Provincial Executive Council has announced the winners of the 2016 ATA fellowships and scholarships.
Doctoral Fellowship in Education
Each year, the Alberta Teachers’ Association awards two fellowships, valued at $15,000 each, to ATA members who have been accepted into or have already embarked upon full-time study in a doctoral program in education at a recognized Alberta public university. The fellowship program is intended to recognize academic excellence and to help defray the financial costs of university study.
Jody Dennis has spent the past 28 years in education, spending time as a pre-K to Grade 9 teacher, vice-principal and principal. Presently, Jody is the principal of Poplar Ridge School, a K-6 school located between Red Deer and Sylvan Lake. She has a bachelor of education degree from the University of Alberta and a master of education degree in leadership and school improvement from the University of Alberta.
Dennis has been involved with the Literacy Steering Committee and the Learning Commons Visioning Committee for Chinook’s Edge School Division.
She has a passion for instructional leadership and enjoys working alongside teachers to improve teaching and learning.
Dennis resides in Red Deer and enjoys spending time with her family.
Jonathan Sharek has been a teacher for the past 15 years. Vice-president of Edmonton Catholic Teachers Local No. 54 for the last six years, he’s been seconded to the University of Alberta Faculty of Education as a field experience associate for the past two years.
Sharek is presently a doctoral student in educational policy studies at the University of Alberta. His research interests are adult education and teacher education programs, with a particular interest in the practicum experience. Sharek is hoping to study how knowledge is constructed when student teachers enter into professional communities of practice in the school setting.
John Mazurek Memorial—Morgex Insurance Scholarship
The John Mazurek Memorial—Morgex Insurance Scholarship is sponsored by Morgex Insurance. It consists of $2,500 to be used for an approved professional development course or part of an organized program of study in the field of business education and/or the use of computer technology in education from a recognized Canadian public institution.
Jordan Robinson has been a teacher for 11 years with St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Schools. While earning his master of education degree at the University of Calgary, Robinson examined the value and purpose of programming/coding with high school students. Students shared their thoughts, feelings and opinions on their experience of coding and how it presented challenges to them as 21st-century learners. Among the study’s key recommendations were introducing programming at an earlier age; promoting computer sciences specifically to girls; and providing greater exposure to the current use of computer science to solve problems, promote creativity and engage critical thinking.
Nadene M. Thomas Graduate Research Bursary
The Nadene M. Thomas Graduate Research Bursary in the amount of $5,000 is offered annually to a member of the Alberta Teachers’ Association who is enrolled in a graduate program in a specialty in education at a recognized Canadian university.
Geoff MacDonald is a passionate advocate of public education who lives in Calgary and teaches at Crescent Heights High School.
MacDonald is completing his master’s degree from Royal Roads University, where his research focus centres on preparing school leaders to better support teachers’ mental wellness needs. He currently works as an ATA Association instructor and has held local positions as C2 chair, political engagement co-ordinator, Economic Policy Committee vice-chair and Negotiating Subcommittee vice-chair. ❚