October, 2000

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APEGGA Teacher Award Recipients
Helping to Make Alberta Schools "Cool"

By Tracy Sopkow

There are few students these days that would describe their teachers as "cool." APEGGA, firmly believes that the role teachers' play in inspiring students is very cool.

Since 1991, the APEGGA Teacher Awards program has been rewarding elementary, junior and senior high science and math teachers for their dedication and enthusiasm in shaping the intellectual and creative development of students, and for their efforts to "Make School Cool." APEGGA believes that more students will consider engineering, geology and geophysics as rewarding and interesting careers if their interest in math and science is nurtured during their primary and secondary school years.

The Association received nearly 800 nomination letters from students, parents, principals, school administrators and other teachers this spring, in support of the 138 teachers who were nominated. Volunteer committees comprised of APEGGA's professional members in each of the nine branch locations around the province had the tough task of determining the winners.

Fourteen deserving teachers were selected as the recipients of the 2000 APEGGA Teacher Awards. During assemblies held at each of the schools, recipients were presented with a certificate and awarded $1,000, to be used at their discretion to promote math and science education. In addition, special receptions were held in Edmonton and Calgary in August to recognize all recipients and nominees.

Teachers have used the money to purchase everything from rockets and microscopes to upgrading school science labs. One teacher even shared in her good fortunate by allowing other teachers to add their suggestions to a "wish list," resulting in the purchase of a three-dimensional eye and bags of gears.

APEGGA encourages its members to become involved with the program by nominating a deserving teacher at their child's school for a 2001 APEGGA Teacher Award. Watch for further details in The PEGG or visit the website at

2000 APEGGA Teacher Award Recipients

Gwen Bodie, Tipaskan School (Edmonton);
Shelley Facchinutti, Graminia School (Spruce Grove);
Tamara Keirle, Winfield Elementary School (Winfield);
Herb Belter, Greely Road School (Fort McMurray);
David Anger, Elizabeth School (Cold Lake);
Dave Sherbinin, Glenmary School (Peace River);
Kelly Cogan, Good Shepherd School (Peace River);
Brett Huculak, Viking School (Viking);
Manuela Casagrande, Roche Miette School (Hinton);
Scott Jantzen, Highwood School (High River);
Donna Simon, Erin Woods Elementary School (Calgary);
Richard Baron, Will Sinclair High School (Rocky Mountain House);
Jeanette Wegner, Reed Ranch School (Olds); and
Kelly Wilkinson, St. Mary's Junior High School (Medicine Hat).

Graminia Community School (Spruce Grove) science teacher Shelley Facchinutti (left) received a 2000 APEGGA Teacher Award for Excellence in Science Education. Lee Ready, P.Eng., presented Ms. Facchinutti with the award during a school assembly. (Photo courtesy of the Devon Dispatch News)


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