|Annual event recognizes teachers for ‘going that extra mile’|
|Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:45 PM|
|On May 3, a group of University of Manitoba graduands gathered in University Centre and, after reflecting upon their academic careers, each professed their adoration and appreciation for their favourite teachers.|
It was part of the Teacher Recognition Awards, an annual event wherein graduate students invite a professor, and a high school or elementary school teacher, to simultaneously stand in front of a crowd while their greatness is extolled. It’s the kind of event where a box of tissue papers lay at the ready by the podium.
“This is one of the best events of the university year,” Mark Torchia, director of University Teaching Services, said prior to the event. “Each year, graduating students give personal and touching tributes to certain men and women who made such a difference in their lives and inspired them to become the trailblazers and challengers they are today.”
Emotional though it got, surprisingly, elocution did not suffer from sobs or mumbles; perhaps thanks to past oration teachers, or perhaps thanks to the excitement of the day, which gave levity to the speeches.
Coming into the auditorium a young woman remarked to her companion, “This is exciting.”
“So exciting,” the other woman, Mary Hall, said.
“My son Thomas is being recognized but I’m also a teacher and I also teach at the university and that’s why I’m so excited,” Hall explained when asked why she was excited. “I really think it’s wonderful for the university to recognize the people that have made such an impact on the learning of young people through their dedication and their outstanding teaching and their commitment and their care.”
In the event’s 20-year history, over 800 teachers have been honoured. Some teachers come from around the world to attend; this year a teacher came from Dubai. And this year’s event saw, for the first time, a father and son get recognized for their teaching: Frank Hechter, a professor of Orthodontics, and his son Richard Hechter, a teacher at the Collegiate at the University of Winnipeg.
This year’s theme was “going the extra mile”, and although School of Art student Kae Sasaki could not thank her high school teacher, Hiroyuki Kondo, in person because he could not travel the miles from Japan, she nevertheless honoured him, and her sculpture professor Gordon Reeve, for whom she wrote a humourous haiku.
“Professor Gordon Reeve/You’re the wind beneath our wings/Flap flap flap flap flap.”
Teachers deserve to be celebrated for innumerable reasons but one reason seemed prevalent in most speeches, and it was something the Province’s Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy, Erin Selby, noted at the beginning of the event: Great, impactful teachers have the ability to see a student’s potential and nurture it, even before the student knew that potential was there.
Many of these great teachers were trained by the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Education, an innovative faculty that challenges its students, amplifying their passion and honing their natural teaching talent.
“The Faculty of Education is dedicated to the development and support of teachers, because these individuals are critical for the wellbeing of our province,” Robert B. Macmillan, Dean of the Faculty of Education said. “For this reason, we are thrilled that so many of the teachers being recognized today are alumni of our Faculty and we are very proud to have participated in their development as influential and inspiring educators.”
Students’ Teacher Recognition Awards
Student-presenters and recipients, listed in order of faculty and student, K-12 teacher recognized, professor recognized
Agriculture & Food Sciences: Student Sally Parsonage, Agronomy, honouring Susan Kentner, Baldur School; Mario Tenuta, soil science
Architecture: Student Yajiao (Jessyca) Fan, honouring Richard Scrapneck, Pinkham School; Deb Scott, interior design
Art: Student Kae Sasaki, honouring Hiroyuki Kondo, Takefu Higashi Sr. High; Gordon Reeve, sculpture
Arts: Student Gretchen Derige, English, film and theatre, honouring Charles McKenna, Meadow West Elemntary; Adam Muller, English
Student Justine DeJaegher, political studies, honouring Alan Dinson, Collège Béliveau; Steven Lecce, political studies
Asper School of Business: Student Danielle Okrusko, commerce, honouring Catherine Ramsay, Kildonan East Collegiate; Mary Brabston, management info systems
Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, & Resources: Student Trinette Konge, honouring Joan Chaput, Ste. Anne Collegiate; Leslie Goodman, environmental sciences
Dental Hygiene: Student Marissa Dick, honouring Maureen Ferley, Robert Andrews School; Sheryl Sloshower, dental hygiene
Dentistry: Student Phong Than Luong, honouring Anne Pudavick, Oak Park High School; Frank J. Hechter, orthodontics
Education: Student Deondra Twerdun, early years stream, honouring Cathy Lethbridge, Fort Richmond Collegiate; Karen Boyd, language & literacy
Engineering: Student Mark Hearson, civil engineering, honouring Greg Edwards, Westwood Collegiate; Jeannette Montufar, civil engineering
Human Ecology: Student Ian Montalbo, honouring Lisa Yosyk, Sisler High School; Connie Magalhaes, food & nutritional sciences
Kinesiology & Recreation Management: Student Thomas Hall, kinesiology, honouring Larry Franzs, St. Paul’s High School; Marion Alexander, human anatomy
Law: Student Brandon Trask, honouring Mary Neely, St. John’s Ravenscourt; Darcy MacPherson, corporations
Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music: Student Melita Mudri-Zubacz, music, honouring Maria Zubko, Bratsvo & Yedinstvo; Richard Burleson, music history, musicology
Medicine: Student Mark Lipson, honouring Richard Hechter, Collegiate at U of W; Marshall W. Pitz, medical oncology
Nursing: Student Lindsay Adriaansen, honouring Heidi Atkinson, Carberry Collegiate; Karen Fletcher, Nursing
Pharmacy: Student Kaley Kawchuk, honouring Steven Boyko, St. Boniface Diocesan High; Gaik-Lean Chee, Pharmacy
Science: Student Derek Cormier, computer science, honouring Frank Restall, Samuel Burland School; John Anderson, computer science
Student Xiang (Evonne) Liu , microbiology, honouring Heather Teller, Fort Richmond Collegiate; Deborah Court, microbiology
Social Work: Student Gina Fiola, honouring Michèle Lagimodiere-Gagnon, Collège Lorette Collegiate; Juliana West, Social Work
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