Award Winners

Gail Edwards Memorial Award

Vicki White, Corrine Groneberg

Corinne Groneberg became a member of the Oaklands PAC executive one month after her son started kindergarten. She said she always knew she wanted to be as involved as possible with her son's education, and she jumped right in and has been active ever since. Her tremendous commitment to volunteering and the pride she demonstrates as she strives to make Oaklands a better experience for the children has been an inspiration. Corinne continues to inspire parents to make a difference. She is cheerful but relentless in her efforts to involve parents in all aspects of the school.

A leader in her school, Corinne is devoted to building parent involvement. She has an intuitive understanding of how to build organizations and keep them strong. She is often seen talking with parents in the mornings - introducing herself, inviting participation, and talking about upcoming events. Four of the current Oakland's PAC Executive became involved as a direct result of Corinne's dedication to recruitment! Two years ago, Corinne introduced an operating principle for the Executive - "everyone must replace themselves." As a result, they have taken this to heart, and all Executive members now keep their eyes open for potential recruits and spend time talking to other parents about participating on the PAC.

Corinne's contributions are numerous. Two projects that represent exemplars of Corinne's contributions are the School Fruit and Veggie Program and the Spring Family Fair. These projects span all interest groups and require long-term commitment. Corinne has lobbied the Parent Advisory Committee to support these activities; worked with the staff to gain approval; communicated the philosophy and logistics of each event; worked with Ministry contacts, and organized volunteers to smoothly implement successful outcomes.

Through Corrine's efforts and dedication, many of these programs will continue for years to come benefiting future generations.

Arkell Award

Frankie Blake, Kate Kerr

Frankie Blake has been a volunteer at the James Bay Community School since 2002. A former teacher who hails from the East Coast, she decided to continue to devote her time to the success of our children when she retired and moved to Victoria.

Frankie has become a crucial part of two programs: Support a Reader and Kindergarten Plus, adding her own magic to the lessons. Teachers, parents and other volunteers all sing her praises as a dedicated, positive force in the school. She responds to such praise by saying that she gains more by working with the children than she gives. She says she is constantly surprised and delighted by what the children say and how they think. Her obvious love of the work shows in her gentle, encouraging manner and great results. She is very observant and quickly discovers each child's special qualities. She is consistent in her interactions with the students and draws out the best efforts in all of them. They always look forward to their lessons with her and return to the classroom feeling successful and relaxed.

Frankie Blake is an example of caring and unconditional giving we can all aspire to. Her contribution is invaluable to our school, our community and the success of our children.

Parents Choice Award

Bev Cardle, Lynnette Kissoon

Bev Cardle decided to become a teacher almost 40 years ago after having worked with children during her summers in high school. Bev graduated with her B.Ed. and her M.Ed. with her final thesis on Parent Involvement.

Expansive, caring, compassionate, perceptive, intelligent, principled and honest: these are the qualities Bev embodies. She is a person who hopes for and expects the best from herself, from her students and her colleagues and she does so in a manner which, though challenging, is always respectful. She leads in word and deed and does so with uncommon modesty and sincerity. She is able to give her time to her students, mentor a student teacher, talk with parents, support her family and friends, and she still manages to find time to donate her positive, creative energy and ideas to many school and community functions and committees.

Bev is an incredibly patient person who can help any child with social or intellectual struggles. Truly she is a master at nurturing a child’s self esteem and improving their self work so that they may achieve any task ahead of them. By giving her students responsibility for their learning and creating a positive and safe environment for them to learn in, her students are excited to come to class everyday.

Bev’s professional approach to quality education is reflected at many levels. With the children, Bev says her approach is "all about relationships’ which she establishes first and foremost with each new class. The academic, social, and goal-oriented goals fall into place more easily once those trusted relationships are established. It is clear that Bev is successful in establishing relationships with her students because, for different reasons, they come back to visit her and in so doing, thank her for the time she spent with them and the support they felt while being in her class.

Bev truly is a master teacher who uses best practices in her teaching and encourages others to do the same. She hopes to continue supporting emergent teachers in her retirement years by working as a Supervisor with UVic’s Field Experience Office.

Inspirational PAC Award

Darcy Dragseth

This year the Inspirational PAC award was presented to Reynold Secondary PAC for their continuous accomplishments. Through collaboration with parent, administration and staff, the PAC drafted a document to provide a clear guideline on funding criteria and the application process. They then shared their ideas and documents with other PACs in the district so all could benefit from the work they had done. This was also done with their budget, constitution and many other PAC working documents.

Reynold's PAC has also demonstrated leadership in their collaborative relationship with their school staff. In addition to collaborating with them on issues, the Reynolds PAC invites their teachers to their PAC meetings 3-4 times per year to tell the parents about their school programs, eg math program & the new assessment tools. This not only provides information for parents but also encourages stronger parent-staff relationships.

It is more difficult to keep parents involved at the high school level and yet the Reynolds PAC makes good efforts and tries some innovative ideas to do so.