From an Indigenous support worker in Courtenay passionate about her heritage, to a life-changing school principal in Surrey and an inclusion-focused teacher in Lillooet, the nine inaugural winners of the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education have proven their dedication to helping British Columbian students succeed.

“The teachers, administrators and support staff being honoured here today are truly exemplary,” said Premier John Horgan. “I’m grateful for their commitment to making life better for students in British Columbia both in the classroom and their communities. Great educators give our students the opportunity and tools to succeed, today and into the future.”

The nine winners of the inaugural Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education were announced at a ceremony at Government House in Victoria. They were narrowed down from 188 nominees, put forward during the April 23 to June 30 nomination period. After careful review by adjudication and judges panels comprised of current and former B.C. education professionals, 27 finalists were announced Aug. 30, 2018.

All were invited to today’s award ceremony, held on World Teachers’ Day, and joined Premier Horgan; Rob Fleming, Minister of Education; and Lt. Gov. Janet Austin.

“We are committed to ensuring education professionals not only receive the acknowledgement they deserve, but are also celebrated for their efforts to make life better for students,” said Fleming. “Today’s award ceremony showcased a small number of exceptional B.C. educators, and we look forward to hearing the stories of many more from throughout the province as the awards program continues in the years to come.”

Jon McComb, host of CKNW’s The Jon McComb Show, served as emcee of the event, which featured musical entertainment by members of the Esquimalt High school senior jazz band.

“From these exceptional education professionals, students not only receive a practical education but also learn countless other ways to be empathetic, innovative and engaged British Columbians,” said Austin. “I’m very proud to congratulate all recipients of this year’s Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education and I am grateful for the opportunity to thank them in person at Government House.”

Winners were awarded a commemorative artwork, a $3,000 personal bursary for professional learning and a $2,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning.

The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education are intended to honour the achievements of education professionals working in public, independent, First Nations and offshore schools.

The nomination period for the 2019 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education will launch in spring 2019.