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Posted: October 7, 2021

Nominations open to honour excellence in education

In recognition of World Teachers’ Day, nominations are now open for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education.

The awards honour B.C. teachers, support staff workers, administrators and school district leaders who have made outstanding contributions to their students and school communities.

“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. “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 coincides with World Teachers’ Day, which recognizes the rights, roles and responsibilities of teachers around the world. Dedicated teachers, support staff and school leaders are the foundation of B.C.’s world-class education system.

“The Premier’s Awards allow us to celebrate the monumental contributions of teachers, support staff and administrators who inspire B.C. students to achieve their best,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “I encourage everyone to consider nominating an education professional from your school as there is no better time for us to collectively recognize their outstanding commitments to teaching and supporting children and youth.”

There are 10 categories for British Columbians to 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.

Finalists will be announced in February 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.

Government created the awards program in 2018 to honour the many contributions of education professionals who go above and beyond to make life better for students.

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 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).

See the list of winners and finalists from past years, with videos.

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