Bentley Kindergarten teacher singled out for teaching award

Denise Henry’s love of her profession has not gone unnoticed and this year she is Wolf Creek Public School’s nominee

Bentley School Kindergarten students Matthew Tesluk

Denise Henry’s love of her profession has not gone unnoticed and this year she is Wolf Creek Public School’s nominee for an Excellence in Teaching Award.

Henry took a few minutes last week out of her busy kindergarten classroom duties to chat about her job.

“It’s quite exciting (to be nominated)” she said. “Humbling, actually.”

Teaching Kindergarten is a challenge Henry loves and after 29 years, her love of teaching has remained strong.

“It gives me a chance to be creative. I have a lot of freedom here,” she said.

Henry said she believes all children must learn through play and active involvement in their world.

“Each student deserves an inclusive, safe, stimulating classroom environment.”

Lane Moore, principal of Bentley School said he had the privilege of recommending Henry as a nominee.

“Denise has the mindset that every child can learn and she will do whatever it takes to make that happen. The countless hours of planning and prep she does is outstanding and noticeable, and there isn’t a minute that has not been well thought out. Her classroom is filled with laughter, music and energy, all of which are harnessed to create this magical place to learn.”

Joan Ree, educational assistant at Bentley School agreed.

“Denise’s specialty is early childhood and she has launched hundreds of children into their school years with a love of school and a passion for learning. She meets each and every child where they are at and helps them find their path to learning.”

Lyn Garries, the parent of one of Henry’s former students called her a miracle worker.

“I do not know of anyone who deserves to be recognized as an outstanding teacher more than Mrs. Henry. Her hard work, love and knowledge has made her a miracle worker in my books.”

Henry is always pleased and happy to watch former students walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and observes with pride as they enter the adult work as happy contributing citizens.

“After all, everything they ever needed to know, they learned in Kindergarten,” she said.

Her goal is to continue to be the best kindergarten teacher she can be while continuing to learn and grow and use her creativity to help the ‘whole child’ develop.

“When I get it mastered, I’ll retire,’ she said with a smile.

Since 1989 the Excellence in Teaching Awards Program has recognized the innovative and outstanding teaching that takes place every day in classrooms across Alberta.

Award winners will be announced later this spring.