A Victoria teacher is getting national recognition with an award of excellence from the prime minister.
On Friday, Murray Rankin, Victoria MP, presented Margaret McCullough with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence Certificate of Achievement. Out of almost 400,000 teachers across Canada, the Glenlyon Norfolk School teacher was one of only 35 in the country to receive this honour.
“It’s the pinnacle of any teacher’s career,” said Rankin.
McCullough said she is still overwhelmed by it all.
“As a teacher, you don’t think about those things, you just teach and do your best,” she said.
McCullough has been teaching with Glenlyon Norfolk School since 1979, when it was called Norfolk House. She currently teaches science to Grade 6 and 7 students.
“She runs in the blood of the school,” said Jake Burnett, principal at Glenlyon. “She’s empowered people with her voice [and] she’s empowered people with her perspective.”
McCullough said her favourite part of teaching is “the wonder of when [students] discover things.”
One of McCullough’s admirable qualities is her ability to keep her material current from year to year, said Burnett.
“She’s not conformist. What Margaret taught last year she won’t teach this year, and she won’t teach next year.”
This is driven by McCullough’s intention to keep learning exciting for her students.
“Teaching should not be static, it should evolve,” said McCullough.
Besides winning the award, McCullough was also overjoyed to read nomination letters written by parents of her students praising her as a teacher.
“That to me was winning itself, when I’d read what was written.”