It’s the passion for teaching that stood out at Thursday’s Black Press Great Teachers celebration at the Staples Business Depot in Langford.
The fourth annual awards went to Strawberry Vale elementary school teacher Karine Tregear, Dunsmuir middle school principal Darren Russel and St. Margaret’s School high school social studies teacher Lisa Ziebart.
The awards are presented by Black Press and Staples in partnership with Camosun College.
“If there’s one thing to takeaway, it’s to take a minute to recognize the great teachers in your life,” said Saanich News publisher Oliver Sommer.
Gerry Denis, manager of Staples Business Depot West Shore, said the company is proud to once again be part of an initiative that highlights the work that teachers do.
“[Great Teachers] is certainly growing in popularity, year after year the nominee list is longer and harder to pick from, the winners are more emotional,” Denis said.
Jessica St. Jean. Staples district manager for Vancouver Island, northern B.C. and the Yukon, enjoys being able to honour the teachers behind the scenes, away from their 8-to-3 schedule.
“Staples has always been quite close to teachers in the education system and to be able to recognize them first hand is incredible.”
For Karine Tregear, this year’s elementary award winner, it’s a reflection of how much fun she’s having in the classroom.
“I was inspired from my Grade 7 teacher but also my horse riding instructor who was also a teacher, and I knew from Grade 7 that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher,” Tregear said.
Principal Darren Russell has been with Dunsmuir middle school for all but a few years since he first started there in 1989.
“I was suprised someone would take the time to nominate me, I’m honoured,” Russell said. “It’s about being there to see the students grow, just from September to June, and then through the years.”
St. Margaret’s School social studies teacher Lisa Ziebart agreed it’s the connection with the students that she appreciates.
“It’s very humbling to win the award,” Ziebart said. “It’s a privilege, we’re all just very lucky as educators to work with youth and have an impact and not a lot of people get to have that experience in their careers.”