Business

Special teachers make a difference around Greater Victoria

Staples Langford store general manager Gerry Denis, left, Goldstream News Gazette acting editor Don Descoteau and Staples Langford sales manager Shawn Gowitt help kick off Great Teachers, a joint initiative that puts Greater Victoria’s grade school educators in the spotlight. - Kyle Wells/News staff
Staples Langford store general manager Gerry Denis, left, Goldstream News Gazette acting editor Don Descoteau and Staples Langford sales manager Shawn Gowitt help kick off Great Teachers, a joint initiative that puts Greater Victoria’s grade school educators in the spotlight.
— image credit: Kyle Wells/News staff

Schools are at the heart of our communities, from Sooke to Sidney and Oak Bay to Esquimalt, and educators play a major role in shaping our children’s lives.

To honour them for helping young people gain skills, confidence and, in many cases, providing the inspiration for them reach a little higher, Black Press community news media is partnering with Staples in Greater Victoria to present the Great Teachers recognition program.

From nominations received from readers, three teachers will be selected – one each from the elementary, middle school and secondary levels – to be honoured at a special recognition event in June and profiled in an upcoming edition of this newspaper.

“I think most people would agree, there is nothing like a special teacher to make a difference in a person’s life. In our Black Press community newspapers we tell many stories about special teachers who are making a difference in their classrooms, science labs and gymnasiums. We wanted to recognize just how important these professionals are to families and to our future,” said Penny Sakamoto, Group Publisher.

“So many teachers go the extra mile, giving extra time for after-school activities or even just spending a few extra moments helping a child who needs a little more attention. Teachers are often the ones who recognize the best in our children. Our Great Teachers program gives local families an opportunity to do the same for educators.”

Harmen Berghuis, who oversees Staples’ School Tools program (staplesschooltools.ca) – it partners with parent advisory committees to streamline parents’ school supplies purchases – says the company connects with numerous teachers over the course of a school year.

Along the way, he adds, store associates and managers get a feel for the kinds of initiatives teachers undertake to make projects special or learning fun for students. “We really admire teachers and the work that schools do,” Berghuis says. “I think they deserve all the recognition we can give them.”

We’d like to invite those of you with children currently in the school system to nominate teachers whom you believe are worthy of special recognition for making a difference.

To nominate a favourite teacher, simply visit vicnews.com/contests and find the Great Teachers icon. Tell us where they teach, what grade and why you think they deserve special mention. The nomination period ends May 23.

ddescoteau@vicnews.com

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