Published: May 10, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Local teacher Tom Doherty says he felt both “humbled and proud” when informed back in April he would be a recipient of a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
“It was Shelley Mckenzie that nominated me so I was kind of overwhelmed by the amount of effort and what she went through to get the nomination package together,” said Doherty this week while describing his first thoughts upon finding out about the prestigious win.
“It gave me an overwhelming sense of wow that what I do is not only appreciated but are best practices not only in Red Lake for instance but throughout the country as well.”
The experienced teacher, who is currently working with the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education, was one of 11 national-level recipients who travelled to Ottawa last week for the presentation and associated events.
During the visit Doherty says he had the opportunity to dialogue with fellow educators and federal education officials about best practices.
“One of the highlights of that day was finding out that I am very fortunate and lucky to have all the community support I have here in Red Lake because that is truly a component, making those connections with the Friendship Centre, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Northwestern Health Unit, and bringing them into the classroom that really gives my program an enriched learning environment.”
A visit was also payed to Rideau Hall to meet with Governor General David Johnston when Doherty says the topics of educational and literacy in the far north was discussed.
The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence honour outstanding and innovative elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines for their remarkable educational achievements and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation-based economy.
Announcing the award winners last week the Prime Minister’s Office noted: Inspired by a strong enthusiasm to share his Métis heritage with his students, a respect for the land and a regard for the Ojibwa culture and language, Tom Doherty shows students how to think outside the box. By encouraging collaborative and independent online learning, Doherty creates a stimulating learning environment and engages his students in projects that broaden their global perspective and enhance their understanding.
The Certificate of Excellence award includes a cash prize of $5,000 that may be used for professional development, equipment, resource materials, website development, teaching aids or other tools that improve teaching and student learning. Each recipient receives a pin, as well as a letter and a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.
(seen here) Tom Doherty hugs Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 3. Photo Credit: Submitted