McIntyre awarded prestigious Excellence in Teaching award

A sign in Judith McIntyre’s colourful classroom encourages students to “Be the best you can be”.

A sign in Judith McIntyre’s colourful classroom encourages students to “Be the best you can be”. It seems her students aren’t the only ones living by those words — McIntyre was recently a recipient of a provincial Excellence in Teaching award.

“Ms. McIntyre is an outstanding educator!” wrote principal Dorice Swensrude in her nomination letter. “Countless hours are spent fostering the development of all students in order that they may thrive intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. This incredible teacher models acceptance and love for all students and takes this role very seriously.”

McIntyre has been teaching for 31 years with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. She was chosen as one of 23 educators to be honoured with the provincial award, out of a pool of 341 nominations.

“It was an overwhelming honour. It makes you feel very honoured to be recognized by your peers, just for doing the things you do as a teacher,” said McIntyre. She said she has been very privileged to work with talented staff members, and that it was an honour to represent her colleagues.

Her second grade student Emily Querengesser – or her “friend”, as McIntyre calls her, said that her teaching is very fun and enjoyable. She likes coming to school because of her teacher.

“I love being at school because we learn so much and we have so much fun here,” said Querengesser. “I enjoy doing my work at school.”

McIntyre employs a variety of teaching methods, from traditional pencils and paper, to iPods and smartphones. She likes to engage her students using everything available to her, and she gets her students to practise reading to stuffed animals.

“I love the fact that as a teacher I open up a brand new world for them,” said McIntyre. “I love teaching them and seeing them learn.”

McIntyre is known at the school for dressing up in costumes, including as Bonhomme Carnaval for the “Carnaval d’hiver,” as a bran muffin at the school’s “Muffin Mingler Meet the Teacher” event and as a turkey for the Turkey Trot.

All of her students in Grades 1 and 2 agreed that McIntyre is a good teacher from whom they have learned a lot. Christopher Paans, a second grade student, said that using a computer reading program in class helped improve his reading.

“It’s exciting,” said McIntyre of receiving the award. “I’ve been on cloud nine ever since. It’s very affirming.”

The award was presented at a gala event in Calgary on May 26. As an award winner McIntyre will be able to access up to $4,000 for professional development.

by Aleisha Bosch