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Dr. Vanessa Sheane named 2024 Friends of Education Award Nominee

The Peace River School Division Board of Trustees has named President of Northwestern Polytechnic, Dr. Vanessa Sheane, as their 2024 Friends of Education Award Nominee.

The annual Friends of Education award recognizes individuals or organizations who are committed to improving education for Alberta students and who have made an important impact to education in Alberta. Sheane was unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees as someone who has cultivated a strong and positive relationship with educational community members, characterized by mutual respect, collaboration and a shared commitment to enhancing academic quality and opportunities.  

Under President Sheane's leadership, the focus on trades instruction for junior and senior high students has been particularly transformative.  By championing vocational training, President Sheane has broadened the horizons for many students, opening doors to potential careers in various trades.  This initiative benefits the students by providing them with practical skills and pathways to employment and enriches the school division with a diverse range of educational offerings.  

Specifically, Dr. Sheane's willingness to enter a partnership with PRSD to establish the North Peace Commercial Driving Academy for Class 1 MELT driver education is a testament to her commitment to student success. This initiative not only motivates students to complete their Grade 12 education but also provides them with the chance to earn credits and obtain Class 1 MELT training. Such opportunities are crucial in preparing students for the workforce and addressing the community's needs. By partnering on this project, Dr. Sheane is helping the PRSD to fill a gap in the local labour market, which benefits not only the students who gain employment, but also the community's economic health.

Dr. Sheane's efforts demonstrate a deep understanding of the importance of lifelong learning. By fostering an environment where students are encouraged to acquire new skills and pursue continuous education, Dr. Sheane contributes to the development of a resilient and adaptable workforce. Overall, Dr. Sheane’s willingness to collaborate with others has created a more dynamic and responsive educational environment that serves students' immediate needs and anticipates the future demands of the community and the economy.

As a native of Fairview, Dr. Sheane's advocacy for educational opportunities in the north reflects her understanding of the unique challenges faced by the community and her desire to improve access to quality education for all students in the area. Under Dr. Sheane's guidance, NWP has broadened the educational options available at the Fairview NWP campus, signaling a strategic shift towards more diverse offerings. This initiative not only benefits NWP but also holds the potential to transform the educational landscape for Fairview. Dr. Sheane has also been a strong supporter of the Division's goal of a proposed collegiate school on the grounds of NWP in Fairview. This is a strategic move to expand educational opportunities and demonstrates Dr. Sheane's dedication to enhancing educational infrastructure and opportunities. 

Dr. Sheane's dedication to trusteeship and community engagement further underscores her holistic vision for education in the region. Her efforts to facilitate access to education reflect a deep-seated belief in its power to foster growth and prosperity for individual students and the community at large. This forward-thinking approach is poised to leave a lasting impact on the educational fabric of northern Alberta.

Apr 5, 2024 Awards and Recognitions

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