2024 Director's Awards

2024 Director's Awards
Posted on 06/21/2024
class photo at the Director's Awards

Over 600 elementary students passed through the Father Kennedy Catholic Education Centre this past month to receive a Director’s Award of Excellence.

The celebration was created to recognize and honour the outstanding achievements of students in a number of different categories and subject areas. The awards, presented annually, recognize 12 students from each elementary school for excellence in academics, faith, and community involvement.

“It's a big deal,” said Director of Education David Hansen.
In his address to award winners, Hansen explained that while it’s pretty neat to receive a certificate, take a photo and enjoy some time off school, the real focus of the day is the behind-the-scenes effort that was put in by students that led them to this point.

“Your principal, working with the staff at the school, has selected you as examples of excellence at your school. Now, that's a big deal. There's lots of students back at your school... and they're doing lots of great work. You have been selected as examples of excellence. And that's why today's a big deal.”

The first award, “Catholic School Mission/Vision,” recognize a student who models the virtues of Catholic education, specifically, working for and promoting a more just, caring and peaceful school community. The next award – for “Academic Excellence” – is given to a student for overall academic achievement, while “Excellent Effort in the Pursuit of Learning” recognizes a student who works diligently and strives for continuous improvement.

In more recent years, to reflect the board’s commitment to Stewardship of Creation, an Environmental Award was established to recognize student efforts in creating a greener and more environmentally sustainable school community. It is both a subject and specialty award. The final award category recognizes academic proficiency in the following subject areas: Arts; Religion & Family Life; Language; Science/Technology; Mathematics; Social Studies/History/Geography; French as a Second Language; Health & Physical Education; and French Immersion (for French Immersion schools).

One by one, as students were called up from their seats to receive their award, Hansen invited them to look into the audience where family members were proudly cheering them on, and thank them, as well.

“You don't sit there without some help, and you need to be grateful for that,” he said.

“They are your first teachers, ever, and by far your most important teachers.”

“And when you get back to school, you also have a bunch of people who are in school who helped you sit around this table as well. Because without your teachers and the other staff back at the school, you don't sit around this table. We need to be grateful for all that is offered to us.”

In a full circle closing reflection, Hansen shared that he once was a student sitting in their seat.

“I'm a graduate of the system.”

“I went to St. Jerome's Catholic Elementary School, which is now Annunciation of Our Lord, and then I went to St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, where my children go currently, and I graduated from there. Fast forward a bit in my life and here I am standing as Director of Education in the school board that taught me.”

Motioning to the student winners sitting behind him, he added that a future director could be among them.
“I encourage you to pop into my offices and get a picture at my desk.”

“Wouldn't that be a neat picture of the Director of Education at their age now, and then you fast forward in their life, and they have that office and doing the work of that job.”

“Based off what we’ve seen and heard from the awards,” he added, the possibilities are endless.

Students sitting at the board table Students at the Board of Trustees table Students holding their Director's Awards group picture of students at the Director's Awards Group photo of students at the Director's Awards Group photo of students at Director's Awards Group photo of students at the Director's Awards