Manitoba's Celebration of Excellence in Teaching

Minister's Award Recipients 2013-2014

Photo of Recipients 2013-2014

Teaching Excellence Award – Early Years

Photo of Mrs. Andrea Maxwell


Mrs. Andrea Maxwell
Centennial School
Sunrise School Division

Maxwell is always researching and creating fun and engaging ways to capture the interest of her students and connect learning into their everyday lives. She provides multiple opportunities for students to experience authentic learning and uses resources in a creative manner to foster expertise in problem solving, leadership and collaboration in her classroom. For example, her students film each other to evaluate themselves and their peers. She writes monthly newsletter articles providing games and activities so that families can help students at home. Maxwell organizes activities for the entire school population such as a running club. She is the teacher advisor for the Social Justice Committee, where students are involved in awareness and fundraising activities for worthy causes. They research, develop and present their projects to the entire school. As a team leader, Maxwell has created resources and support documents for teachers and has facilitated many sessions in numeracy at the school and divisional levels.

Teaching Excellence Award – Middle Years

Photo of Mr. Jason Nadeau


Mr. Jason Nadeau
McCreary School
Turtle River School Division

Nadeau challenges and motivates students by having them participate in engaging activities. When studying human biology, his classroom turns into an operating room where students are organized in ‘surgical teams.’ Last year, through the annual divisional Science Olympics, every one of his students built a rocket. He also developed a divisional annual Gingerbread Workshop connecting math, language arts and technology. Nadeau’s French classes are dynamic, fun and enthusiastic. Students write books and read them to younger students using puppets and wearing mustaches. His high expectations lead students to take ownership of their learning by working collaboratively and his use of the universal design method of teaching helps to develop critical thinking skills and meaningful learning. His utilization of teachable moments – discussions, conflict resolution and restitution – have decreased behavioural incidents among his students. He is committed to developing activities in the community such as social justice groups, WE Day, Think Day and sustainable development, and he connects school with community in his use of field trips, guest speakers and local resources as he ties in learning with real-life activities.

Teaching Excellence Award – Senior Years

Photo of Mr. Donald Nikkel


Mr. Donald Nikkel
Lundar School
Lakeshore School Division

As an industrial arts teacher, Nikkel brings his community together by providing challenging and engaging learning opportunities for students. While infusing literacy and numeracy skills within projects, Nikkel fosters teamwork, persistence and self-confidence in his students. The construction of an outdoor timber-frame classroom and an energy-efficient, ready-to-move home brought a diverse range of students together to work and problem solve in teams. His commitment to his students led him to develop and implement the Wilderness Out Tripping course, which gives students the opportunity to problem solve in a natural environment, apply the traditional knowledge of Aboriginal people and use their leadership skills in sustainable development activities. Through Nikkel’s projects, students are experiencing real-world connections to learning, making lasting contributions and celebrating their accomplishments in the community.

Outstanding New Teacher Award

Photo of Ms. Lauren Marshall


Ms. Lauren Marshall
Lundar School
Lakeshore School Division

In her first year of teaching, Marshall established a new and growing music program. The school had few instruments and one introductory music course. Involving her students, she obtained a $10,000 music grant from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and negotiated for a variety of used and donated instruments. The school now has band classes for grades 9 to 12 with guitar, piano, wind instruments, percussion and a choir option. Thanks to her energy, commitment and promotion of team work, 40 per cent of the student population is now enrolled in one of her music classes. Marshall gives countless hours to her program and provides a haven of safety and comfort for her students. She has encouraged staff to become part of team-building experiences for the surrounding community and her students have performed in the community not only to entertain but also to foster interest in incoming students. In addition, Marshall brings creativity and initiative to her work with the Manitoba music curriculum development team.

Team Collaboration Award

Photo of Mrs. Angela Bowley, Mrs. Jacqueline Burrough and Mrs. Shelley Lowes


Mrs. Angela Bowley,
Mrs. Jacqueline Burrough and
Mrs. Shelley Lowes

Birtle Collegiate
Park West School Division

Seeing low student performance in math and consistently low scores on provincial exams, these three teachers made improving student learning and performance in mathematics a priority. They decided to redefine the math experience from grades 7 to 12. They identified concepts that were lacking and, using exceptional planning and programming, developed a team approach to meeting challenges. Their collaboration ensured that teachers increased student learning and success not only in individual classrooms but across all levels. They worked tirelessly to support struggling learners, engaging students with hands-on experiences and using technology creatively. The impact of their collaboration has been profound. Their efforts over the last five years resulted in increased student engagement, confidence and work ethics in mathematics, increased enrollment in calculus, pre-calculus and applied math courses, and higher marks in each grade level.

Outstanding School Leader Award

Photo of Mrs. Moyra Vallelly


Mrs. Moyra Vallelly
Southwood Elementary
Garden Valley School Division

Vallelly is a natural leader whose passion is infectious. When Southwood Elementary School was designated as a kindergarten to Grade 3 school, her vision was to create a new culture, new teams and a new school identity. Her priorities included redesigning school spaces to be student friendly, team building and staff training. She fostered an atmosphere of collaboration and trust by sharing responsibilities with staff, being visible throughout the school, setting a time for celebration and maintaining a positive attitude. She inspires her team by envisioning, researching and adapting new strategies such as a team-teaching model centered on reading and math recovery. Her enthusiastic and visionary leadership has brought about dramatic academic gains, a cohesive and inspired team, strategic community collaboration and a new school culture. The most significant measurable outcome she has achieved is the drastic jump in student literacy rate.