Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam teachers finalists for premier's awards

Three off to Victoria, Oct. 5, World Teachers Day

Three teachers at Tri-City high schools have been named finalists in the inaugural Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education.

Hasheem Hakeem, a French teacher at Dr. Charles Best secondary, Sean Robinson, a Riverside secondary science teacher, and Ryan Cho, a social justice and music teacher at Terry Fox secondary, have been named as educators who go above and beyond to make life better for students in British Columbia.

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Hakeem is being recognized for his work in diversity and inclusion while Cho, whose class recently undertook projects to promote “consent culture” to combat sexual assault, including a video done by Fox football players to get students talking about the issue, has been named a finalist in the category of social equity.

Robinson, meanwhile, is a finalist in the technology and innovation category for his efforts to promote collaboration and student engagement through “connections-based learning.” For example, students used Skype to connect with a school in Haiti to develop solar-powered lights. Robinson also wrote a book on the method and uses social media to collaborate with teachers and experts from around the world.

Also ths year, Hakeem's class published an LGBTQ-themed magazine in French entitled “kwiR” to celebrate sexual and gender diversity, as well as raise awareness around homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. The magazine was shared with the entire student body and even caught the attention of CBC Radio Canada.

As finalists, the three will attend an awards ceremony at Government House in Victoria on World Teachers' Day, Oct. 5 where Premier John Horgan, Education Minister Rob Fleming and Lt. Gov. Janet Austin will be in attendance to recognize the honourees.

Winners from each of the categories will receive a $3,000 personal bursary for professional learning and a $2,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning.

• More information about the awards is available at gov.bc.ca/excellenceineducation.

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