"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Canada's History Society Unveils Shortlist for Top History Educators for 2013

25 Classrooms That Are Inspiring Our Kids' Interest in History

WINNIPEG, June 20, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - In fully wireless schools and classrooms, students are 'living history' by using tablets to create their own virtual museums that document Canada's past and present. Some elementary and secondary school students are creating blogs and videos about their discussions with First Nation leaders and the historic background to contemporary challenges they're facing. Still others are re-creating CSI-styled crime scenes complete with authentic artifacts to help them better understand the past.

Deborah Morrison, CEO of Canada's History Society remarked,

"Canada's most passionate educators are now turning to social media, cyberspace and digitized projects to create interactive and novel lesson plans that transform their classrooms into time machines and transport students hundreds of years into the past. Through these awards our goal is to inspire more teachers to 'do' history and to create more inventive ways to engage their students in learning about Canada's past and present."

For their innovative and interactive teaching approaches, Canada's History Society has selected the following educators as finalists for the 2013 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Connie Wyatt Anderson - Oscar Lathlin Collegiate - Opaskwayak Cree Nation, MB
Nicole Aucoin - Horizon Alternative Senior School - Toronto, ON
Rachel Collishaw - Glebe Collegiate Institute - Ottawa, ON
Romy Cooper and Graeme Cotton - General Gordon Elementary - Vancouver, BC
Wayne Demerse - Carihi Secondary School - Campbell River, BC
Robert Flosman - Waterdown District High School - Waterdown, ON
Christopher Garner - Swift Current Comprehensive High School - Swift Current, SK
Elia Gindin and Shirley Coughlan - Foundations for the Future Charter Academy - Calgary, AB
Jan Haskings-Winner - Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute - Toronto, ON
Matt Henderson - St. John's-Ravenscourt School - Winnipeg, MB
Lindsay Hutchison - Tamanawis Secondary - Surrey, BC
Jennifer Janzen - University of Winnipeg Collegiate - Winnipeg, MB
Lucie Jean-Mercier - Académie Lafontaine - St-Jérôme, QC
Sylvain Larose - Collège de Montréal - Montréal, QC
Catherine MacDonald - Fr. L. J. Austin Catholic Secondary School - Whitby, ON
Melissa MacIntyre - Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School - London, ON
Garth Nichols, Charles Jennings, and Alex Hurley - Greenwood College School - Toronto, ON
Sue Novak - George Harvey Collegiate Institute - Toronto, ON
Neil Orford - Centre Dufferin District High School - Shelburne, ON
Mark Perry - Kennebecasis Valley High School - Rothesay, NB
Éric Rochon - École secondaire publique L'Héritage - Cornwall, ON
Manon St. Hilaire - Ste-Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus - St-Jérôme, QC
John Stone - Armbrae Academy - Halifax, NS
Ervin Theunissen - École secondaire Grande-Rivière - Gatineau, QC
Chesley West - Macdonald Drive Junior High - St. John's, NL

Now in its seventeenth year, the Awards recognize the outstanding contributions of Canada's history and social studies teachers, ranging from elementary grades through to secondary schools. For a list of the finalists project descriptions, photos and podcasts, please visit www.CanadasHistory.ca/Awards/Teaching

"We can be proud of these outstanding individuals who are committed to sharing our history in new and innovative ways, inspiring youth to learn about the people and events that have shaped Canada," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "Learning about Canada's history is important. It helps us understand the country we live in today and encourages us to work together to continue to build the country we are happy to call home."

A national panel of judges will next select six recipients out of the twenty-five finalists, based on a submission outlining the nominee's achievements in the field of teaching Canadian History or Social Studies. Those recipients will receive a trip to Ottawa this fall to receive a gold medal presented by the Governor General at Rideau Hall. They will also individually receive $2,500, while their respective schools will also be awarded a cash gift of $1,000. The Awards prizes and program support are made possible through the generous investment of TD Bank Group.

"History can be such an important guide of the future. These teachers work hard every day to help the next generation of leaders understand where we have come from to know where we are going," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. "TD is proud to support the Governor General's History Awards for Excellence in Teaching -recognizing these educators that encourage students to learn about our history in creative and innovative ways."

Each recipient will have the opportunity to join hundreds of Canadian students and teachers on an EF Educational Tours program commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on Juno Beach in France (valued at $2,000), in June of 2014. The trip will take teachers to historical sites in Europe, providing them with first-hand experience they can bring back to the classroom.

More information about the finalists can be found at CanadasHistory.ca/Awards/Teaching.

About Canada's History Society

Canada's History Society is a national charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to presenting the Governor General's History Awards and publishing Canada's History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, as well as Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces a number of educational and online programs to encourage more discovery, celebration, and understanding about our rich history and culture. More details can be found at CanadasHistory.ca.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 22 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe.

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