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Rebels earn Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy as WHL Scholastic Team of the Year


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News release from the Red Deer Rebels

It’s a great accomplishment for the Red Deer Rebels as the club is the Western Hockey League’s Scholastic Team of the Year.

The Rebels were announced Tuesday as the 2023-24 winner of the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the WHL member Club that achieves the highest overall academic performance during the regular season.

“On behalf of the Red Deer Rebels, I’d like to thank the league for being selected for the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy. We take great pride in working with our players to be the best they can be,” says Teresa Jaeger, Rebels Education Advisor.

“I’d like to thank the players for all the hard work and commitment they put into getting their assignments done and getting the best grades. I’d also like to thank the teachers at Notre Dame and Athabasca University for helping the team.”

The Rebels had nine players attending École Secondaire Notre Dame High School in Red Deer during the season, while other players did online programming through Athabasca University.

The combined average for all Rebels high school players this season is 88%.

The Rebels have taken a collaborative approach to working with players to achieve academic success. Jaeger, Rebels Hockey Operations Manager Arie Postmus, and Notre Dame Vice Principal Curtis Lansing, work hand in hand to continually monitor how players are progressing. Daily liaisons with players provide the structure and support necessary to getting the most from the time available to learning.

Students not enrolled at Notre Dame are monitored in their progress by the Education Advisor having contact with their teachers and home school administrators.

“It is fantastic to see our players rewarded for the effort they put into their schoolwork. The dedication they showed to balance on ice performance and off ice performance in the classroom is very rewarding” said Postmus.

“I am very happy for them all. Teresa also deserves a ton of credit for the countless hours she gives to head our education program and support these players to ensure they graduate with stellar marks.”

The WHL Scholastic Team of the Year Award is named in honour of Jim Donlevy, long-time WHL Director, Education Services, who passed away in August 2019 following a courageous battle with cancer. This marks the fourth presentation of the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy to a WHL Club since its dedication.

Donlevy was instrumental in the creation and continued success of the WHL Scholarship program – the largest privately-funded amateur sports scholarship program in Canada, and one of the most comprehensive education programs for hockey in the world today. Since the establishment of the WHL Scholarship in 1993-94, nearly 8,000 scholarships have been accessed, totaling an investment of over $35 million by WHL Clubs.

“This award win is a great achievement that celebrates all the hard work by our players and staff. The Rebels place great importance in ensuring our players are focused on their academics during the season, and we take pride in their success.” says Rebels Owner, President, and General Manager Brent Sutter.

“Congratulations to the players, Teresa and Arie for this well-deserved honour, and thank you to our partner schools for all your help.”

The Rebels are just the third Alberta-based team, and first since the Calgary Hitmen in 2013-14, to win the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy/WHL Scholastic Team of the Year Award since 2000.

News release from the Western Hockey League

 The Western Hockey League announced today the Red Deer Rebels have been awarded the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy as the WHL Scholastic Team of the Year for the 2023-24 season.

The WHL Scholastic Team of the Year Award was renamed in honour of Jim Donlevy, longtime WHL Director, Education Services, who passed away in August 2019 following a courageous battle with cancer. This marks the fourth occasion on which the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy will be presented to a WHL Club since its dedication.

“On behalf of the Red Deer Rebels, I’d like to thank the league in being selected for the Jim Donlevy Scholastic Team,” said  Teresa Jaeger, Education Advisor for the Red Deer Rebels. “We take great pride in education here and working with our players to be the best that they can be.

“I’d like to thank the players for their hard work and all their commitment they put into getting the best grades and getting their assignments done. I’d also like to thank the teachers at Notre Dame and Athabasca University for helping the team.”

With nine players attending high school, the Rebels combined high-school average for the 2023-24 academic season was 88 per cent. A hardworking group, the Rebels’ high-school aged players put pride in achieving in the classroom, going the extra mile in order to have success.

“On behalf of my family, I am honoured to present the winner of the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy, presented to the WHL Scholastic Team of the Year,” said Lisa Stollery, daughter of Jim Donlevy. “A huge congratulations to the Red Deer Rebels – their extremely hardworking student-athletes, their teachers who help these young men to excel in their academics, their Education Advisor Teresa Jaeger, the Rebels coaches and management team, and the families that support and love them. They are extremely hardworking students.”

As an organization, the Rebels have taken a collaborative approach to working with players to ensure academic success. Jaeger works closely with Hockey Operations staff and leadership from Red Deer’s Notre Dame High School to continually monitor how players are progressing. By having daily sessions, players are provided with the structure and support required to get the most from the learning time available to them.

While on the road, Hockey Operations staff provide leadership and support to keep players on academic track during road trips. Times are designated for players to focus on coursework and they have the opportunity to connect with teachers and Jaeger through Zoom, text, email and Google Meets.

The Rebels insistence on a regular and productive academic routine, combined with support and supervision, has created an environment that fosters academic success.

This is the first occasion in which the Red Deer Rebels have been named the WHL Scholastic Team of the Year.

Winners of the Jim Donlevy Memorial Trophy (since 2004)

2023-24: Red Deer Rebels

2022-23: Portland Winterhawks

2021-22: Brandon Wheat Kings

2020-21: Not presented due to COVID-19

2019-20: Kamloops Blazers

2018-19: Portland Winterhawks

2017-18: Saskatoon Blades

2016-17: Victoria Royals

2015-16: Spokane Chiefs

2014-15: Kamloops Blazers

2013-14: Calgary Hitmen

2012-13: Portland Winterhawks

2011-12: Edmonton Oil Kings

2010-11: Swift Current Broncos

2009-10: Tri-City Americans

2008-09: Prince Albert Raiders

2007-08: Chilliwack Bruins

2006-07: Kamloops Blazers

2005-06: Kootenay ICE

2004-05: Vancouver Giants

2003-04: Portland Winter Hawks

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Schools shouldn’t sacrifice student performance to vague notions of ‘equity’

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From the Fraser Institute

By Derek J. Allison

According to a new study published by the Fraser Institute, if Canada wants to remain competitive with emerging economies around the world, we must increase our math, science and reading scores—and not simply pursue high levels of “equity and inclusion” as the primary goal for our schools.

