Red Deer Public School District

Edwin Parr nominee is following the footsteps of her biggest inspirations!

It is often said that teachers have one of the greatest influences on a child’s life.

Randi Cummerford’s passion to pursue a career in education was inspired by the teachers in her life. A Grade 3 teacher at Barrie Wilson Elementary, she is Red Deer Public’s nominee for the prestigious Edwin Parr Teacher Award this year.

Each year the Alberta School Boards Association honours six outstanding first-year teachers with the Edwin Parr Teacher Award. School boards may nominate any first-year K to 12 teacher who has taught in an Alberta school jurisdiction which is a member of the ASBA.

“It’s common for teachers to come from a teaching family, but I don’t. The people who inspired me were teachers in my life, so that is what brought me to the teaching profession. With the great group of kids that I have, it feels like this is where I need to be,” she said. “It’s also awesome to be able to work in Red Deer. I feel very, very lucky to be able to stay here in the community that I grew up in.”

Students in Cummerford’s class were excited to hear the news of her nomination and describe her as sweet, kind and helpful.

“It’s rewarding to see the growth from the students. This is because of the community that we have in the classroom and in our school - our students work with a growth mindset and they are there to help each other. They are growing as a collective, because they are all helping one another and that is what it is all about - to help each other be successful, to push each other and to make mistakes and learn from them.”

Cummerford said there are many aspects about her job that she loves, but there is one that stands out.

“It’s developing those relationships with the kids. They are excited to see me on Monday morning and tell me about their weekend, and I love hearing the things that they do and the awesome work they are doing in the community as well.”

She added she is grateful to be part of a supportive team at Barrie Wilson.

“It’s because of the team at the school - that is how I got to where I am. I feel like it is because of the awesome people in this building that I have made it this far in the nomination.”

Principal Chris Good, who nominated Cummerford, said she is a fantastic addition to the school.

“Randi is a quiet teacher, but she has a big impact not only in her class, but in the school as well,” he said. “She has a challenging classroom, but she works hard to ensure she meets the needs of all kids. She does a lot of innovative things in her classroom and she pushes the boundaries of learning and making sure all the kids are engaged all the time.”

"It was exciting to see the enthusiasm and creativity demonstrated by the group of nominees. It is evident that they are highly focused on finding engaging ways to ensure all students are learning,” said Nicola Golby, Associate Superintendent of Learning Services with Red Deer Public Schools.