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Jessica Snyder honoured as 2021 Gateway Christian School Valedictorian

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Gateway Valedictorian to become a teacher to make a difference

Following in her mother’s footsteps after seeing the difference she has made in the lives of students is Jessica Snyder’s goal in becoming a teacher after she graduates from Gateway Christian School this month.

Jessica has been named the Gateway’s valedictorian this year. Graduation ceremonies will take place June 29 at Canyon Ski Resort.

“I was so excited to learn I was named valedictorian. I was so happy!” said Jessica. “It’s such a huge honour that I get to address my class and congratulate them.”

She added being named valedictorian has been a goal of hers since middle school.

“It took a lot of hard work and I had to be very dedicated to my work. It took a lot of strength especially through COVID,” said Jessica. “My family and friends really helped me to keep going and keep learning. It’s all a learning experience, so that was a motivator to me – the more I devoted myself to my work, the more I learned.”

Completing high school in a global pandemic has presented a number of challenges, but Jessica didn’t let that stop her from achieving her goals.

“It has been hard. The biggest thing that has helped me this year has been the support of my family and the Lord too – just praying for the strength to get through it and find the best path for me and my family to navigate this,” she said. “Having that steady anchor of my family and the Lord has definitely helped me keep committed and keep going.”

Looking back at her time in school, Jessica said there were many highlights, but it’s the small moments that stand out to her the most.

“Most people like to remember the big things that happen like school trips, which were so much fun. But I think the real moments where I bonded with my class were the small moments like sitting and playing Uno at lunch, and if it’s a hot day outside, we go and play at the park. It’s those small moments which meant the most to me.”

As for her future, Jessica will attend Red Deer College next year as she has been accepted to the Bachelor of Education program.

“I am going to go with the secondary route, which means I will be teaching in the higher grades,” she said. “My mom is a teacher, so I have taken after that just seeing the impact she has had on students’ lives. Growing up in a family with a teacher has definitely helped shape my life, so I think it would be great for me to follow in her path and make it my own.”

Jessica added she is excited to address her fellow classmates during graduation.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve had to show a steadfast character – being loyal and committed, devoted and dedicated whether that’s with our relationships or working towards finding a job,” she said. “I want to encourage my class to keep going with that because it helps us get to great goals like achieving our graduation.”

Chris Kooman, Vice Principal at Gateway Christian School, said he is extremely proud of Jessica.

“Jessica is a hard working student with attention to detail and a love of learning. She takes her studies seriously, working diligently to excel in every area,” he said. “She cares about her classmates, is fun and energetic, and works on relationships as much as her studies. Jessica’s willingness to help others, improve herself, and constantly improve are qualities that will take her far in life!”

Education

Red Deer Polytechnic adds Psychology degrees and two diplomas for fall

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Red Deer Polytechnic continues to expand its breadth of programming for learners by offering a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a University Arts Diploma and a University Sciences Diploma, all set to begin in Fall 2021 Term.

“We are pleased to expand our offering of credentials at Red Deer Polytechnic to meet the demand of learners. These new programs signal another important benchmark in the evolution of our post- secondary institution,” says Kylie Thomas, Vice President Academic and Research. “As a unique polytechnic, we are committed to offering diverse academic pathways for students. Pathways including apprenticeship, micro-credentials, collaborative degrees, certificates, more of our own degrees, and diplomas.”

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology provide Red Deer Polytechnic students with a strong foundational knowledge in a range of topics including behaviour, biology, environment, cognition, neuroscience, and how these areas intersect. Throughout these programs, learners will also explore themes of wellness as they expand their analytical, creative and problem-solving skills.

“Offering of these psychology degrees at Red Deer Polytechnic provides learners the access to complete all four years of their program right here in central Alberta. The value of these opportunities cannot be understated,” says Dr. Jane MacNeil, Dean of the School of Arts and Culture. “Throughout their academic journey, students will also benefit from the ability to collaborate with regional partners through participation in experiential learning such as community service and applied research opportunities.”

The new two-year diplomas – the University Arts Diploma and the University Sciences Diploma – will provide students with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experiences that will help them prepare for the workforce upon completion of the program or pursue further education in a variety of fields.