Indeed, highly equitable and inclusive schools—with declining PISA scores, as is currently the case in Canada—do a disservice to students and society at large.

Why? Because higher test scores translate into greater “knowledge capital”—that is, the full body of knowledge available to an economy—and boost economic growth (and, incidentally, the tax revenues that fund our schools).

Indeed, the goal should be equitable access to a quality education. And the most realistic and meaningful way to measure student progress is through PISA tests, which every three years assess the performance of 15-year-olds worldwide in core subjects of math, science and reading rather than the limited curriculum objectives used in provincial testing, which can only show progress or decline within individual school systems. In today’s world, where competition is truly global, we must know how our students and schools perform compared to their peers in other countries, especially the “Asian Tigers” of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Tiawan whose rapidly growing economies have been driven by rising PISA scores.

Obviously, countries with higher test scores can teach other countries how to improve—although there are limits and some traps here. Attempting to cut and paste Singapore’s or Korea’s much more meritocratic systems of highly competitive student assessment and selection would be impractical and impolitic in Canada. Even so, policymakers should consider reinstating more meaningful meritocratic norms in Canadian schools to encourage and recognize academic achievement. Nothing succeeds like success, except recognized and rewarded success.

Closer to home, other provinces could benefit from considering why Quebec is such a stellar performer in math and why Alberta has the highest overall PISA test score average of all provinces.

But fair warning, recent attempts at school improvement in Canada show that top-down one-size-fits-all changes—including extending compulsory attendance, reducing average class size and tinkering with course content—have had little positive effect on student performance, although they may please teacher unions. If policymakers want to achieve more equitable success for more students, they should introduce more flexibility, school autonomy and choice into our top-heavy centrally regulated school systems. In this respect it may be no accident that the three highest performing, mid-spending provincial K-12 education systems (Alberta, Quebec and Ontario) offer relatively high levels of school choice, although of quite different kinds.

Equity and inclusion are noble goals, but they shouldn’t interfere with student progress. There’s too much at stake, for students and the country.

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Expansion planned for Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing at Red Deer Polytechnic

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Investing in innovation at Red Deer Polytechnic

Alberta’s government is expanding student capacity and creating a modern learning environment at Red Deer Polytechnic that will help graduates succeed in the economy of tomorrow.

To support emerging opportunities for students, Alberta’s government will invest $12.9 million to expand the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing Technology Access Centre (CIM-TAC) at Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP). CIM-TAC is an applied research and innovation centre that gives companies access to state-of-the-art prototyping and manufacturing equipment, along with a multi-disciplinary team with the expertise to turn brilliant ideas into market-ready products.

As Alberta’s economy grows and diversifies, job creators will increasingly seek employees with the skills required to work in advanced manufacturing.

Construction will begin in early 2025 and will increase the centre’s applied research, education and training capacity. The expanded CIM-TAC will grow to provide work-integrated learning opportunities for an estimated 450 post-secondary students and training through workshops and events to an additional 2,000 students annually by 2030. Additionally, more than 500 junior and senior high school students will take part in dual credit programs at the CIM-TAC.

“Investing in this expansion of CIM-TAC will give students at RDP access to cutting-edge technology and skills to succeed in the economy of tomorrow. The strategic investments we’re making in Budget 2024 are part of a forward-looking path to support the goals of our post-secondary institutions, grow Alberta’s economy and create jobs.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

“The expansion will allow Alberta-based manufacturers across multiple sectors to have greater ability to develop, test and scale their ideas. Students will be engaged at the forefront of made-in-Alberta technologies and manufacturing solutions.This investment will help meet high demand from entrepreneurs and industry for applied research and will take the facility beyond its current capabilities to become an advanced technology training and hands-on learning centre.”

Nate Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

“This expansion project will build on the CIM-TAC’s 15 years of success and leverage the centre’s industry partnerships and manufacturing expertise to provide even more capacity for applied research, as well as education, training and work-integrated learning opportunities for students. We thank the Government of Alberta for this investment that will benefit not only RDP students and researchers, but also the entire central Alberta region and its critical industries like health care, agriculture, energy and construction.”

Stuart Cullum, president, Red Deer Polytechnic

“Manufacturing and advanced manufacturing are driving job-creation, economic growth and made-in-Alberta solutions that improve the lives of people around the world and right here at home. The funding to expand RDP’s CIM-TAC is an investment that will allow Alberta companies greater access to the tools, technology and next generation of skilled talent that will allow our industry to solve real-world challenges, develop better products and ultimately increase productivity.”

Darryl Short, CEO, Karma Machining and Manufacturing, and president, Karma Medical Products  

Quick facts

  • The expansion of CIM-TAC at RDP will support a variety of sectors through advanced manufacturing capabilities, including energy innovation, transportation, aviation and agriculture. The centre will also support RDP’s future expansion into more medical device manufacturing and health-care innovations to support both patients and providers.
  • RDP’s expansion of the CIM-TAC will grow the facility’s footprint from 15,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.
  • The CIM-TAC currently houses $7.6 million of advanced manufacturing equipment.
  • In 2022, RDP attracted more than $2 million in applied research investment. RDP also completed 64 projects for 57 companies and participated in more than 1,300 engagements with industry partners.
  • Since the CIM-TAC’s inception in 2009, RDP has supported more than 300 industry partners (including repeat clients).
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