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Excellence in education recognizedAwards presented by South Slave school board
Northern News Services
Published Monday, Sept 03, 2012
On Aug. 29, they were each presented with Excellence in Education Awards for 2012 by the South Slave Divisional Education Council.
The winners are a group of elders and others who were recognized for their efforts in creating a dictionary for the Fort Resolution dialect of the Chipewyan language; Christie Soucy, a teacher from Fort Smith's Joseph Burr Tyrrell School: and Dorie Hanson, a literacy and instructional coach at both Harry Camsell School and Princess Alexandra School in Hay River.
They received the awards in Hay River at an annual conference of South Slave educators.
Denise McKay was among the group of Fort Resolution elders who worked on the Chipewyan dictionary, which was released earlier this year.
"It means lot to win this beautiful award," she said. "We worked hard to make this dictionary, all of us."
McKay hopes the dictionary will help young people learn the Chipewyan language.
Tom Unka, another elder involved in the dictionary project, was also pleased to receive the award.
"I think it's great. It's kind of surprising," he said, noting the other elders were also quite excited about the award.
"It's something that we don't get every day," he added. "So it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I'm just totally elated by it."
Unka noted some of the biggest admirers of the dictionary are the students of Fort Resolution.
"I got a lot of good response from the younger folks that were starting to use that book and they were quite excited about using it," he said.
Other members of the team on hand to receive the award were Deninu School aboriginal language instructor Angie Fabien, linguist Betty Harnum, Freddie King, Henry Calumet, Mary Jane Beaulieu and Brent Kaulback, the project co-ordinator for the SSDEC. The team also included Christine Fabien, Harvey Mandeville and the late Lawrence Fabien.
Christie Soucy, a teacher at Joseph Burr Tyrrell (JBT) School in Fort Smith, wasn't aware she was going to get an award until the announcement was made by SSDEC superintendent Curtis Brown, who praised her teaching style and for incorporating new learning strategies into the classroom.
Soucy said she was shocked and excited to receive the honour.
"It's nice to be acknowledged by your peers," she added.
Soucy believes she was recognized for striving for success for every child.
"It's not just one thing. It's many different things," she explained of her teaching methods. "And getting to know the student as an individual, rather than as part of a whole class."
In the coming school year, Soucy will be taking over the role of instructional coach at JBT School.
The role of an instructional coach is to provide guidance as staff learn and implement practices that maximize learning for students.
The third recipient of the award is Dorie Hanson, a vice-principal and the South Slave's longest serving literacy and instructional coach at Harry Camsell School and Princess Alexandra School in Hay River.
"This is a collaborative effort between some amazing educators in the building and I couldn't have done it without them," she said just after receiving the award.
Hanson noted she loves when kids do well and succeed.
"Everybody in this building works hard and they all work in the same direction," she said. "I just find that energizing and it keeps me involved."