The Chinook’s Edge School Division has 38 new teachers for the 2023-24 school year, including 14 in Sylvan Lake.
Those teachers gathered in Innisfail during the last week of August for New Teacher Orientation.
For the 2023-2024 school year Chinook’s Edge School Division welcomed 38 new teachers with 14 of them being new teachers for schools in Sylvan Lake during New Teacher Orientation (NTO) held in Innisfail the week of Aug. 24.
NTO is an annual three-day orientation and mentorship program for teachers who are new to the profession or the division, associate superintendent of learning services Jason Drent said.
“This year we have a large group of new teachers which is very exciting.”
Welcoming the new teachers to the community and culture of the Chinook’s Edge School Division is very important, Drent added.
“We want to set up our new teachers for success and as such we introduce them to our culture, to the way that we support them and the way we bring that support directly to them because doing so at the end of the day helps to improve the learning for all of our students.”
Of the 14 new teachers coming to Sylvan Lake who attended NTO 11 of them will be teaching at Ecole HJ Cody High School including Annika Sudlow and Melissa McQueen.
For Sudlow who will be teaching Math to students in Grades 9-12 NTO was a very unique opportunity to have as a first-year teacher.
“I talked to peers who graduated the same time as me and nobody really gets to do this,” Sudlow said.
“We got a lot of resources and the division made their goals clear to us which was really valuable,” she added.
During the orientation the values of collaboration which were promoted really shone through, Sudlow said.
“I was shocked with how involved the division is with the people on the ground. I think the division is there to support us and that they really see us as part of a larger team.”
As an experienced teacher who as worked in two divisions prior to Chinook’s Edge McQueen also thought the values shared by the division during NTO were unique.
“I worked with Star Catholic as well as the Wild Rose School Division before coming to Chinook’s Edge and both of those other divisions were very policy driven but Chinook’s Edge definitely focused more on the collaboration aspect,” McQueen said.
McQueen who will be teaching High School Social Studies and Indigenous Studies was also happy to see many of her other new colleagues during the orientation.
“I believe 30 per cent of the staff this year at HJ Cody are new teachers so it was really nice to be able to make connections with each other so that on our first day we could have a familiar face at the school,” she said.