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Edwin Parr award nominee - Taylyn Weisgerber

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A bright light: Edwin Parr nominee Taylyn Weisgerber

Growing up in rural Alberta, Taylyn Weisgerber got the motivation to reach for the stars from a special teacher.

Now, she’s in the role of setting an example to the next generation. The way in which she’s navigated her first year during a worldwide pandemic and given hope to her Grade 2/3 class at École St. John Paul II School has earned her the Medicine Hat Catholic School Board’s nomination for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

“Growing up in a small town your teachers are not just your teachers, they’re your neighbours, your family, your friends,”  said Weisgerber. “I had a principal when I was a student in elementary school who really inspired me and pushed me out of my comfort zone. He was able to push me and realize the impact a teacher has on a student.”

In a fortuitous twist of fate, that principal’s child is among those she now teaches.

“It is pretty inspirational to be able to teach his child, talk about shared experiences, how we can cooperate at a different level as a team,” she said. “It’s an awesome experience.”

From daily affirmations where the whole class says things like “I am loved” together, to dealing with stress and unique challenges, Weisgerber has shown not only that she’s able to handle it, she does so with a fundamental zest for the profession that inspires those around her.

“Whether it’s a regular check-in or a chat in the hallway, Taylyn works hard to create an environment where students can have 1-one-1 time where they can talk and deepen their relationship with her,” said École St. John Paul II School principal Robert Dumanowski. “Taylyn is continually working differently, not just harder, to ensure that the learning environment in the classroom is student-centred.”

Dumanowski cited an uncommon level of professionalism and aptitude in nominating Weisgerber for the award. Each year, the Alberta School Boards Association honours six outstanding first-year teachers for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award, one from each zone from across the province. ASBA zone winners are then honoured at the Associations Annual Fall Conference in Edmonton. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zone 6 Banquet has been cancelled. Award winners and nominees will be acknowledged by the ASBA in an online format.

Weisgerber is honoured by the nomination but notes it’s the kids who really keep her going.

“The students themselves are my inspiration,” she said. “They are the reason I am where I am. It’s great to see, some students will come up to you after a tough day and you see their inspiration, and they say ‘Ms. Weisgerber, I want to be a teacher someday too.’ And that warms your heart.”

Taylyn will be recognized at the next MHCBE board meeting April 13, 2021.

Medicine Hat News: John Paul II teacher up for Edwin Parr award

 

The Edwin Parr Teacher Award is presented to six outstanding first-year teachers across the province of Alberta. Mr. Edwin Parr was a school board Trustee and president of the Alberta School Trustees Association from 1956 – 1962. To honour his legacy, ASBA established this award in his name in 1964.