Stefanie Hatala. (Photo submitted)

Stefanie Hatala. (Photo submitted)

Ponoka teacher nominated for Edwin Parr award

Wolf Creek Public School’s board of trustees has selected Ponoka Elementary School (PES) Grade 6 teacher and volleyball coach Stefanie Hatala as its nominee for the 2022 Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

The award is given to a first-year K to 12 teacher who has taught in an Alberta school jurisdiction, which is a member of the Alberta School Boards’ Association (ASBA).

“Her strong relationships and positive influence has been felt throughout, among students and staff at Ponoka Elementary School,” stated WCPS in a press release.

“Miss Hatala has committed herself to understanding her students’ different needs and learning styles to create a classroom environment that allows her students to thrive in their learning experiences,” said PES principal Nathan McEntee in the release.

“She has demonstrated a unique level of dedication in the classroom where she genuinely strives to support and create lifelong learners of each and every one of her students,” said McEntee.

“Her naturally kind and caring nature has extended beyond the classroom into the hallways and staffroom. She quickly built strong relationships within her grade team and around the school.”

Hatala, a local to the rural Ponoka area, feels fortunate to be back teaching in her home community.

“Being fortunate enough to begin my career in the community I grew up in has provided me with the opportunity to form deeper connections and relationships with the individuals within the school,” said Hatala. “There is something remarkable about creating and being a safe place for students to mold into the best versions of themselves.”

The Edwin Parr Award is given annually to one first-year teacher in each zone of ASBA, who has demonstrated excellence in teaching. Each school division nominates one candidate, and then a committee selects one of the candidates to receive the award for the zone.

The Edwin Parr Award recipients are recognized at the ASBA fall general meeting.