Division News

Division News

NSD Edwin Parr Nominee Recognized at ASBA Fall Award Ceremony

Posted on September 24

Left to right: Kelly Cunningham, Erica Cunningham, Noah Cunningham, Barb Laderoute, Gift Lake School Principal

Left to right: Kelly Cunningham, Erica Cunningham, Noah Cunningham, Barb Laderoute, Gift Lake School Principal

Northland School Division No.61 (NSD) had another reason to celebrate today (September 24, 2015) at the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Zone One Fall Award Ceremony. Erica Cunningham, Gift Lake School Teacher, received recognition from the ASBA for her Edwin Parr Teacher Award nomination. The Edwin Parr Teacher Award recognizes first year teachers that demonstrate exemplary dedication and commitment to the field of education.

“When I first heard that I had been nominated for this award [Edwin Parr Teacher Award], I was surprised,” said Cunningham. “However, after I processed the information, I knew that it was a confirmation of my chosen career path.”

Cunningham, a mother of five children and originally from the community, worked at Gift Lake School for several years as a special needs assistant before completing a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education at the Kings University College. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she says she is fortunate to begin her career in familiar territory.

“Being a community member from Gift Lake has definitely helped me as a first year teacher because I know the children and their families,” said Cunningham. “It is beneficial for both me and my students that I can converse with them in the Cree language. Although most students do not speak the language, they do hear it in their home and can often times understand what I am saying to them. I think using my language in our classroom helps to instill a positive image on the Cree culture which in turn will give a sense of identity for our students of Gift Lake.”

Delores Pruden-Barrie, former Director of First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) of Education for NSD, was involved in nominating Erica. She says students are fortunate to have a confident grade 4-5 teacher.

"As I observed Erica, she really inspired me to reflect on the teaching profession and the great memorable things for change,” said Pruden-Barrie. “She has the ability to make students think and feel confident." 

Donna Barrett, Superintendent of Schools, says Erica has a bright future with NSD.

“Erica is a strong and dedicated teacher who understands and advocates for her students,” said Barrett. “She is a very deserving recipient.”

Erica celebrated the Edwin Parr Teacher Award nomination with other recipients in Zone One at the Sawridge Inn in Peace River.

For more information please contact:  

Curtis Walty, Communications Coordinator
Office: 1-780-624-2060 extension: 6183
Cell: 1-780-219-1870