Award Winners

Inaugural Inspirational Student Award

Victor Gim inspired his friends, classmates and Mount Douglas community with his kindness, love of music, and  courage.  A stellar ukulele player, Victor loved music and shared this passion with everyone.  He was a natural performer, playing French horn in the band, ukulele in the jazz band and singing in the school choir.

Victor was always willing to challenge himself, both academically and socially.  He loved to learn and share his knowledge with his peers and teachers.  Whenever a fellow student needed someone to talk to, Victor was there to listen and support them with compassion. 

In the spring of 2011, Victor was diagnosed with brain cancer.  Gradually, his ability to read and write was impaired but Victor was determined to live life to the fullest and remained engaged in his learning.  Victor will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and dedication to everything he did.

Gail Edwards Memorial Award

Beth Threlfall is the epitome of super volunteer.  A parent at George Jay Elementary, Beth not only inspires parents, students and staff at her school, but the community as well and is the reason some families have chosen George Jay for their children! Visit the school, and you will undoubtedly see projects initiated by Beth.

Although Beth can be found volunteering for common school tasks, such as reading, helping with student clubs, shelving books, and organizing fun fairs; it is her initiative of the uncommon that makes her stand out.  With lightness, a sense of humour and enthusiasm she involves everyone in creating a school to be proud of.

Beth was the reason George Jay has a Growing Schools Garden. She teaches students about food culture and sustainability, taking them out to the garden boxes which she painted with one of the Kindergarten classes.  Beth organized a hydro pole painting so now all the poles around the school are painted with creative, bright and lovely paintings done by her and the kids.

Beth also designed, created and painted a labyrinth in the school courtyard which children use to reflect or meditate without knowing it. It was a big undertaking but she found community volunteers wanting to help her paint it. Currently she is making plans for a “Wild Play Park”.

"She is dedication to the school and our surrounding community. Her love of all children is obvious and heartwarming. "

Arkell Award

Judith Ker is a glowing example of someone, who for over 12 years, has been a reading coach for the children of Craigflower School. Judith comes daily to support struggling learners and to read with as many as she can. For the last two years she has organized a ‘reading coaches’ system bringing in other eager volunteers. The coaches offer over 200 hours of one-on-one ‘listening to children read’ over a month. This is significant!

Judith is kind, generous and so very, very thoughtful. Often she will bring in shoes, clothing, coats for whole families in need. Judith scours the second hand stores for ‘good used’ books to give to children and finds the ‘right’ book that she knows that child will enjoy.

Parents' Choice Award

Karen Higginbotham has been a wonderful teacher for 8 years at George Jay Elementary.  Karen started out as an ESL teacher and quickly found her calling as a Kindergarten teacher at this diverse and multicultural school. 

Karen always has a smile on her face and is spreading a love of learning throughout the whole school.  She is always the first teacher to sign up for new and innovative programs.  She was the first teacher interested in the Growing Schools program, which teaches children about food sustainability.  She is the teacher that took the initiative to learn about self-regulation and then teach these important values to other teachers in the school. 

In the classroom, Karen will joyfully accept children with all abilities.  For two years she has taught a student who needs to communicate with sign language.  Now her whole class has her enthusiasm for sign language, as do other parents and many other students in the school.  She will always take the initiative to learn to teach to each student’s individual needs.  The love of learning is what Karen really focuses on each and every day.

"She believes in social and emotional development of her students and we see this manifest in this real connection with the parents and families in our school." 

Inspirational PAC Award

George Jay Elementary School Parent Advisory Council for their initiative in having the speed zone changed in front of their school.  George Jay PAC Chair, Kate Wallace, receives the award on behalf of her PAC.