:: Superintendent's Notebook - June 2012
"Edmonton Public Schools is a place where amazing things happen." That's the message I'm always proud to tell our staff, students and community partners. I say that with great confidence because we prove it to be true every day in our school district. This year hasn't been without its challenges, but I'm so proud of what we've accomplished.
Once again, our District was well represented at this year's Excellence in Teaching Awards, with 20 of our teachers, including one principal, recognized as semi-finalists. Three of our teachers were honoured with the prestigious award, while Raelene Finlayson, principal of Montrose School, recently received the Women of Distinction Award in the education category from the YWCA.
This year also saw a Grade 12 student, Claire Edwards of McNally School, win the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership - worth $70,000. This award recognizes high school students who have made a meaningful and lasting difference in their communities. Claire is one of countless district students who are doing extraordinary work to give back and champion social justice causes.
This has been another remarkable year in the story of Edmonton Public Schools and our work with community partners as well. I'm delighted to say that we raised $132,000 for the United Way campaign this year! We surpassed our goal of $125,000 through fun and creative fundraisers and the pure generosity of our staff.
We support our partners and they definitely support us. I marvel at the work the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation does to enrich the lives of our youngest learners - to offer them the opportunity to get the best possible start in life. Friendraising and fundraising have never been pursued with as much heart and perseverance as it is right now.
To give you an idea of how successful we've been, and how far we've come, at the third annual Ready for Life breakfast, $375,000 was raised - that's the most money raised at any single event in the Foundation's history! That's just incredible. It means more students will benefit from full day kindergarten programs. We're grateful to all of our donors - from regular folks opening up their hearts and wallets to local businesses and corporations.
All these achievements demonstrate the power of building connections and relationships with our community, and how that's an undisputable force in our District. So too is the fact that our organization continues to nurture the talents of our staff and students, who are in the truest sense, advocates of hope.