It's an exciting time for a team of teachers at John Paul II Collegiate who are named for this year’s McDowell Foundation Award for work on a new student program at the school.
The award is granted for outstanding contributions to educational research in the province of Saskatchewan.
Ramona Stillar, Light of Christ Catholic School Division project coordinator, said the 12-member teaching team was awarded for their work over the 2016-17 school year which involved implementing the PACE initiative for students.
“We were very honoured and humbled, and somewhat surprised because there were so many projects selected in this past year,” Stillar said. “We’re really happy that we’re doing something good for kids.”
The PACE initiative accommodates students who need to take their studies outside of the regular scheduled class time, to meet other life challenges.
In addition to Stillar, the teaching team included Janet Benoit, Anne Crozier, Frazer Donahue, Cheryl Dunits, Jean Fauchon, Shalen Fox, Shelly Fransoo, Tracie Harty, Carlo Hansen, Nate Jurgens, and Roxanne Stynsky.
JPII Collegiate principal Carlo Hansen, who is also on the McDowell Foundation board, said it’s an honour for the teacher team to be selected for top research project of the year. The annual competition is open to all teachers and educators in Saskatchewan.
"I'm pretty proud of my staff," he said, recognizing the group's work on the project. "It's a real feather in their hats for those who were involved in the project."
He said research on the project showed how the PACE initiative impacted teachers with the final report including educators' thoughts were on the program.
"We believe it's something we can share with other teachers around the province who are struggling with some of the same issues," Hansen said. "Maybe they can learn a little bit about some of the things we have gone through, and what has worked and what hasn’t worked."
Hansen said the teachers enjoyed being a part of the research project.
The teacher team, through a research grant provided by the McDowell Foundation, took part in what's known as the Action Research Project to explore their experience as they made some adjustments to the pace, place, or time of learning, in an effort to assist students at John Paul II Collegiate.
There were a total of 19 research projects conducted in the province that were sponsored by the McDowell Foundation during the 2016-17 school year.
The Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research into Teaching is an independent registered charitable organization established by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.
The awards ceremony will be held at the McDowell Foundation annual conference, called Learning from Practice, on Friday, Feb. 2 in Saskatoon.
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