Nominations are now open for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education, which honour B.C. teachers, support staff workers, administrators, and school district leaders who have made outstanding contributions to their students and school communities.
The awards were inaugurated in 2018, when School District No. 74’s Kim Halayko from Lillooet Secondary School was nominated in, and won, the category “Diversity and Inclusion”. In 2019, Colleen Minnabarriet of Desert Sands Community School was one of three finalists for the District Leadership Award.
“Every day in our province, education professionals put the needs of students first in order to best support their personal growth and academic potential,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement announcing that nominations for 2021 are now being accepted.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers, support staff, and administrators have worked tirelessly to ensure students stay safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. These awards allow us to celebrate education professionals who have gone above and beyond in classrooms and schools across the province.”
The launch of the awards’ nominations period coincided with World Teachers’ Day, which recognizes the rights, roles, and responsibilities of teachers around the world.
There are 10 categories in which British Columbians can nominate an individual or team of education professionals who work in the public, independent, or First Nations school systems as teachers, principals, vice-principals, administrators, and support staff. Nominations will be accepted until Jan. 7, 2022. All previously submitted nominations from the 2020 awards program, which was postponed due to the pandemic, will be included in the 2021 submissions.
“Weytkp! (hello). I am honoured to be one of the finalists for the Indigenous Education category of the Premier’s Awards,” said Ivy Chelsea, a 2019 finalist from Chase Secondary in School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). “Kukstsetsemc (thank you) to the district for the nomination in recognizing the importance of Secwepmctsin language and its connection to the land.”
Finalists will be announced in February 2022 and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Victoria in April. Award winners will receive a $3,000 taxable personal bursary for professional learning, and a $2,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning. Each runner-up will receive a $1,000 personal bursary for professional learning and a $1,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning.
There are more than 55,000 educators (teachers, administrators, principals, and vice-principals) and approximately 37,000 support staff workers actively employed in B.C.’s K–12 education system. Nominations for the awards can be made under 10 different categories:
* Six awards are open to teachers: community engagement, extracurricular leadership, Indigenous education, outstanding new teacher, outstanding team collaboration, and social equity and diversity.
* One award is open to those in a school-based leadership role: school leadership.
* One award is open to those in a district leadership role: district leadership.
* Two awards are open to support staff: outstanding support – school community (including bus drivers, crossing guards, student supervisors, Indigenous cultural facilitators, custodians, maintenance/trade workers, and those working in a clerical function) and outstanding support – teaching assistant (including educational assistants and Indigenous education support workers).
To nominate an education professional for the 2021 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education, and find out more about previous nominees and winners, go to www.gov.bc.ca/excellenceineducation.