Beiseker Community School teacher Brandy Perry is this year’s Rocky View Schools (RVS) nominee for the Edwin Parr Award.
Sponsored by the Alberta School Board Association (ASBA), the Edwin Parr Award recognizes first-year teachers who are committed to excellence in their classrooms. Each school board in the province nominates one first-year teacher for the award every year, and that name is then submitted as a nominee to the annual ASBA Zone meetings, where five winners are chosen.
Brandy Perry, a foods’ teacher at Beiseker Community School for grades 7-12, is this year’s Edwin Parr nominee for RVS. Perry’s nomination was formally announced at the school division’s board of trustees meeting on March 2.
Perry, who is 26 and graduated from the University of Alberta in 2021, grew up in the town on Gibbsons on the sunshine coast of B.C., and moved to North Vancouver when she was 15 before relocating to Alberta to attend university. Perry currently lives in Airdrie and commutes to Beiseker daily.
The first-year teacher told the Rocky View Weekly in a recent interview that she was honoured to be named the local school division’s Edwin Parr nominee.
“I think the key thing is, one of my main teaching goals is, I want kids to want to come to school,” said Perry. “I want them to be excited and have something they are looking forward to in school. For kids, this is like their job, and I want them to want to come.”
Perry teaches cooking skills to all grade levels at the school based on their abilities. For her Grade 7-12 classes, Perry explained it is all about creating a healthy relationship with food and providing skills that students can apply outside of a classroom setting for the rest of their lives.
“It’s funny,” she reflected. “I was talking to a kid who burnt his popcorn the other day. I said, ‘It’s easy. We’ll just do it again.’ He said, ‘I am just going to get a girlfriend that cooks for me.’
“But (I said) you never want to be in that position; though. Because at some point in your life, you are going to have to make a meal for yourself. So here’s a couple of skills to get you through.”
As for building a positive relationship with food, Perry said it goes toward creating a healthy body self-image and having an understanding about doing things in moderation. Perry said she never wants her students to feel ashamed of what they eat.
“With teenagers, if you say something is bad – that’s the first thing they are going to bandwagon to,” Perry said. “There are no bad foods. There are some foods you should probably eat moderately, and not have [with] every meal. I want food to be part of a lifestyle and a way of living. How can we cut out some of that processed stuff, and still eat a healthy (and tasty) snack?”
Perry, who also helps coach girls’ volleyball and basketball teams at Beiseker Community School, said it's her ambition as a teacher to “make something exciting happen every day.”
She confessed it’s her students’ enthusiasm that feeds her own passion for teaching.
“The reward is the relationships you build up with the kids, and the community,” Perry summarized. "I came into teaching because, when I was a student, I had a lot of amazing teachers that helped me get by growing up; especially through sport. And I wanted to be that teacher for future students."