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BRSD Announces Edwin Parr Teacher Award Nominee

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Kaden Doerksen, BRSD Edwin Parr Award nominee for 2023-24

BRSD Announces Edwin Parr Teacher Award

Battle River School Division (BRSD) is excited to announce that Kaden Doerksen is our Edwin Parr Award nominee. He has been selected to represent our division as one of the Zone 4 nominees for 2023-24.

Six teachers who complete their first year of teaching with an Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) member school board are selected annually by ASBA to represent each zone. The Edwin Parr Teacher Award recognizes exceptional Kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers who positively influence students. The award was established in 1964 after Parr’s passing to honour the significance of exceptional first year teachers within his own school division.

Kaden Doerksen has been nominated for the Edwin Parr first year teacher award, representing BRSD as he moves forward to zone finals. Mr. Doerksen convocated from Concordia University and is currently teaching junior high math, science, and physical education at Tofield School. Though Doerksen is elementary trained, this Mundare native is already teaching at the junior high level.

Zenovia Lazaruik, Principal of Tofield School is proud of Doerksen’s nomination, his status as an exceptional beginning teacher, and his reputation as a highly professional, caring, and passionate teacher.

“Mr. Doerksen is a student-centered teacher who has been a welcome addition to Tofield School and to the division,” says Lazaruik. “He is passionate about everything he teaches, especially math, and he shows perpetual dedication and commitment to the teaching profession and to his students.

He demonstrates ease in building trust and relationships by getting to know the aspirations of his students. He learns about them as people while also building connections with their families, to ultimately build the strongest support system possible.”

Doerksen is a collaborative colleague who keeps open communication lines with all stakeholders to gain feedback that supports and helps students grow to their greatest potential. He seeks regular feedback from administration and teaching staff as well as his students and holds collaboration opportunities in both formal and informal settings.

He is purposeful in cultivating meaningful relationships, both inside and outside the classroom. He acts on feedback, visualizing how it can be constructed into practice. He embraces and becomes adept at emerging technologies, continually demonstrating his understanding of how they support and augment productive learning.

Doerksen actively participates in extracurricular activities. In November, he stepped up as senior high boys’ varsity basketball coach without hesitation, while he wrapped up coaching the junior boys’ volleyball season.

Coaching has helped him to build further relationships with students outside of his classes. He encourages collaboration among athletes through effective coaching strategies including chunking skills, goal setting, sportsmanship, and teamwork. He promotes clear expectations and effective classroom management skills, setting the stage for an optimal learning environment.

Doerksen builds outcome-based lessons that are student centered and demonstrate sequential, pedagogically strong practices. He focuses on engaging students by connecting to their interests, backgrounds, previous knowledge, and experiences. He reinforces the importance of student accountability by gathering evidence from students that demonstrates their solid understanding of the subject matter at hand.

He fosters equality and respect and uses universal and targeted strategies to assess and support student strengths, learning challenges and growth opportunities. Through professional conversations and informal chats, Doerksen communicates a philosophy that every student can learn and needs support to be successful. He provides an environment where students can support, challenge, and understand each other.

“Kaden has designed captivating lessons that foster collaboration and relationships, creating a fun, engaging and inclusive learning environment,” says Lazaruik. “He deeply cares for his students’ well-being and academic progress, supporting students who face challenges while helping them reach their full potential to learn and grow. He is always willing to go that extra mile.”

It is important to him to ensure that everyone feels included. He recognizes that a strong community helps students thrive. His community involvement includes the promotion of Orange Shirt Day and building understanding and perspective around First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures and traditions. He incorporates Indigenous games into his lessons and includes students in his assessments so they can share and prove their knowledge of Indigenous perspectives and history.

BRSD wishes Mr. Doerksen the best of luck as he joins other recipients who will be recognized provincially at ASBA’s Fall General Meeting (FGM).

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