Within the University Arts Diploma, learners can focus on several areas of interest in the Humanities and Social Sciences and may choose one of three academic themes: Global Perspectives; Science and Society; or Culture, Societies, and Gender.

Students enrolled in the University Sciences Diploma will explore subject areas that include Chemistry, Calculus, and Physics, with an initial specialization in Biological Sciences. This diploma prepares graduates to work in biology-related fields, to enter a professional school after two years of undergraduate studies, and to transfer into the last two years of Red Deer Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences.

“Using a holistic interdisciplinary approach, learners will have the opportunity to advance their multi- faceted education as they engage in independent and collaborative scholarly inquiry throughout these diplomas,” says Dr. Nancy Brown, Dean of the Donald School of Business, Science, and Technology. “With a host of hands-on learning opportunities, students will also expand their competencies in solving problems and conducting research projects.”

Red Deer Polytechnic has submitted degree proposals to Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education for Bachelor Business Administration and Bachelor of Education as it looks to broaden its program offerings in the future. The process of designing Red Deer Polytechnic’s own Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies is also underway.

More information about these programs, including the application process, can be found online at rdc.ab.ca/apply.

 

About Red Deer Polytechnic: Our institution’s story began as Red Deer College, opening in 1964. The institution proudly serves its learners and communities with more than 100 programs, as well as impressive learning spaces and facilities. Now, as a polytechnic institution, the post-secondary institution will continue to offer the same breadth of programs in various subject areas and credentials it offers now, plus more of its own degrees. Programs will continue to include apprenticeship training, certificates, diplomas, micro-credentials, degrees and programs in collaboration with partner post- secondary institutions.

Red Deer Polytechnic estimates that about 6,200 full-and part-time credit and apprenticeships students will enroll for the 2020/2021 academic year. The Polytechnic also provides lifelong learning opportunities to 34,000 youth and adult learners annually in the School of Continuing Education. Red Deer Polytechnic’s main campus is located on Treaty 7, Treaty 6 and Métis ancestral lands. This is where we will strive to honour and transform our relationships with one another.

For more information, please visit: rdc.ab.ca

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Community

Red Deer Public Schools team up with Red Deer Polytechnic and sponsors to give 64 Grade 2 students “the best July ever!”

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News Release from Red Deer Public Schools

Reading College has reached a big milestone this year as we celebrate its 10th anniversary.

64 Grade 2 students from across Red Deer Public Schools are going to have the best July ever while improving their reading and writing skills along the way.

Last year, due to COVID-19, the program was held in a virtual format, but this year it’s back under near normal circumstances — this year at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer College.

For the entire month, Reading College students will be immersed in a literacy rich environment, while being supported by mentor teachers as well as recent graduate teachers of Red Deer College. Students will also enjoy fun activities each day throughout the college, which will further enhance their excitement about reading and writing and introduce them to possibilities for their future.

“Third grade reading levels are one of the best predictors of high school graduation. Reading College helps struggling readers become readers of potential,” said Sue Carmichael, Program Coordinator of Reading College. “Reading College is a fantastic program that inspires kids to read and write to ensure they are ready and excited to enter Grade 3.”

“Even with summer holidays just starting, kids and parents were excited when they got on the bus today to start Reading College. In 20 days, we will see significant improvement using approaches that have demonstrated real success. Students will be working hard at reading and writing, but also playing hard with lots of great literacy-based activities around RDC,” said Bruce Buruma, Executive Director for the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. “All the programs the Foundation supports creates life chances for students. Reading College gives these students foundational skills that will help them be more successful in school.”

In its 10th year, Reading College is a project of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. The program would not be possible without financial support from many community partners including from the Central Alberta Optimist Clubs and Tim Hortons through their Smile Cookie Campaign.

“We believe Reading College is one of the best projects our club has undertaken in the City of Red Deer,” said Glenn Turple, a charter member of the Central Alberta Optimist Clubs. “It really does a lot of great things for kids who really need the help.”

“The Foundation is doing such important work in our community that’s benefitting so many children,” said Tanya Doucette, Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner in Red Deer. “Reading College is an amazing opportunity for children at a pivotal moment in their educational careers where they are transitioning from learning to read as a skill to using that skill to enhance all of their future learning.”

For more information regarding Reading College, visit rdpsd.ab.ca/Foundation.php.

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july, 2021

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