Kennedy Elementary School educator celebrated as PRSD's Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominee

Kennedy Elementary School educator celebrated as PRSD's Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominee

For immediate release
September 22, 2016
–This afternoon, Lora Casselman, Kennedy Elementary School educator was celebrated as PRSD’s Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominee during the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Zone One Fall Awards. Lora was recognized among teachers in Zone One nominated for the award that celebrates outstanding first year teachers.

“Mrs. Casselman has been a wonderful addition to Kennedy Elementary” says Principal Adam Murray, who nominated her for the award. “Her positive, ‘can do’ attitude and ability to bring her students together and really bring out their individual strengths is an asset to our entire school community” he added.

Lora started at Kennedy during the 2015-2016 school year after completing her degree at Grande Prairie Regional College but she is no stranger to PRSD. After moving to Fairview with her husband and her two, at the time, young children, she began working as a playschool teacher and then as an Educational Assistant at E.E. Oliver School and Fairview High School. “I had always wanted to be a teacher, but I also wanted to be home with my kids while they were young” Lora said, “so once they were older I started driving in to GRPC for classes and now I’m here and I’m still learning so much, every day from the staff and the kids, and the parents have all been great too!”

 

Principal Adam Murray identified Lora’s math and literacy teaching as specific areas of excellence but also spoke to her understanding of the Response to Intervention (RTI) learning model that is utilized in PRSD schools. “She really teaches to each individual student and she knows them and what their unique needs are socially, emotionally and intellectually and that means they are really receiving instruction that is tailored to them. Her teaching style contributes to building a sense of belonging and community within the classroom. This is very apparent when you see how everyone works together. Lora and her class are a great example of the positive results that we can achieve through the RTI style of instruction and intervention.”

Lora’s dedication to her students and passion for education is apparent when she speaks about her students. “They are at such a neat age in grade 2 and 3, with very unique and very distinct personalities and learning styles” Lora said, and then added “I feel really lucky to have this opportunity and I’m thankful for everyone here at the school and in the community that have been so supportive and helpful this year.”

The board of trustees reviewed nominees for the Edwin Parr Award and after giving careful consideration to several factors made their decision. “Lora is clearly a very qualified and deserving candidate for this award” says PRSD board chairman Darren Kuester. “Her colleagues speak very highly of her both as a co-worker and a teacher and she clearly exemplifies what we are looking for in a nominee for this award. She is dedicated, caring, innovative, and is a leader and champion of the RTI learning model. We are grateful that Lora is part of the team at Kennedy Elementary and PRSD and we’re all looking forward to many more years to come.”

Each year, the Alberta School Board Association (ASBA) honours outstanding first-year teachers representing six zones throughout the province. The award is named after teacher, and former president of the Alberta School Trustees’ Association, Edwin Parr, who began recognizing teachers with an annual award prior to his passing in 1963. The award is intended to honour his memory and dedication to the profession. Lora Casselman was also celebrated at the PRSD Staff Awards Gala on May 6, 2016.