A Drumheller Valley Secondary School (DVSS) math educator is crunching the numbers on his odds of receiving a 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Province of Alberta. Already Dan Hird has been named a semi finalist for the award. Of the 326 eligible nominations, he was in the top 135. He said it is nice to be recognized.
Hird actually completed his schooling in Drumheller, and after university came home, and has enjoyed a 26-year career. While he has taught many areas, he now primarily teaches high school mathematics. He has also coached volleyball and golf at the school. He was also involved in numerous fundraising endeavours by the school for sports programs.
It has come full circle for his family as his youngest daughter graduated from the school in 2009.
He was nominated for the award by two of his colleagues and a parent.
“I know of no teacher who spends more hours providing one on one extra help and tutoring than Dan Hird. On any given day you will find him working on an individual basis with students after school. Whether that student is the valedictorian, or a student struggling to get a passing mark, Dan is willing to go the extra mile to provide help and support,” was said of Hird in letters of nomination for the award.
According to a release, award nominees must show leadership, demonstrate creativity and innovation, work collaboratively with colleagues, and create positive learning environments that motivate students to excel.
“Teachers make a valuable and lasting contribution to the lives of their students, and to the province as a whole. The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is our way to say thank you for a job very well done,” said Dave Hancock, Minister of Education. “I applaud all nominees for using their creativity and innovation to motivate students to succeed.”
As one of 135 semi finalists, he is able to access up to $1,500 for professional development. He said this would allow him to attend conferences and workshops to better his ability as a teacher.
Of the 135 selected, 23 will be honoured in Edmonton at a dinner and awards ceremony. Of those finalists, 20 will be able to receive up to $4,000 in funding for professional development. Three of the finalists in the SMART Technologies Innovative Use of Technology will receive a technology package.
These are the 23rd annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. In its history, more that 8,000 teachers have been nominated, yielding over 450 award recipients.