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Guelph Community Christian School and teachers honoured with several awards

Written on September 26th, 2008

[caption id=”attachment_3146” align=”aligncenter” width=”295”]debvanegFS Debbie Van Egmond, has been selected to receive the Heritage Educational Foundation National Excellence Award for Teachers (NEAT) for 2008.[/caption]

Resource teacher receives National Excellence Award for Teachers

Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) and some of its teachers have recently been honoured in the broader community with several awards. “I often say that our school is Guelph’s best-kept secret, and I suspect that is true for many of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) schools,” says principal Bob Moore.

“We are thankful for these opportunities to have our staff and school recognized by agencies outside of Christian circles.”

Moore adds that for too long the Christian school community has thought of its schools “as peculiar to our community, and been too self-conscious to get out there in the market place.”

“We need to get the word out that our God is a great God and that His schools are great schools.” he says.

This past summer Guelph Mercury readers voted GCCS the No. 1 independent school in the city.

GCCS staff-member Jody Scheerer was chosen as favourite teacher in Guelph, silver medal, for the Guelph Mercury 2008 Readers Choice Awards.

In addition, the school’s resource teacher, Debbie Van Egmond, has been selected to receive the Heritage Educational Foundation National Excellence Award for Teachers (NEAT) for 2008.

This award is given annually to five teachers from across the country, one from each of the five following regions: British Columbia and Yukon, The Prairies, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

NEAT acknowledges individual teachers “who have introduced innovative methods of teaching and learning,” according to the Heritage Educational Foundation website.

“By stretching the horizons and raising the expectations of their students, they make a real difference in the lives of our children.”

Recipients of the award receive $5,000.

Van Egmond, who has been teaching for 15 years, says the recognition “was a surprise but also a huge honour above all.”

“You go about your day doing your best work but you don’t really expect to be rewarded,” she says, adding she believes that parents who have children in the resource centre “really appreciate the extra time and effort that it takes to help their children be successful.”

One of those parents says she nominated Van Egmond for the award “because she is so adept at encouraging kids with disabilities to make the most of their abilities.”

A child in the resource program at GCCS describes her this way: “Mrs. Van Egmond doesn’t get mad or frustrated when I make mistakes and she does fun stuff with me after I have worked hard… . (She) treats her work like she really likes what she is doing; it’s not like it is a job that she has to do.”

Moore says all of the GCCS teachers should be congratulated for their commitment and competence.

“I count it a privilege to work with such noteworthy teachers,” he says.