These first few weeks of the school year are giving a Calgary teacher a lot to celebrate.
Kathryn Richards’ hard work is paying off – inspiring her students and earning her a major award.
Richards has recently received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in STEM Teaching.
“It’s a really big deal for me,” Richards said. “I feel really, really grateful.”
As a science and math teacher, Richards specializes in STEM subjects.
“STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math,” Richards said.
Richards always makes an effort to encourage girls to explore those fields.
“There’s a gender gap in STEM careers,” Richards said. “So it’s really important that all of the kids, not just the boys, are excited about learning STEM things and get those opportunities.
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Richards’ students appreciate her dedication.
“She’s one of my favourite teachers,” Grade 8 student Chelsea Pozon said. “I think she deserves the award.”
The prime minister’s award is also cause for celebration among Richards’ colleagues at Father Scollen School in northeast Calgary.
“This is a very prestigious award, and she’s such a great ambassador for science and STEM education,” Principal Mark Macaraeg said. “So with all that combined, I think our kids and our school community are very lucky to have her here.”
Richards says she benefits from her interactions with her students.
“I learn from them, to stay curious about the world around me – they’re just so inspiring” Richards said. “They also have such a positive outlook on everything.
“They’re such go-getters. They work so hard. They overcome so many obstacles and they remind you that you can do great things too.”
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