2022 National Inclusive Education Award Winners – Alberta
The National Inclusive Education Award for Alberta is provided jointly by Inclusion Canada and Inclusion Alberta to honour a teacher, school or school district whose commitment to inclusive education is exemplary and deserving of recognition.
We are pleased this year to be presenting the award to two schools: St. Clare School, a part of Calgary Catholic School District, and St. Catherine School in Grande Prairie.
School has been incredibly challenging for everyone over the past two years of the pandemic. Having the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the outstanding work of the teams at St. Clare School’s and St. Catherine School’s in supporting the inclusion of children with developmental disabilities feels particularly important and necessary right now. Shining a light on the good things that are going on, and the people who are committed to creating the opportunities for all children to belong, be welcomed, and be learning is important for our spirit, and gives us hope. These schools have made a tremendous difference in the lives of children like Nica and Logan and knowing that inclusive schools like these exist gives families hope.
As an organization that values and supports the full inclusion of children in regular education classrooms, Inclusion Alberta would like to thank St. Clare School and St. Catherine School for their commitment to Nica, Logan and all the other students who have been fortunate enough to be fully included in their regular classrooms.
St. Clare School – Calgary
Nominated by Nick and Aracelie Ignacio, the parents of Nica, who is a student at St. Clare School.
“During the meeting I was amazed with the support given by Trisa Soroski when she said, ‘It is the choice of a parent where they want to put their child.” With that statement I felt relieved. It is a pleasure to nominate St Clare School and the new Principal Mrs. Rose Ferreirinha who arranged the meeting and with the support of Diverse Learning Supervisor Trisa Soroski, invested their time and effort to put all together the process of Nica’s transition to a regular Grade 6 class. With the school’s flexibility and without so much discussion, the school granted our request. Nica’s new teacher Mr. Robert Zakovicz, with his time and effort, put together a weekly progress report for Nica. St Clare knows the needs of being included regardless of abilities of their students, and parents just need to ask for it.”
St. Catherine School – Grande Prairie
Nominated by Jennifer Radcliffe, the parent of Logan, who is a student at St. Catherine School.
“ Hailey Winnicky has shown an immense drive and willingness to provide inclusive education. She has taken initiative to learn how to include Logan in her regular classroom. She fosters positive relationships with his peers and alters the classroom environment to better suit his needs. A direct example of this is simply allowing Logan to lead the morning affirmations as he loves to hear the students repeat after him. Megan Peters is Logan’s Education Assistant in Ms. Winnicky’s classroom. I wholeheartedly believe that the collaboration between them has set up my son for success in Grade 2.
“With the collaborative effort of these two outstanding people, Logan has flourished so much in the last few months of school, exceeding goals and picking up skills that had previously been at a standstill. I attribute these gains to the inclusive and accepting environment created by St. Catherine’s school that allows my child to learn alongside his peers…Every staff member that I have come into contact with at St. Catherine’s has been accepting, inclusive and positive. When speaking with Principal Shelley LaCroix and Classroom Support Teacher Carmen Steinburg, they understood and agreed with our desire for inclusive education. They have taken the time to figure out what works and what does not so they can alter as needed to ensure Logan is included.”