BY DENNIS BROOKS, P.ENG., P.GEOPH.
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
In late October, I received a listing of donations that
provide the basis for the following analysis (unaudited,
• 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
• 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.