PRSD Nominates TA Norris School Educator Emma Dempsey for 2019 Edwin Parr Teacher Award

PRSD Nominates TA Norris School Educator Emma Dempsey for 2019 Edwin Parr Teacher Award

For immediate release

April 25, 2019  Peace River School Division (PRSD) is thrilled to announce that Emma Dempsey, an educator at T.A. Norris Middle School (TANS) has been selected as PRSD’s nominee for the Edwin Parr First Year Teacher Award.  The Edwin Parr Teacher Award recognizes first-year teachers that demonstrate exemplary dedication and commitment in the field of Education.

“The support that I have received from Wade (Principal), Jon (Vice Principal), and the entire staff at T.A. have been incredible,” says Emma.  She admits that moving to a new community in Alberta from New Brunswick to begin her first teaching job was nerve-wracking.  “Everyone at T.A. has been kind and supportive, and I have felt comfortable from day one. They have made the transition to teaching so easy and I cannot imagine having taught anywhere else my first year. I am glad that I did it.”

Currently teaching 22 Grade 5 students at TANS, Emma contributes as an active and enthusiastic participant in school events and makes a substantial contribution to the school culture and environment in addition to her teaching assignment.  She also has assumed coaching roles with the T.A. Timberwolves grade 7 and 8 basketball.

“Emma’s genuine concern for developing interpersonal, leadership and organizational skills with youth and teaching peers alike definitely indicates a very promising career ahead of her and makes her an excellent candidate for the Edwin Parr award,” says Wade Johnson, Principal at TANS.  “Emma is a meticulous organizer and motivator as many of her academic and planning accomplishments can attest. She is truly dedicated to the teaching profession; she successfully changes her teaching style to try to meet the needs of her students and is always willing to get involved.”

Emma is a graduate from the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Education with a major in Elementary Education.

When her students were asked what makes Miss Dempsey deserving of this award, two common points were; she listens to them and she makes classes fun. 

“Miss Dempsey really pays attention to you -- really listens to us and makes sure we understand what she is trying to teach,” says Tracen Massier.  “When you finish your work, you get the choice of what work you would like to finish next -- I like having options,” he added.

Fellow classmate, Tia Directo says, “She’s a very nice teacher and funny, too.  She’s open to suggestions and doesn’t raise her voice.”

Keegan Fergason and Nolan Rollins enthusiastically described how Miss Dempsey makes Language Arts and Science classes fun and engaging.  She starts off their day with anything from a dance or singing loudly to a popular tune and offers stretch breaks throughout the day.  Nolan raved about math games and outdoor science class covering gasses and chemistry.  Both were excited to explain a writing assignment where they imagined they were delicious treats and had to convince their classmates not to eat them.  “At the end of the day, I might go home and talk about health classes with my parents and math class too,” Keegan admits.

Each year, the Alberta School Board Association (ASBA) honours outstanding first-year teachers representing six zones throughout the province.  Emma will be recognized at the PRSD Staff Awards Gala on May 3, 2019.

“On behalf of the Peace River School Division Board of Trustees, we congratulate Emma as the 2019 Edwin Parr First Year Teacher Award nominee for the division,” says Board Chair Darren Kuester.  “We are very proud of Emma’s passion, enthusiasm and all she does to ensure students reach their full potential.  We are grateful for her service to students and she is an important member of the Peace River School Division family.”