Celebrating exceptional teachers and welcoming the new dean of education at Homecoming 2011
The Education Alumni Association (EAA) congratulates exceptional teachers, outstanding teacher candidates, and welcomes Dean Robert B. Macmillan to the Faculty of Education at Education Homecoming 2011. Education Homecoming took place at the Faculty of Education, Fort Garry Campus, on September 14, 2011.
Homecoming was well attended and hosted many alumni, students and their families, faculty members, and leaders from Manitoba Education, Manitoba Teachers Society, Manitoba First Nations Educational Resource Centre, Manitoba School Boards Association, Manitoba Association of School Superintendents, Treaty Commissioner, the Council of School Leaders, and many other valued colleagues in the field. In addition, Dr. Gerald Farthing, Deputy Minister of Education and Ms. Aileen Nadjuch, Assistant Deputy Minister of Education offered special greetings on behalf of Manitoba Education.
Dr. Macmillan was warmly welcomed by representatives of the faculty, staff, students, and by a member of the field, Dr. August Konkel, President of Providence College. In his response, Dr. Macmillan expressed his admiration of the welcoming and positive spirit of Manitoba’s education community by stating that, “The warmth of the people more than compensated for any bad weather that I experienced in January and February during the interview period. In fact, I only remember the sunshine.”
On a more serious note, Dr. Macmillan also addressed the challenges of high expectations, the financial crises, shifting economies, population shifts, and technological advancements that face education and communities today. He encouraged the audience to not only think differently about these challenges, but to also think creatively and divergently through global opportunities and by fostering a social conscience in students and their communities. He then demonstrated how, at the Faculty of Education, we are tackling these challenges by offering courses on sustainable education, international opportunities in order to offer a global perspective and by proactively working to integrate technology into all of courses.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Macmillan acknowledged the audience’s community spirit and mutual goals to advance education in Manitoba. “I am optimistic that we have the ability to address the challenges beyond those ways I’ve outlined. I also believe that the Faculty will be able to provide the concerted effort and enthusiasm to improve education in Manitoba. With all of us involved, these efforts will be greatly enhanced.”
The EAA completed the evening by handing out awards to outstanding students and exceptional teachers. One of three $1,000 EAA Student Scholarship’s was awarded to Senior Years teacher candidate, Kale Bonham for her work with inner city youth. Kale created and coordinates an after school art program called Creative Expressions that provides a safe place for students to express themselves and is held in partnership with the anti-gang program Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO). A second scholarship was awarded to Senior Years teacher candidate Justin Larkins for his generosity of spirit in the Winnipeg community and for his volunteerism in Ecuadorian schools. While in Ecuador, Justin worked with teachers to help them integrate low resource games in their classrooms to improve student health. The third scholarship was again provided to a Senior Years teacher candidate, Haley Sigurdson, for her work with the Bison’s Against Bullying organization as a member of the Bison’s track and field team and her commitment to youth through coaching, officiating, and as a respite worker.
The EAA Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Early Years teacher, Ms. Kimberly Dawn Siwak for her positive and creative contributions to education during her first 10 years as a teacher. Described by a colleague as “Inquisitive and insightful,” she has demonstrated leadership among her peers by initiating a program to help students with behavioral issues make a more positive transition into school, and her implementation of a new school-based study team on Attachment Disorder, through the works of Dr. Gordon Neufeld.
The final EAA award for the evening, the Dean J.M. Brown Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education, was presented to Coralie Bryant for her dedication to a life of learning and educational leadership. Diane Drawbridge, the EAA President, explained that, “We selected Ms. Bryant for this award as a result of her career long commitment to the professional growth of educators and education administrators in Manitoba. Ms. Bryant has been a teacher, principal, program consultant, instructor, adjunct professor, assistant superintendent, and is currently the executive director of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents (MASS). In each role, she has been instrumental in providing professional development (PD) and mentorship opportunities. In addition, Ms. Bryant has also helped to conceptualize and make possible relevant conferences for all educators including the recent Social Justice Conference.”
To cap off the evening the EAA provided refreshments, while guests mingled and enjoyed the musical performances of Andrea Klymochko (viola) and Buffy Andrews (violin) of the Hesed String Quartet, The Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music. In addition guests were invited to view the contemporary artworks produced by Manitoba secondary students. These works were recently been exhibited as part of Experimenta!, an international conference and Triennial Art Exhibition in Tallinn, Estonia. For more information on the Canadian Experimenta! submission visit the Faculty of Education News Blog
For more information about the Education Alumni Association or Education Homecoming, please visit the Alumni, Faculty of Education webpage.