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Two SD72 Teachers Awarded Regional Certificate of Achievement for the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence

General News, Our People
Lt to Rt: Stephen Joyce (Timberline) and Natalie Raedwulf Pogue (Carihi) in their classrooms.

We are proud to announce that two of our outstanding teachers, Natalie Raedwulf Pogue and Stephen Joyce, have been awarded the regional certificate of achievement for the 2024 Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence recognizes exemplary elementary and secondary school teachers across all disciplines for their innovative practices and dedication to student success.

“Both Stephen and Natalie exemplify the dedication, innovation, and passion celebrated by the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence. Their outstanding contributions not only enhance the educational experiences of their students but also inspire their entire school community. We are incredibly proud of their achievements and grateful for the positive impact they have on our schools,” says School District 72 Superintendent Geoff Manning.

Natalie Raedwulf Pogue: Champion for Inclusivity and Empowerment

Natalie Raedwulf Pogue, a learning support teacher at Carihi Secondary, is a dedicated advocate for students with autism and other disabilities. Her lived experience as an Autistic and disabled educator allows her to demonstrate what is possible and help her students overcome barriers to pursue their goals.

Natalie has significantly contributed to creating inclusive and supportive educational spaces. She has ensured that students' chosen pronouns are respected in classrooms and has empowered neurodivergent, disabled, and queer students through her innovative teaching practices. Her colleagues admire her unwavering commitment to listening to the voices of disabled and marginalized students to inform her teaching methods.

A fellow teacher at Carihi Secondary School remarks, "Natalie wholeheartedly believes that in addition to empowering students, our responsibility as educators demands of us to ensure that students have access to inclusive, diverse, supportive educational spaces and that we listen to the voices of disabled and other marginalized people to inform our practice."

Stephen Joyce: Bridging Classroom and Nature

Stephen Joyce, a high school teacher at Timberline Secondary, excels in merging classroom subjects with outdoor activities to help students connect the curriculum to the world around them. His background as a competitive telemark skier and park ranger enriches his teaching in subjects like social studies, outdoor education, English, geography, and comparative cultures for grades 9-12.

Stephen’s classroom is a unique blend of academic and natural worlds, featuring military uniforms, maps of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, and the stunning landscapes of British Columbia. His former students credit him with inspiring them through his passion for literature, history, and the outdoors, encouraging them to dream of a better world and to strive to make it possible.

A former student shares, "Steve has been one of my greatest role models and mentors… So much of my journey out of high school I owe to him. He shared with students the opportunities he had and the lessons he learned from traveling and exploring the world. He would implore us to have an open mind and open heart and tell us that if we could dream of a better world, then we could make it possible."

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