George McDougall teacher gets Excellence in Teaching Award
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:23 pm
The momentum of the George McDougall Building Futures program continues to grow with the announcement on May 21 that one of the programs teachers, Greg Rankin, has been selected as a 2014 Excellence in Teaching Awards winner.
“It’s an honour,” the English teacher said. “It’s pretty cool but a little bittersweet because obviously there are so many people involved in the school and the Building Futures program that deserve this. It seems a little silly to recognize just one.”
He added there are about 50 other teachers he thinks are more deserving of the award than he is.
This humility is not unusual for Rankin, according to George McDougall High School Principal Ed Polhill.
“He’s humble. He just cares about the students getting a great experience,” Polhill said of Rankin. “It’s not about him, it’s about the kids.”
If you visit the Building Futures class at the Reunion McKee Homes site, you will undoubtedly see the respect and enthusiasm the students have for their teacher.
“Greg really shows the kids a lot of respect and freedom. He trusts them and in return they show him respect and they like him,” Polhill said.
Rankin was nominated for the award along with his partner teacher Jarret Hooper, who was a semi-finalist for the award. The two teachers brought the idea of combining classroom learning and onsite home-building training to Polhill last year and were instrumental in creating the program. Polhill said part of the reason he nominated Rankin and Hooper was the innovation they showed in developing the program.
“I think it’s a different, unique and special thing they did this year,” Polhill said of the teachers.
The Excellence in Teaching Awards has been celebrated since 1989 and recognizes educators throughout the province for their exceptional leadership, innovation, creativity and effective teaching practices.
As one of the 20 award winners, Rankin will receive $4,000 to go towards professional development, which he will use to help fund his masters of education degree at the University of Calgary.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for your work,” Rankin said.
“It’s almost maybe a little more motivation.”
“We’re lucky to have people like Mr. Rankin on our staff,” Polhill said. “It’s nice to get that feather in the hat for George McDougall but for me it’s (great for) the kids who get to have the opportunity to have a teacher like Greg.”
“With Inspiring Education in Alberta, when you look around, there are some incredible things going on,” Rankin said.
He added at George McDougall there some great opportunities for students, including a robotics class and a sports performance class that teaches kids about becoming a personal trainer. He added there is also a program being developed in Bow Valley High School in Cochrane that is similar to the Building Futures program.
“If you were to look into (George McDougall School) you’d see some really, really great things,” Rankin said.
In 2013, 14 Rocky View Schools (RVS) teachers were nominated for the award and three were recognized as winners. In 2014, 10 teachers were nominated and Rankin was selected as a winner.
“There’s no question that he’s deserving,” Polhill said of Rankin.