Sylvan teacher named semi-finalist for excellence award

A teacher from Our Lady of the Rosary is one of the semi-finalists for the province’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

A teacher from Our Lady of the Rosary is one of the semi-finalists for the province’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Amy Cunningham, who teaches Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 at Our Lady of the Rosary School in Sylvan Lake, was nominated for the award in recognition of her contributions to local education.

Twenty teachers from around the province will receive the awards in May, and Cunningham couldn’t be any happier to be on the shortlist.

“It’s a great honour but it’s incredibly humbling,” said Cunningham, who commutes every day to Sylvan Lake from her Eckville-area home. “Every day I learn something new from the students I teach and from my colleagues and from the parents I work with.

“We just have an amazing school community at Our Lady of the Rosary School and it’s just been an awesome experience.”

Cunningham began teaching in 1998, and in 1999, she received her first teaching accolade — the Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

Since then, she’s taught students in Kindergarten through Grade 9 at schools in Eckville, Lacombe and Rimbey.

She’s now in her third year of teaching at Our Lady of the Rosary, where, on top of her teaching duties, she also serves as school counsellor.

Being nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award came as a surprise, she admitted.

“In so many ways, I’m surrounded by so many wonderful teachers at Our Lady of the Rosary, that I’m not sure I’m the best candidate,” she said.

“It certainly wasn’t something that I expected, but it’s just such a great honour. It’s a very pleasant surprise.”

Cunningham is one of about about 130 teachers who were named as semi-finalists for the award.

Its 20 winners will be announced in May, at a dinner with Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson.

“It’s an honour to publicly recognize educators who impact students in such a meaningful way,” said Johnson, in an Apr. 8 news release. “Everything they do is focused on student success.

“These semi-finalists embody the vision and direction that thousands of Albertans shared with us through Inspiring Education, and they deserve our recognition for that.”