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Ethan Toews named PRSD Edwin Parr Award Nominee


Grimshaw, Alta. - The Peace River School Division is pleased to present Grimshaw Public School Grade 3 teacher Ethan Toews as their nominee for the 2024 ASBA Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

Nominated by GPS Principal Jessica Shaw, Toews is described as a true asset to the K-12 school of 500 students. In addition to highlighting his excellent classroom management skills, Shaw also highlighted some of the ways Toews addresses individual student needs and abilities in his classroom of 24 students.

“He models regulation and coaches students through conflicts with consistent care and compassion. Mr. Toews is dedicated to both his students and to the larger school community. The degree to which Mr. Toews is an asset to our school community cannot be overstated.”

“Mr. Toews acts with integrity and fairness. He understands that fairness is not always equal, but what each child needs. Mr. Toews respects cultural diversity and promotes intercultural understanding. Mr. Toews works with the school team and students' families to ensure student needs are being met. Mr. Toews understands the complexities that some students face inside and outside of the classroom. 

Jessica Shaw, Principal, Grimshaw Public School, Peace River School Division 

Shaw goes on to describe Toews as having a calm, supportive and approachable demeanor, which allows students to feel comfortable asking for help with both academic and social struggles. She provided the example of a time when a student expressed frustration over their work feeling too difficult to complete. Toews responded to this student by saying, “You need something harder than last week, but easier than this week,” acknowledging the student’s feelings while also providing encouragement by mentioning the previous week’s success. 

Toews' demeanor also allows him to connect with the students outside of instructional time. He can often be seen participating in active supervision while playing right alongside the students at recess. 

“Mr. Toews is an exceptional teacher. He is going to make a difference in the lives of many students over the course of his career.”

Jeff Thompson, Deputy Superintendent, Peace River School Division

This year, the PRSD selection committee received two nominations, both from GPS. The second nominated first-year teacher was Katie Robertson.

“In the seven years I have worked for the Division, the two nominees from Grimshaw Public School are among the top three or four nominees I have ever seen. They are both outstanding educators and we are very fortunate to have them in our Division.”

Jeff Thompson, Deputy Superintendent, Peace River School Division

The Division will celebrate Toews at the upcoming Long Term Service Staff Awards Gala on May 10 and again at the ASBA Zone 1 annual general meeting in the Fall. At this meeting, a nominee from Zone 1 will be selected as the Zone 1 winner of the Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

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Alberta School Boards Association’s (ASBA) Edwin Parr Teacher Award recognizes excellent first-year teachers across the province. 

Edwin Parr served as President of the Alberta School Trustees’ Association (now ASBA) from 1956 to 1962. His long career in educational affairs included terms as a member of the board with the George Lake School District and as Board Chair of the Athabasca School Division. Parr also served on the council of the County of Athabasca from its formation in 1959 until his death in 1963. 

During his time as a Board Chair, Edwin Parr instituted an annual teacher award in his school division to celebrate first-year teachers. To honour his memory, and to honour the profession he respected, the Alberta School Trustees’ Association established the Edwin Parr Teacher Award in 1964. For almost 60 years, this award has been presented to outstanding first-year teachers. 

Apr 19, 2024 Awards and Recognitions

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