Clearview celebrates four outstanding new teachers

Clearview celebrates four outstanding new teachers
Posted on 02/28/2022

Clearview celebrates four outstanding new teachers Clearview’s Board was extremely pleased at its February 23rd meeting, to celebrate four exceptional first year teachers, who were each nominated by their school’s principal for the Edwin Parr teaching award.


 The Edwin Parr Award recognizes outstanding work by first-year teachers in Alberta and is presented by the Alberta School Boards’ Association. Clearview has the opportunity to nominate one candidate each year. This year, Clearview’s Board considered four very strong first year teachers.
“Clearview’s Board of Trustees would like to congratulate the four exceptional young teachers that were nominated for the Edwin Parr Award. We are so impressed to hear how they have made such positive contributions in their school and with their students. The passion and commitment to inspire and care for each student is the foundation of personal growth and learning,” says Guy Neitz, Clearview Board Chair.
Brenda MacDonald, Clearview Superintendent, says, “It’s so exciting to see the commitment, passion and skill of these new teachers. We are so pleased they’ve begun their teaching journey in Clearview and feel incredibly grateful for the difference they make for students. We wish each of these four professionals all the best in their careers.” 
During the February 23 meeting, the Board heard from each nominee and their principal, and had the opportunity to get to know each teacher a little better. 
Morgan VanDusen, Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus


Morgan VanDusen is a Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus alumni. Wm. E. Hay Principal, Myranda Shepherd said regarding VanDusen, “Morgan has demonstrated every quality that Clearview could wish for in a teacher.”
VanDusen teaches senior high math and physical education. Also, she coaches volleyball, and is the teacher representative on the school council.  “Morgan conducts herself with calm expertise. She is a subject level expert, and is a phenomenal young teacher,” said Shepherd. Shepherd also pointed to VanDusen’s commitment to the school’s culture, saying “she has the mindset that a teacher participates and gives back. She is always jumping in to build school spirit and volunteering to help out.” 
VanDusen says, “I have fond memories of my time at Wm. E. Hay: fond memories of students and teachers, and now I get to teach with them. It’s pretty special.” She adds, “Relationships are core to my teaching practice. I work to meet students where they are at, and I enjoy seeing them succeed.”


 Jessica Heintz, Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus

Jessica Heintz teaches Science 9 and Math 9 and 10 at Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus. She also has coached the golf team and has helped with basketball. 

“When we interviewed Jessica, I told my admin team that I felt we just hired a gem. From day one, Jessica has proven that she is just that. I have been an administrator for 13 years and I have never had such positive feedback about a new teacher from not only her students and their parents but also her colleagues,” says Myranda Shepherd, Wm. E. Hay Principal. “Jessica delivers on expectations and is also compassionate. Her strength is collaboration and her ability to connect with adults in the building to encourage change.”
Heintz credits her career and success in teaching to her sister’s journey through education which was challenging, as well as her determination. “Everything I do as a teacher I will thank my sister for. She taught me that each student is different in their own way. We need to adapt and change to the best benefit of each student.” 


Samantha Johnston, Stettler Elementary School Johnston Samantha Johnston teaches grade five at Stettler Elementary School. She is known for connecting what she is teaching to what students experience outside of school. For instance, she helped students learn to write persuasively by providing them with information about specific animals from an animal shelter. Johnston assigned students to write to convince people to adopt the animals. The finished writing was published on the animal shelter’s website.
“To be a good teacher you need to be a genuinely caring person. Samantha has that. Her students immediately took to her and she cares deeply about them,” said Sharon Fischer, Stettler Elementary School Principal.
Johnston told the Board, “Learning is fun because we approach it from the lens of discovery. Authentic learning increases student success.” Johnston added, “I would like to thank all of my students for the moments of love and laughter we have shared. I know I’ve found my life’s passion in teaching because I can make a difference.” 


Kallie Stewart, Donalda School Stewart Kallie Stewart teaches a combined grade three and four class at Donalda School. She started a few weeks into the fall of 2021 when a teacher went on maternity leave.


 “The class she inherited is our most challenging class,” says Warren Aspenes, Donalda School Principal. “There are some specific needs that must be met. Some of our most vulnerable students are in that class.” Aspenes told the Board that Stewart exceeded his expectations. “Her approach to the class is incredible. Her teaching is far better than I would expect from a seasoned and experienced teacher. She has done remarkable work.” 


“I appreciate the support of my mentor teacher and colleagues,” says Stewart. “I am so excited about everything I have learned and experienced this year about teaching.” 


Board to forward one candidate to represent Clearview Clearview’s School Board must select one candidate to represent Clearview. The Board will make an announcement about its selection in the near future. That individual will then be considered with seven other teachers from Central Alberta school divisions, in the Alberta School Boards’ Association’s Zone 4. The winning nominee from Zone 4 will be celebrated with a handful of other exceptional first year teachers in the fall at a provincial event.