Response to Great Teachers gives high marks all around

Parents, students, friends and colleagues have had their say in Black Press’ Great Teachers feature

The Black Press/Staples Great Teachers series received dozens of nominations from across the Capital Region.

Parents, students, friends and colleagues have had their say in Black Press’ Great Teachers feature, and it’s clear that the future of education in the Capital Region is in the very best of hands.

Making a final decision on this year’s nominees for the third edition of Great Teachers proved to be a daunting task because of the diversity, quality and volume of the nominations we received from our readers.

The central theme from those who took the time to share their thoughts is undoubtedly the amazing task that teachers perform on a daily basis shaping the lives and positively impacting the students in their charge at all levels of schooling.

A parent from Australia lauded the efforts of a teacher who managed to engage her daughter in math and science, subjects she had struggled with before moving to Victoria.

A student shared her reasons on nominating a favourite teacher because “he always helps you and is never too busy for your problems.”

Another student described how “patient, attentive and focused” her teacher is, and how “she makes things much more fun by using creative ideas,” while another parent praised her son’s teacher for his success, adding that the fact his teacher “never gave up on him was a turning point for him to have a successful life academically and emotionally.”

Saanich News publisher Oliver Sommer says that, on a personal level, having the opportunity to share stories with his three children about how much they enjoy their time in school reinforces why the Great Teachers series fulfils such an important role in our communities.

“Every day, we entrust teachers with our most precious resource,” Sommer notes. “It’s rewarding on so many levels to hear first-hand what an amazing job they do in the classroom and beyond. As a parent, I’m very proud to be part of Great Teachers. It’s a wonderful way to shine a spotlight on the tremendous work they do and acknowledge their efforts, dedication and professionalism. I also want to thank our sponsors, especially Staples and Camosun College, for recognizing the importance of this feature and participating with such enthusiasm.”

Gerry Denis, general manager of Staples West Shore, says it seems everyone he knows has stories to share about how a teacher or teachers positively impacted their lives.

“I think Great Teachers is a tremendous initiative and Black Press has done a great job of highlighting the amazing work that teachers do,” he said. “We are proud to be part of acknowledging the difficult job teachers do in educating and shaping the lives of their students. Our communities are better because of the efforts teachers put in every day.”

Camosun College president Sherri Bell says she sees evidence of the quality of teachers in the region in the students that choose to further their studies at Camosun.

“The students who come through our doors are engaged, enthusiastic and well prepared for the challenges of post-secondary education,” Bell notes. “I believe that’s a testament to the amazing job teachers do and a tribute to their professionalism and dedication, whether they teach elementary, middle school or high school.”

And so, without further fanfare, here are the three honourees for this year`s Black Press Great Teachers feature. We hope you take the time to get to know them a little by reading what they have to say about the highlights and enjoyment their work brings to them. We also want to say thanks again to our readers for shedding light on the tremendous job teachers perform with our most precious resource. We hope you enjoy chatting with Doncaster elementary teacher Helena Ewald, Royal Oak middle school teacher Emma Cottier, and Stelly’s secondary school teacher Tim Storm as much as we did.