Stacey Falconer, from Lakeshore Public School, in Burlington is a recipient of the Certificate of Achievement and Richard Bernard, of River Oaks Public School in Oakville, is a recipient of the Certificate of Excellence.
The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence have honoured exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines since 1994, with more than 1,600 teachers honoured to date. Teaching Excellence Awards recipients are honoured for their remarkable achievements in education and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation-based economy.
The Prime Minister’s award website shares the following about Stacey Falconer’s teaching: “Through her TechDudes program, this special education teacher helps children with learning disabilities develop advanced executive functioning and use technology. Students can choose from more than 40 tools to make notes, access tips, share information and collaborate. They then share their successes by presenting at teachers’ conferences and narrating videos about their breakthroughs. Many students reintegrate into regular classrooms or go on to post-secondary education.”
The Prime Minister’s awards website explains Bernard’s broad approach to student learning and growth: “Character development, ethical decision making and global citizenship are as important to this committed educator as academic learning. Students connect deeply with the natural world and each other through photography. Classes research Louis Riel prior to recreating his trial, but without knowing the outcome. Grade 8s handle the day-to-day management of the school’s breakfast and snack program.”
“It’s always very exciting when something out of the ordinary happens, but this year, I feel like it means even more,” Falconer says. “It’s thanks to the Techdudes I teach that I am being recognized, so it’s especially fun to celebrate with them. I think the recognition is also a great way to spotlight some of the work happening in special education, and in self contained classrooms in particular.”
“When I was informed that I had won the national award, I was shocked. I find it a bit surreal to be recognized for doing a job I love doing,” Bernard says. “This recognition is incredibly humbling. I feel this way simply because the nomination came from one of my colleagues. It is an incredible honour.”
“We are so proud to have our educators honoured with the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “This is such a wonderful and well-deserved accomplishment for Stacey and Richard. Like so many staff members in our Halton board, Stacey and Richard embody the important characteristics of dedication and collaboration. They are indicative of the hard working staff members who inspire students, and each other, every single day. We know our students can succeed through the creativity and passionate work of our teachers. We congratulate Stacey and Richard.”