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Red Deer Public values LGBTQ+ students, staff and families

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The Board of Trustees of Red Deer Public Schools reaffirms its unequivocal support and commitment to LGBTQ+ students, staff and families.

Last month the Board voted against having a Division-wide Pride Week and voted in favour of having a Diversity Week understanding we are “Open to All”, recognizing our Division must be respectful and supportive of each diverse group and individual. The decision arrived at by the Board on Diversity Week is now in the hands of the Superintendent of Schools to move forward on implementation, working closely with our schools and the community to make this valued and meaningful.

Since then, the Board has received and appreciated many and a wide range of comments and opinions on the decisions. The decisions have also been part of discussions at School Council and City Wide School Council meetings.

During the Board’s meeting March 10, Trustees and Senior Administration heard four presentations from individuals requesting to share perspectives. As provided within policy, the Board chose to hear those presentations during its private meeting.

Following those presentations and discussion among Trustees, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to have a Diversity Week. The Board will not reconsider its decision on Pride Week.

Following their deliberations, all Trustees support the following motion to review the Board’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy, which has already received strong endorsement from champions of the LGBTQ+ community:

● The Board of Trustees directs the Superintendent of Schools to undertake a review of Board Policy 19 – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and report to the Board.

Throughout all deliberations on these motions, Trustees, both individually and collectively showed genuine care, understanding and full support for LGBTQ+ students, staff and community. The Board of Trustees fully expects that our schools are safe and respected places for all students and staff. We recognize the true challenges faced by the LBGTQ+ community and that Red Deer Public must continue to prioritize this work.

Included within the current SOGI Policy is the provision for schools to have events and activities to support members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. This already includes the ability for schools to host Pride weeks and events. Some schools, in response to this opportunity, are undertaking plans to do so this year.

The Board’s intention in approving the review of an already strong policy is to ensure the policy is highly responsive to the challenges and opportunities of the LGBTQ+ community within school communities.

Education

St. Joseph High School student awarded scholarship worth $80,000.00

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Article submitted by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

High school student wins a Schulich Leader Scholarship worth $80,000

Denaisha Kraft, a Grade 12 student from St. Joseph High School has been granted a Schulich Leader Scholarship, Creating the Next Generation of Technology Innovators, from the University of Victoria. The scholarship is in the amount of $80,000.

This is Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) scholarship. Kraft won in the science and math category.

“I never would have imagined that I would win this scholarship. It is truly life-changing. I honestly can’t thank my teachers enough for everything they have done. They have always been so supportive, and they are always willing to provide assistance. They have undeniably inspired me to work towards my goals. St. Joseph High School has given me so many opportunities to grow as an individual, and the school does an amazing job of creating an inclusive environment to grow in both athletics and academics. My parents have motivated me throughout my entire life; none of this would be possible without their constant support. They have allowed me to pursue my interests and work towards my goals, and I can’t thank them enough. I have also been fortunate to grow up alongside my twin sister, Jessica, and she has always been there to provide constant encouragement. Winning this scholarship gives me the ability to focus on my interests without having to worry about any financial limitations. I’m excited to connect with other like-minded individuals at the University of Victoria who share similar interests and passions, and I can’t wait to get involved with the learning opportunities that the University of Victoria has to offer. I couldn’t be more excited to start the next part of my journey,” said Denaisha Kraft, Grade 12 student at St. Joseph High School.

“Denaisha is a remarkable member of our school community. Not only is she a strong academic student, Denaisha is also a gifted athlete who is part of our varsity volleyball and badminton teams. As a Schulich Leader Scholarship recipient, Denaisha is humble and passionate for learning, which is an element essential for mentorship to be effective. Denaisha has a bright future ahead of her and we couldn’t be more pleased for her and her family,” said Principal Graeme Daniel at St. Joseph High School.

“Denaisha is one of the top female students I have ever taught. She is modest and genuine but always seeks to understand more. Denaisha is a great ambassador academically and athletically,” said Sherry Schulzke, a retired teacher from St. Joseph High School.

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Alberta

Red Deer teacher representing Canada for Most Valuable Teacher title – Just 2 more days to vote!

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Local teacher in the running for $20,000 technology grant

Eastview’s Jeremy Spink the only Canadian vying for the prize

A Red Deer teacher is the only Canadian in the running for a huge prize of $20,000 and the title of 2020/21 NHL/NHLPA Most Valuable Teacher, presented by SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) and he needs your votes to win!

Jeremy Spink, Teacher at Eastview Middle School, is one of three teachers across North America vying for the technology grant and bragging rights of being named Most Valuable Teacher. If he is successful, Red Deer Public Schools will use the money to support students with technology to help bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics concepts to life at Eastview Middle School.

The community can help Spink win by voting daily on the Future Goals™ Teacher of the Year website from May 3-7.

Spink won the title for the month of February after competing against dozens of other teachers across North America. Red Deer Public received a $10,000 grant in which Eastview purchased technology for classrooms.

“I didn’t really realize the magnitude of the whole program when I was nominated for February. The amount of support I received from our community was amazing – everyone really rallied around this cause. It was amazing on my part and I was touched by the support. It was such a great feeling,” said Spink. “To take this to the next level will really be putting Red Deer, Red Deer Public and Eastview Middle School on the map across Canada. To bring our community into the spotlight and show what great things we do in our schools and in our Division would be amazing.”

Spink, who has been a teacher at Eastview for more than 20 years, has incorporated the Future Goals™ – Hockey Scholar program into his classroom, which is designed to leverage STEM in hockey to create a fun and memorable learning experience.

“It is a great program and it all ties right into our curricular goals,” he said. “I am dedicated to teaching applications for STEM because I know that it not only impacts how healthy and productive students are during this time, but also their well-being and success far beyond the K-12 years.”

Eastview Middle School Principal Kevin Robertson said Spink has been a leader in the school’s hockey program and worked with other teachers in delivering programming to Grades 6-8.

“In his hockey class, and in all of his classes, he instills a love of learning and particularly a love for the game for all of his hockey class students, through positive interactions and his infectious enthusiasm,” said Robertson. “If he were to win the MVT for 2020/2021, we would look at how we could further support technology in our classrooms, whether through more devices, or through other specific technologies for our hockey program and other areas to supplement instruction.”

How can the Red Deer community help? By voting for Spink once a day from May 3-7. To vote, visit the Future Goals™ Teacher of the Year website.

“I encourage people to vote because it will help put our community on the map. The other two teachers are from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, so to have our community of 100,000 people go up against these two huge communities and show our Alberta and Canada pride would be so great!” said Spink.

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may, 2021

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