- Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 12:22
- Written by Pat Kolafa | © DrumhellerMail.com
A Drumheller Valley Secondary School (DVSS) teacher is being honoured along with 20 other teachers across Alberta with the province’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Science teacher Jason Rasmussen has been invited to accept his award in Calgary on May 26. Associate principal Dan Hird, who won the award last year, nominated him.
“Number one, I can’t even begin to say how honoured I am to be recognized by Dan, I have nothing but respect for him as a teacher and for him to nominate me, I am floored by that,” said Rasmussen.
His nomination was supported by principal Curtis LaPierre and a parent who also wrote a letter of support.
Rasmussen was nominated with 341 other teachers throughout the province for the Excellence In Teaching Award and the SMART Technologies Innovative Use of Technology Award.
In April, the list was pared down to 130 semifinalists who each received access to $1,500 for professional development. On May 18 the final list was announced and Rasmussen will be rewarded with an additional $4,000 to put towards professional development.
‘Those letters and the nomination itself is an honour, it is just so flattering to read those letters and have my name thrown in the hat. And now going through the semifinals and being recognized as a finalist is a little bit surreal,” he said.
He goes on to say how lucky he is to be in a profession he loves, and that spills over into the classroom.
“I have a passion for what I do. If you are having fun in your home life and your place of employment I think you are going to be more effective at what you do. I have had an absolute blast over the last 12 years teaching here in Drumheller. I have developed a real sense of community within the school, but also in the broader sense within the community of Drumheller.
“My theory is, if I can have students walk in and enjoy themselves in my class, that helps them be engaged and interested in what they are doing. If my infectiousness wears off on them… I like to think they are interested and enjoying themselves and achieving a little bit higher because of my efforts.”
Rasmussen grew up in the valley and studied education at the University of Lethbridge. His first fulltime placement at DCHS was in 2000.
“The first offer I received was at DCHS, I know that (then principal) Tom Zariski, who was a teacher of mine, was vocal in having a position offered to me and I’ll always be thankful to him for that because it allowed me to discover my passion for teaching,” said Rasmussen.
He began teaching primarily junior high sciences and progressively got more involved teaching at the high school level. He also taught outdoor education and worked to develop the palaeontology courses now offered at DVSS. When he was first hired he became involved as the equipment manager of Drumheller Titans Football. He worked his way up to becoming head coach, and currently is an offensive coach of the Provincial Champion Titans.