Andrew Parker, one of three teachers named in Avenue Edmonton's annual Top 40 Under 40 list which highlights individuals who are making an impact on their community.
Three teachers have been named to an annual list of achievers published by a prominent Edmonton magazine.
Avenue Edmonton magazine’s November issue includes its ninth annual Top 40 Under 40 list, which includes entrepreneurs, doctors, professors, activists, altruists and artists, as well as teachers Brea Malacad, Andrew Parker and Cory MacTaggart.
Malacad, 34, is a psychologist with Elk Island School Division who was named to the list due to her passionate mental-health advocacy within her school division.
I feel honoured to be recognized for my efforts.
– Cory MacTaggart
Parker, 34, is a teacher and coach at M.E. Lazerte High School who is credited with nurturing and promoting his community through a variety of efforts, including a basketball tournament called Pride of the Northside, of which he is the director.
MacTaggart, 39, is the principal of Westglen School and is credited for demonstrating passion, dedication and a desire to make a difference in his students’ lives.
Avenue’s summary of Malacad’s accomplishments states that, during her nine years as a counsellor and a psychologist, she’s “helped countless students recognize their strengths through direct consultations, research and systemic changes.”
Malacad is credited with establishing a districtwide professional development program aimed at ensuring quicker reaction times to potentially violent incidents in the division’s schools.
Malacad stated in an email that it feels surreal to be among the exceptional and accomplished people on the list.
“When I get past the disbelief, the overwhelming feeling I have is of gratitude,” she wrote. “I am grateful for the amazing mentors and colleagues I have, including the person who initiated the nomination. I am grateful to have a career where I get to work on projects I care about, alongside people who share my passion.”
Parker is a former student at M.E. Lazerte and credits the school and former coach and mentor Thom Elniski with changing his life. It was Elniski’s death in 2004 that motivated Parker to pursue an education degree and follow in Elniski’s footsteps by being a positive influence and community builder, through coaching, motivational speaking and volunteering.
“I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be recognized as one of Avenue’s top 40 under 40,” Parker stated via email. “Our public school board does incredible work and any recognition I receive is only a glimpse of what every teacher, administrator and staff member does on a daily basis. I am humbled and truly thankful for the award.”
According to the summary published in Avenue, one of MacTaggart’s proudest accomplishments at Westglen is the creation of a sensory room that is particularly helpful to students with autism.
As a member of the Edmonton Public School Foundation's board of governors, MacTaggart has also been involved in fundraisers to help provide full-day kindergarten to students who are of lower socio-economic status and at risk academically.
“I feel honoured to be recognized for my efforts,” MacTaggart stated in an email.
“I believe in the importance of inclusive education, ensuring all of our students have the necessary tools to be successful.”