Terri-Jane Yuzda

APEGGA and Foundation
Honour Teachers, Present Scholarships


Education Foundation Columnist

In Edmonton and in Calgary, late in the year, APEGGA and the Education Foundation celebrated Excellence in Education. Calgary had a cold, wintry night for its event, and Edmonton’s evening was brisk – but the weather just seemed to accent the warmth inside.

APEGGA recognized the excellence of teachers who make math and science fun, and who help encourage and inspire students to succeed academically. Twenty were recognized for being nominated for Teacher Awards by the students of their schools, and an additional three were granted the award and cheques to support their schools’ programs.

Scholarship winners were also honoured. Norman Orr, P.Eng., the president of your foundation, with help from member Andy Gilliland, P.Eng., presented scholarships to the Edmonton area winners. For the Calgary area recipients, Tony Howard, P.Eng., the past president, and Gerry DeSorcy, P.Eng., a director, did the honours.

It was an evening for fun and celebration, and APEGGA Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng., set this tone in his introductions. People were invited to step up and take photographs whenever they wanted, and did so.

Chatting Up the Winners

I was able to speak to a number of the winners and to some of the teachers and would like to pass on to you some of this human interest element.

One highlight was that a teacher recognized for being an award nominee had her son receive a gold medal the same evening. I think this must be a first. I joked with her that maybe her son had an especially good teacher, but she declined to take any special credit – although she did note that all her children were taken to any museums or science exhibits they showed an interest in.

Another gold medal winner said she appreciated the award because it was recognition for all her hard work. She has now moved into a job in the computer engineering industry, and I suggested that the award may have been a factor in getting the job – and that it would look good on her resume, in any event.

A Millennium Scholarship winner was there with her obviously proud father. A transfer scholarship winner was there with his wife, whose job provided the financial support for him to continue with his education.

A winner from Lethbridge asked me about how selection was made. I assured him that his having completed job requirements for his journeyman electrician, and his involvement in school and community activities, were some of the “extras” that the selection committee was looking for.

As our president pointed out, this night we were “meeting the future of Canada.” It is in good hands.

Business of the Board

One of the important actions at the APEGGA Education Foundation Board meeting of Nov. 6 was to make two new appointments to the board. Jack Shaw, P.Eng., will be vice-president, and Ron Lawson, P.Eng., will be secretary. These appointments will help ensure the smooth operation of the board, so vital in a volunteer-based organization.

The board approved a change in the terms of reference of the Millennium Scholarships. The Millennium Scholarships will be two scholarships of $2,000 each, with the number increasing at the will or necessity of the scholarship committee to an additional four scholarships of $2,000 each, if there are eligible candidates.

This reflects the great increase in applications to 38 the past year, and the difficulty of selecting candidates from so many excellent applicants.

A report from the Calgary Liaison Committee centred on a meeting the committee had with department heads and the dean at the U of C. A meeting is now being planned for the liaison committees in a meeting of the whole to draft recommendations for board consideration. This will ensure that future monies directed to scholarships will be most effective.

It was recognized that the annual listing of donors would not be ready for the November 2003 PEGG. With the increasing number of donors, it is becoming difficult to get them all in one edition. Discussions will be held with The PEGG’s editor with a view to publishing names mutliple times in the year.

Donation Campaign

In late October, I received a listing of donations that provide the basis for the following analysis (unaudited, of course).

• Voluntary Donations at 2003-10-23 are $41,000-plus, compared to $40,000 last year at this time.

• Summit Award contributions are $32,000-plus, compared with $21,100 last year.

• We will likely fall short of last year’s totals since the campaign to solicit Life Members who are not invoiced by APEGGA was in full swing then, but is not yet ready to roll this year.

• Total number of donors is already at 830 with two months to go. In 2001, we had about 860 for a 12-month period.

• Average contribution per donor is $49.75 ($33.47 in 2001) and per APEGGA member is now $1.03 (about $0.80 in 2001), even though there has been a significant increase in membership.

• There’s a significant shift in the size of donor contributions, too. We now have 19 per cent of donations in $0-$25 and 74 per cent in the range $25 – $100, compared with 42 per cent and 48 per cent in 2001.

These statistics are somewhat uncertain since the earlier data aren’t in a form that can easily be analyzed. Still, this is encouraging information.

When you get This PEGG issue, the holiday season will be upon us. All that remains for me, then, is to wish you all Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. May the spirit of giving stay with you.

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