Red Deer teachers win prestigious national award

Two Red Deer Public teachers have been recognized on the national stage for their outstanding school-wide support and teaching excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Colin Christensen and Krista McLean, Grade 5 teachers at Don Campbell Elementary, have been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM.

They both focus on enhancing collaboration among students and teachers at all levels. Grade 5s have worked together to build an arcade game that incorporates aspects of the curriculum, such as explorers, and help younger students understand and use technology. The educator duo also coaches their fellow teachers – in their school and elsewhere in the Division – in the use of new technologies, such as virtual-reality hardware. 

Christensen said he was very surprised to receive the email letting both him and McLean know of their award.

“It is an award that stretches across Canada, so you never really think you might actually win,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have the support of our parent council, admin, colleagues and students to let us be able to support innovation and technology.”

McLean agreed. “Receiving this award for our work with STEM is very humbling. I am grateful to work with a fantastic team of colleagues at our school and within the Division. The staff and students I work with every day keep me learning and growing!”

Principal at Don Campbell, Cam Pizzey said he’s extremely proud of both teachers.

“Mr. Christensen and Mrs. McLean have taken the lead role in our school in developing and delivering STEAM lessons for students,” he said. “This is done in several ways including providing professional development for our staff, using STEM activities in their classrooms, developing leadership skills with their students so that they can lead others, as well as continually looking for ways to be innovative within all grade level curriculums.”