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Local educators receive Excellence in Teaching Awards

TRURO – Belinda Fraser was shocked to receive accolades for doing a job she loves.

From left, Troy Baird, Belinda Fraser and Kevin Farrell, all Colchester County teachers, were among 14 educators honoured with an Excellence in Teaching Award in Truro on Tuesday night. Monique Chiasson – Truro Daily News

“I feel very honoured … to be recognized by students, parents and staff. I was shocked because I just feel like it’s my job and it’s normal for me to do my job,” said Fraser, of Truro, who has been a teacher for 26 years.

Fraser was one of 14 teachers in Chignecto-Central Regional School Board who received an Excellence in Teaching Award in Truro on Tuesday evening.

A music teacher at Truro Elementary School, Fraser told the Truro Daily News she believes “working hard, being open to every experience, supporting and learning from your staff and loving your kids” will lead to success.

A congratulatory biography at the awards ceremony indicated Fraser is key to the school’s thriving band program that boasts 80 students as well as karaoke, guitar, drumming and many other programs.

Valley’s Troy Baird, a physical education teacher at Bible Hill Junior High School, was another award recipient.

“I’m truly honoured because I’m surrounded by excellence in teaching everyday,” Baird, who has been a teacher for 17 years, told this paper.

Baird said being a teacher in 2014 is “very demanding, takes a lot of time, time away from ones you are closest to, and has a lot of challenges,” such as “dramatically evolving and changing classrooms.”

The best part of being an educator, said Baird, is “reaching out and making a difference.”

An introductory biography of Baird by the school board said he

believes all students deserve an opportunity to succeed, he inspires  respect, exudes enthusiasm and is always willing to try something new.

Another Colchester County recipient was Salmon River’s Kevin Farrell, a 21-year teacher at Cobequid Educational Centre.

“I am representing hundreds of excellent teachers. I feel very proud,” said Farrell, a physics teacher.

Farrell said being an excellent teacher means “that you know there are always things you can do to improve.”

During Farrell’s career, he’s witnessed a major change as well as a consistency in students.

“Kids are more sophisticated with accessing basic information but seem to be a little less confident in finding solutions on their own,” he said. “What’s remained the same is that CEC students have proven to be among the best students in the province.”

CCRSB noted Farrell simplifies complicated concepts for his students and is regarded as a mentor, friend and important member of the school’s faculty.

Melody Martin-Googoo was another award winner. The Truro Junior High School teacher was acknowledged as living the school board’s mission of bringing life to learning.

Martin-Googoo teaches Mi’kmaq language, English language arts  and social studies. She was also described as believing everyone is worthy of respect and embracing the concept of teaching with positivity.

The annual awards, in its 16th year, are presented by CCRSB and the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union. Each recipient was supported by letters from school administration, a colleague and a community member.

Twitter: tdnMonique


Other teachers in Chignecto-Central Regional School Board who received an Excellence in Teaching Award:

Trevor Boudreau, New Glasgow Junior High School 

Evelyn Brown, Thorburn Consolidated School 

Cindy Graham, Scotsburn Elementary School 

Lori McKeigan, G.R. Saunders Elementary School 

Jane Miller, A.G. Baillie Memorial School 

Stephanie Mizuik, Amherst Regional High School 

Bonnie Moore, Junction Road Elementary

Ian Pyke, West End Memorial School 

Charlotte Richard, Oxford Regional Education Centre 

Jessica Starratt, E.B. Chandler Junior High School 

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