, who has volunteered at Brightview School for more than 20 years, usually helping out in a Kindergarten classroom. And Heidi Nott, who has taken on just about every volunteer role at Lendrum School at one time or another.

We heard about Georgina Lawrence and her golden retriever, Harlow, who visit students at Strathcona High during “exam week dog therapy,” which helps all students manage their stress and anxiety during final exam time.

Georgina Lawrence and her dog, Harlow, receiving a District Recognition Award from Trustee Sherry Adams and Superintendent Darrel Robertson.

There’s also the Kildare Parent Support Society, a dedicated group of volunteers who raise funds and organize field trips, guest speakers and many after school programs. They also organize community celebrations, like an annual Thanksgiving dinner for over 400 students in the Mandarin Bilingual program

Volunteers from the Kildare KISS Team receiving a District Recognition Award from Trustee Nathan Ip and Superintendent Darrel Robertson.

There are dozens of other people who were recognized this year, either individually or as part of a team, and I wish I had the space to tell you about each of them. Learn about all our recipients in the District Recognition Award Program.

I have no doubt there are dozens, if not hundreds, more who are working diligently and quietly to make Edmonton Public Schools the best possible place for children to learn. They may not have been nominated for an award, but their work is no less important. Without the daily collaboration between more than 8,600 staff, 98,900 students, thousands of parents, and hundreds of organizations and businesses we could not provide the outstanding education we’re currently able to.

To all those who help out, in ways both big and small, the Board of Trustees’ thank you. We could not do our work without you.