Educators from ASDW receive Minister’s Excellence in Education Awards

Article Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On November 18, three educators from Anglophone West School District each received a Minister’s Excellence inEducation AwardThe awards are presented annually to educators who have shown outstanding commitment, enthusiasm, ingenuity, and leadership with respect to the learning and development of the young people in their care.

Congratulations Jill Isherwood, Valerie Marshall and Sonya O’Donnell.   
Jilll Isherwood.jpgJill Isherwood is currently an education support teacher for resource at Harold Peterson Middle School in Oromocto. Jill is as a teacher with a unique and gentle approach to educating her students. Over the years, and in various roles, Jill has displayed unwavering commitment to her craft and to supporting students.
As a representative of the school-based Professional Learning Committee, Jill ensures to represent staff needs’ when creating plans for continuous learning. She has delivered and facilitated numerous professional learning sessions and consults regularly with other professionals to meet the needs of all students at the school.
Jill is a “pivotal member” of the staff who makes great strides to have students be the best version of themselves as possible. Her willingness to have difficult conversations, as well as the conversations of support and encouragement, has resulted in positive changes and milestones of growth for everyone involved. She regularly demonstrates to parents that she has their child’s best interest at heart. 
Her peers describe Jill as “…making a meaningful difference in the lives of both her students and her fellow teachers.”

Valerie Marshall.jpg
Valerie Marshall is a teacher at Fredericton High School who has been educating students for over 30 years. She is well known and respected by students and staff for her cheerful demeanour, kindness, mastery in the classroom and her dedication to education. Valerie is a voracious reader who strives to remain current with research and best teaching practices. Certainly a model for others as a life-long learner!
In the classroom and within her supplementary position of responsibility, Valerie is a strong advocate for students. She encourages fellow teachers to collaborate, to support critical thinking and to support the many needs of students.

Beyond the classroom, she contributes to the positive culture of Fredericton High School. She is the faculty advisor for numerous extracurricular events such as the Christmas Campaign, Remembrance Day ceremonies and Safe Grad, to name a few.
Valerie has served as chair for the diploma committee at the school’s graduation ceremony for over 20 years. 
Valerie has been described as having a “genuine interest and being in tune with department members and students.”
Val, as referred to by her friends and colleagues, has “a warm smile, an open heart and an open mind.”
Sonya O’Donnell.jpgSonya O’Donnell is an early learning and childcare educator at the Tiny Bubbles Day Care in Fredericton. Sonya has a degree in English and Psychology with a minor in Math. As an early learning educator, Sonya demonstrates an infectious love for teaching and is always willing to share ideas with fellow educators. She has supported students as a tutor for numerous years.
Described as being a “child magnet” with a gentle nature, Sonya connects with all young learners in her charge. By establishing such a rapport, she is able to optimize all teachable moments to encourage all learners to think creatively and independently. Parents of the children in her care trust Sonya and are confident that they are well taken care of and supported to thrive. They are “loved, encouraged, challenged and supported.”
Sonya works with a variety of children. She spends time getting to understand their unique abilities, and meets them at their level of learning. She is able to design personalized experiences for children that promote teamwork and success.
Children arrive home each day enthusiastic to share what they have learned whether it be a new song to put their coat on independently, or to be able to say a new French word. When asked where they learned it, the answer is always the same, “Sonya taught me that.”