Division News

Division News

Gift Lake educator Nominated for Edwin Parr Teacher Award

Posted on May 6

Northland School Division No.61 (NSD) is pleased to announce that Andrew Bots, Gift Lake School Teacher, has been selected as NSD’s 2016 Edwin Parr Teacher Award Nominee. The Edwin Parr Teacher Award recognizes first year teachers who demonstrate exemplary dedication and commitment in the field of education. Andrew, who teaches Physical Education and Health, says, “It is a tremendous honour to be nominated for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award and to be placed in the same conversation as great first year teachers this year and from years past”.

Robert Heyde, Gift Lake School Vice-Principal says, “Every time I walk into the gymnasium, students are activity engaged in a wide variety of activities. There may be a perception that Physical Education is an easy subject to teach. But, like any other subject, teaching it well, adding variety to your program, having all of the students engaged – that takes a tremendous amount of planning, skill, and persistence. Mr. Bots is well respected by his peers, his students, and our administration. He is an excellent candidate for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award.”

Andrew’s ability to connect with students could very well be attributed to his teaching style. He says, “I provide the key points that students need to understand but allow the students to discover what way works best for them to get the desired result. I think this has been successful for me because it provides a balance between the structured delivery of information that some students require, but also the freedom to try things in a new or challenging way.”

In addition to teaching Physical Education and Health, Andrew and another staff member provide afterschool programs and coach the school’s junior high boys’ basketball team. The team made history this season by going undefeated and by winning the Smoky River Basketball League and the Northwest Alberta Athletic Association 1J Zones for the first time ever.

“Mr. Bot’s skills as a coach are of a national standard,” said Heyde. “But his commitment to his players remains on a personal level. He and another colleague approached outside resources to provide players shoes, uniforms, and road trip opportunities worth thousands of dollars. “In a school where extracurricular activities are always in short supply, Mr. Bots has been a tremendous example to his peers.”

Donna Barrett, Superintendent of Schools says, “Outstanding teachers like Andrew make a difference in the lives of students they teach. On behalf of Northland School Division, I want to extend our congratulations and our appreciation for the contribution.”

Each year, the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) honours outstanding first year teachers representing six zones throughout the province. Andrew will be recognized at the Zone 1 ASBA Awards
Luncheon in the fall. At the divisional level, Andrew was honoured at NSD’s Long Service and Recognition Awards May 5th in Peace River. Graham Collier, who was nominated for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award by Kateri School, was also recognized at the awards.