Division News

Division News

Trout Lake educator nominated for Excellence in Teaching Award

Posted on May 6

Northland School Division No.61 (NSD) is pleased to announce that Kateri School’s Andrea Horton has been nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recognizes innovative and outstanding teaching that takes place every day in classrooms across the province.

“I am honoured that my principal, colleagues and students see something in my instructional practices which they believe merits this award,” said Horton. “I am especially grateful to my students: my principal invited my class to submit letters in support of my nomination, and I had the opportunity to read these before they were sent away.  To have their perspective on my instruction and support of their learning over the years is absolutely priceless.”

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

Horton’s theory about creating a stimulating environment for students is simply to show interest in the subject you are teaching to students.

 “I try to be very open with them about what is interesting to me,” said Horton. “If I am genuinely enthusiastic about a topic, our level of trust is such that they are willing to give it a chance. If I can connect a lesson to something I know they enjoy, or if I can help them see the connection between a task and something they are already interested in, it’s much easier to get them revved up for the subject.”

Andrea is the jack of all trades at Kateri School. In addition to educating grade 7/8 students, she teaches Career and Technology studies courses, fills in as acting principal, provides tech support and works with parents and community members to organize field trips

“I am a big fan of field trips to promote student engagement, especially for students in isolated areas like ours,” said Horton. “This year we are planning our most ambitious trip yet, with stops in Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto. The students will have a chance to tour the Parliament buildings, explore a traditional longhouse, and walk on the Plains of Abraham. They have learned about all these places from textbooks and now they are thrilled to have the chance to see them in person.”

Horton is a third generation educator in her family. She credits family support for helping her improve as a teacher.

“After I accepted my position at Kateri School my great-uncle Len wrote me a beautiful letter in which he reflected on his own years as a teacher and principal,” said Horton. “He offered advice and encouragement based on the experience of a long career and assured me that he saw my potential to live up to our family vocation. I think with that level of familial support and involvement in a profession, it’s almost impossible not to develop certain ideals for the classroom.”

Excellence in Teaching Award recipients will be announced in June. At the divisional level, Andrea was recognized at the Northland Long Service and Recognition Awards in Peace River.