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WRSD Announces Edwin Parr Nominee

WRSD is excited to announce Benjamin Southwick as the Board’s representative for the Zone 4 Edwin Parr Award.  This award is handed out on a yearly basis to first-year teachers who show exemplary dedication and commitment to the education of their students.

Mr. Southwick was notified of his nomination last week and shared, "The thought that I am being nominated for the Edwin Parr is still sinking in and it is a surreal feeling. I am honored that Wild Rose School Division has chosen me to represent them in Zone 4 and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can as I move through my career. I would also like to thank my Principal, Dr. Lara Jollymore and my VP Heather Bartling for the consideration and nominating me for this award. I realize this is not an opportunity that all first year teachers have, and I could not be any more grateful to them."

Ben shares, "I grew up in Manning, AB where I did all years of my K-12 schooling. I attended Rosary School from K-9 and was surrounded by phenomenal mentors, teachers and administrators. From grades 10-12 I attended Paul Rowe High School where I had role models that showed me what great high school teachers can look like. After high school, I followed two older brothers to the University of Alberta. I graduated with my Bachelor of Education majoring in General Science and minoring in Physical Education. I am loving my assignment at Frank Maddock High School in Drayton Valley. All of my coworkers, including administrators and educational assistants have been phenomenal in supporting me in my first year and I do not think I could have asked for a more supportive first year experience than I have had this year."

Lara Jollymore Frank Maddock School Principal extended her congratulations to Mr. Southwick.  “On behalf of the staff and students of FMHS, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to Ben for this well-deserved nomination. Mr. Southwick has been an active teacher and colleague since joining us this fall.  He has volunteered in many capacities throughout the school, has an engaging classroom and emphasizes building strong connections with those around him."

Heather Bartling Vice-Principal also adds "Since day 1 of being at Frank Maddock, Mr. Southwick's infectious energy and uplifting personality have made him a perfect fit for our athletic program and PE department.  Our students and school have benefited from His coaching both volleyball and basketball to working with the Athletic Director to running tournaments and competitions for all of our teams. Mr. Southwick is there with a smile on his face excited to put in the work to create as many opportunities as possible for the students at Frank Maddock."   

Dave Elwood, Director of Human Resources says,  “Ben is an excellent example of a well prepared first year teacher.  He has taken what he has learned in university and applied it to the classroom and this is making for great learning experiences for the students! Ben’s classes are engaging and it was evident in my observations that students were learning and it was Ben’s instructional design that ensured this happened. Ben’s willingness to learn and grow as a professional is extremely refreshing.  

A recognition event will be held for all nominees from each division and a zone winner will be selected from those nominees. Zone 4 is made up of eight Central Alberta school divisions: Battle River, Chinook’s Edge, Red Deer Catholic Regional, Red Deer Public, Wetaskiwin Regional, Wild Rose and Wolf Creek School Divisions. 

The award is named after Edwin Parr, who served as the Board Chair of the Athabasca school division, and as the president of the Alberta School Trustees’ Association (now the Alberta School Board Association) from 1956 until 1962. When he passed away in 1963, the association established an annual honour in his name the following year.

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