ATA District Representative Jason Schilling (left) presents the Local PR Award to Edmonton Catholic teachers Janet Davies-Davis and Greg Carabine
Teachers honoured locals from across Alberta for excellence in political engagement, public relations, and diversity, equity and human rights at the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s annual Summer Conference August 13, in Banff.
ATA President Mark Ramsankar was impressed with the participating locals’ high level of engagement and advocacy, saying, “Our ATA locals are run by dedicated teachers who do outstanding work for their profession—in their very limited spare time. I am incredibly proud of what they have accomplished.”
“An imaginative and innovative project”
Fort McMurray Local No. 48 won a Local Political Engagement Award for its project “PreferEDFuture: Be Part of the Conversation.” The ATA local used the Twitter account @PreferEDFuture to engage educators, policymakers and stakeholders in candid conversations about public education. The local posed questions during teachers’ convention on its Twitter account, inviting people to join the conversation. It also retweeted favourite posts throughout the convention. One judge identified the project as “a good example of a solid attempt at member engagement.” Another described it as “an imaginative and innovative project.”
“A solid and purposeful plan of political engagement”
Northern Spirit Local No. 6 won a Local Political Engagement Award for its program to advocate to school trustees, MLAs and the public, and to communicate with teachers about educational issues. Informed by research about teachers’ communication preferences, the local sent school trustees a congratulatory welcome package; arranged meetings with local MLAs to discuss educational issues; and educated teachers about the Task Force for Teaching Excellence. “A solid and purposeful plan of political engagement,” commented one judge.
Edmonton Catholic Local No. 54 was honoured with the Local Public Relations Award of Excellence for “Professional, Dedicated, Involved.” Several successful initiatives and special projects received accolades from the judges, including a “Going Batty for Mental Health” ball tournament, a teacher retirement, a school opening mass, a new teacher mentorship, and an improved website and social media presence. “The website/social media project is the strongest in terms of showing measures and the impact of the initiative. Well done,” commented one judge.
Multiple initiatives support and promote diversity
Red Deer City Local No. 60 won the Local Diversity, Equity and Human Rights (DEHR) Award for its multiple initiatives to support and promote diversity. The major event organized by the committee was a DEHR Share Fair to promote partnerships and to showcase community services to address students’ diverse needs. A staggering number of 52 agencies participated. In addition, the Red Deer local hosted two different speaking events for teachers and students to inspire and motivate them to address human rights issues in their daily lives. ❚