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Rachel Baong named Red Deer Public’s Edwin Parr nominee

Rachel Baong and students from her Grade 4 class

Building relationships with students and watching them grow has been a top highlight for this year’s Red Deer Public’s Edwin Parr nominee.

Rachel Baong, a Grade 4 Teacher at Gateway Christian School, said she always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

“I’ve always loved learning, and I love school,” she said. “I grew up as a child of educators - my dad is a Principal and my mom was an Education Assistant. As I did my undergrad degree in English and History I spent a lot of time tutoring and I really loved it. Then I pursued an after degree in Education.”

In her first year of teaching, Rachel said there have been many highlights.

“I have really loved forming relationships with my students. It’s unlike any opportunity I’ve had before because tutoring is typically done for a short time, as well as our practicums are shorter in length, so it’s been nice to be able to grow with students over a longer period of time,” she said.


Looking ahead, Rachel said she hopes to teach in the higher grades at some point in her career. “I know the learning I'm doing this year will transfer to any grades or subjects I teach in the future,” she said.

As for being this year’s Edwin Parr nominee for Red Deer Public, Rachel said it was a big surprise.

“I am very honoured,” she said. “I was not expecting it, and it was a total shock, but I definitely feel honoured. Red Deer Public is a great school division to work for - it’s been such a blessing.”

Geannette Lehman, Principal at Gateway Christian School, said Rachel has been a fantastic addition to the school.

“Rachel is a valued member of our school community, who builds positive relationships with her students, parents and colleagues,” she said. “Her dedication and passion as a teacher is evident, as she creates fun and engaging learning opportunities for her students. Rachel is gifted at ensuring individual student learning interests and styles are accommodated and celebrated within her classroom. We are truly grateful to have her as a member of our staff at Gateway.”

Corrine Thorsteinsen, Associate Superintendent of People Services, said Red Deer Public is thrilled to nominate Rachel for the nomination.

“Rachel is an outstanding teacher who is dedicated to creating an excellent learning environment in her classroom, where all students can flourish,” she said. “We are proud of all she has accomplished in her first year of teaching. She is most deserving of our nomination for this prestigious recognition.”

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 Kindergarten to Grade 12 teacher who has taught in an Alberta school jurisdiction which is a member of the ASBA.

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