Terri-Jane Yuzda

Scholarship Winner Among 14 Teachers Honoured

Vince Peters Proves He Was a Perfect Fit for a 1998 APEGGA Education Foundation Scholarship



Read the newspapers to keep up with young minds, dismantle a television set to teach them about electromagnetism, and be prepared to learn a few things yourself each time you enter the classroom. It's all part of the gig when you're a high school science teacher, and Vince Peters of Lethbridge is proving he's a good one. He's also shown that the APEGGA Education Foundation knows how to pick a winner.

For the second time in four years, he's received recognition carrying the APEGGA name. The first time, it was a scholarship from the foundation in 1998, which helped him complete his bachelor of education degree. Teaching was obviously a good career choice, because this time Mr. Peters is one of 14 teachers throughout Alberta to receive a 2002 APEGGA Teacher Award.

"It was a pretty big shock to me," says the science teacher at Immanuel Christian High School in Lethbridge. "I didn't even know I was nominated." His students, actually, were behind the nomination. And that makes it even more special.

"Probably the biggest honour I can get is to be recognized by my students. If they think you're doing a good job and they're getting something out of the class, that really means something. Sometimes you wonder whether they value the amount of work you put into to making the class interesting and important to them. This shows that they do."

Keeping that edge in the classroom is difficult these days. It's not that students have short attention spans. It's just that there's so much competition for their attention. "They lead such busy lives that sometimes they get distracted, so you have to try to keep them focused."

What's his strategy? "I try to be really organized and prepared. And I try to pull in things from outside, to relate science to the real world. When we were studying electromagnetic fields, we ripped apart an old television set. When we were studying gases, I brought in pieces of an old engine."

Says one nominator: "He has brought us fuses, the insides of disposable cameras so that we can look at capacitors, as well as a multitude of other objects. Having these objects to look at and to take apart helps me learn. I understand concepts better when they can be applied to everyday living and objects.

". . .Mr. Peters gave us time in class to play a game that would help us understand how collisions work. We played crokonole, and while we played he explained the angles that occurred and how fast to shoot the rocks."

Says one of his Chemistry 30 and Physics 30 students: "Mr. Peters is always prepared and knows what he is talking about in class. Questions on the subject arise and rarely does it occur that he does not know the answer. He knows his materials very well and everybody loves the little analogies he provides to help us understand."

A third nominator adds: "There are some good teachers and some great teachers, but Mr. Peters goes beyond that. He's an outstanding teacher. Instead of dreading my classes with him, I'm actually quite excited to be taught. He makes learning fun and worthwhile. He brings the driest topics to life with his enthusiasm and excellent sense of humour. . .The biggest bonus is that what he says makes sense."

Other nominators around the province are impressed with the teachers in their lives, too. In all, 126 Alberta math and science teachers were nominated by 730 nominators. The award to each of the 14 recipients comprises a framed certificate, $1,000 to be used at the recipient's discretion for professional development, equipment, website development, teaching aids or other tools to improve teaching and student learning, and a recognition event hosted by APEGGA. Following is a complete list of this year's winners.


Northern Alberta

Austin O'Brien High School, Edmonton

Austin O'Brien High School, Edmonton

Duffield School, Duffield

Round HIll School, Round Hill

Westwood Community High School, Fort McMurray

St. Paul Regional School, St. Paul

Penson School, Grovedale

Crescent Valley School, Hinton

Southern Alberta

William Aberhart High School, Calgary

William Aberhart High School, Calgary

R.T. Alderman Junior High School, Calgary

Joseph Welsh School, Red Deer

Immanuel Christian High School, Lethbridge

Duchess School, Duchess

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