Award Information

Victor Gim Inspirational Student Award

The Victor Gim Inspirational Student Award honours a student who inspires and makes a profound difference in the lives of other students, their school and/or the greater community. Through his/her thoughts, actions and approach to life, others are intrinsically motivated and gain a greater appreciation of being.

When selecting the Inspirational Student Award recipient, the selection committee places heavy consideration on demonstration of the above qualities, examples of inspirational actions, and the overall impact the nominee has made on other students, their school and the community.


This award is open to any Greater Victoria School District student who inspires and motivates others by:

  • demonstrating courage even under challenging circumstances;
  • being a positive role model  who influences others to also give generously from within;
  • mentoring other students;
  • creating a positive, safe, nurturing and empathetic environment for everyone;
  • demonstrating optimism and faith in the future; and
  • affecting others in a lasting and sustainable way.


Gail Edwards Memorial Award

Gail Edwards was a parent volunteer in the Greater Victoria School District who gave untold hours of her time and energy to the students of School District 61. Her life was cut tragically short when she lost a valiant battle against cancer. With the permission of her family, VCPAC created this award to honour her memory. This award will recognize a parent in the district who shares in Gail's passion and dedication.


This award is open to any parent/guardian of a student in the Greater Victoria School District who:

  • has made a significant contribution to improve the quality of life in the school;
  • has had a positive impact on students;
  • demonstrates a passion and commitment to the well-being of our students;
  • gives unconditionally to the success of our children; and
  • inspires others to make a commitment to volunteering.


Parents Choice Award

The parents’ choice award is granted annually to recognize a SD#61 staff member who makes outstanding contributions to the learning environments of our schools. The Award honours members who have made a significant impact on the lives of our children through leadership, vision and advocacy.


This award is open to any employee in the Greater Victoria School District who:

  • works directly with students in a school setting;
  • encourages students to reach their full potential;
  • possesses an outstanding commitment to the school community and demonstrates this commitment through a variety of ways including a willingness to give extra effort to duties and responsibilities;
  • exhibit compassion and caring when working with students, staff and parents;
  • demonstrates exemplary leadership, creativity, cooperation and hard work in their service to others.


Arkell Award

Tom and Marilyn Arkell volunteered tirelessly at Burnside Community School for many years. Their volunteering began in the 70’s when their children attended the school. They returned years later, committed to improving the lives of the school community. While helping in the library and classrooms, they lead by example, inspiring others to follow. The Arkell award is granted annually to recognize a community member who shares this commitment to our school communities.


This award is open to any community member who volunteers at a school in the Greater Victoria School District and who:

  • is not a parent or guardian of a student currently in K to 12;
  • models community values to children and adults;
  • gives unconditionally to the success of our children;
  • believes in the concepts, "love your neighbour", "do it because you can" and "giving is its own reward.";
  • demonstrates an understanding that all children need extra help from time to time; and
  • believes strongly that caring for each other is the essence of community.


Inspirational PAC Award

This award is presented to a Parent Advisory Council in recognition of a specific or ongoing activity or initiative that inspires other PACs.  


This award is open to any Parent Advisory Council in the Greater Victoria School District which does one or more of the following:

  • undertakes advocacy on a specific issue affecting students; 
  • shows leadership in its school in a variety of ways; 
  • develops initiatives and programs which result in a significant increase in parent engagement in the school; and 
  • actively supports programs and initiatives that increase opportunities and ensures equity for all students.


New Teacher Award of Distinction

This award is granted to a new teacher who has distinguished himself/herself early in his/her career by successfully incorporating innovation and creativity teaching practices in the classroom.


This award is open to any teacher in the Greater Victoria School District who:

  • has held his/her teaching certificate for less than five years; 
  • inspires students to engage in their learning; 
  • demonstrates the desire to continuously improve teaching practice; and 
  • shows courage and determination while being innovative.


Fine Arts Champion Award

This award is granted to any individual who champions students’ opportunities to participate in fine arts programs in the Greater Victoria School District.


This award is open to any person connected with the school community who:

  • creates opportunities for more students to be involved in fine arts;
  • through their actions create equity and access for students that may not otherwise be able to participate; and
  • actively supports fine arts in our school district.


School Partnership Award

This award is granted to an administrator who champions authentic partnership in his/her school based on shared vision and active collaboration.


This award is open to any administrator in the Greater Victoria School District who:

  • practices active partnership with parent leaders; 
  • actively promotes and models partnership in the school; 
  • facilitates the development of vibrant school culture based on the core values of students, staff and parents; 
  • creates opportunities for shared decision-making; and 
  • uses formal and informal processes and structures to support authentic partnership between staff and parents.


John Young Advocacy Award

John Young (1921–2014) was a teacher, a principal, a professor and a school trustee.  As a child, John’s early experiences in school included being told that he was not smart as well as being turned away from school because his family could not buy him proper shoes in the depth of winter in New Brunswick.  Not only did John succeed in his educational pursuits but he also became a lifetime advocate for the poor, the deprived and the underprivileged.  He believed that all children were capable learners and that no children should be labelled as failures.

He advocated for many years for “no school fees” to ensure that no student’s school experience would be affected by poverty.  John was extremely generous and gave most of his money away to help others in need.  He would say, “What do I need it for...I have everything I need.”

John earned the respect of students, parents, co-workers and professional colleagues who admired his ability put students first in everything he did.

This award honours and celebrates the life’s work and passion of John Young, perennial defender of the underprivileged.  John believed that helping others was a responsibility and that giving was a privilege.  John taught us that incredible things can happen when you believe in your students.


This award is open to anyone connected to the Greater Victoria School District who:

  • actively advocates for equity and access for all students;
  • promotes student rights;
  • gives selflessly of time and resources;
  • demonstrates courage while advocating for others;
  • supports positions based on principle;
  • believes that the system must adjust to accommodate the student; and
  • is relentless in his/her advocacy efforts.


Nomination Procedures

Nomination form to be submitted to VCPAC Awards by May 10th.

Greater Victoria School Board
556 Boleskine Road, Victoria, BC V8W 2R1
or email to  

Selection Committee

The selection for the recipients of VCPAC awards will be made by the VCPAC Awards Selection Committee established at our February General Meeting.  The committee will consider all information received as well as information gained by any inquiries it might choose to make.

Award Recognition

Winners will be honoured at the VCPAC General Meeting in May.