On May 20, The Honourable Frank F. Fagan, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, presented Shalane Spurrell with the Canadian Parents for French Teacher Graduate of the Year Award. Ms. Spurrell’s mother, Lavina Miller, accepted the award on her behalf as she is currently teaching in Port-aux-Basques.
This award recognizes education graduates who, during their academic and internship sessions, have developed innovative strategies that illustrate their motivation to teach and demonstrate their passion for language development. To be eligible for the award, the teacher graduate must have completed a Bachelor of Education Program with a French focus or a French teachable area. The student must have applied for or received a Newfoundland and Labrador teaching certificate. Ms. Spurrell received a one week professional development session in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon for summer 2014 and a plaque for her efforts.
Ms. Spurrell completed her Bachelor of Arts with a French major, making French her first teachable area. At the post-secondary level, she studied French at Memorial University in St. John's, where she also worked as a French monitor in the Multimedia Lab. She also studied at the Frecker Institute in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and she worked in France for a year to further develop her French language skills. Ms. Spurrell was accepted into the Bachelor of Education Intermediate/Secondary program in 2012. She completed her internship at Bishops College in April 2013. During this time she taught both Senior High French Immersion and Core French.
Ms. Spurrell happily accepted her first teaching position in Port-aux-Basques as a one year replacement position at St. James Regional High as the Core French teacher for grades 7-12. She started a French club at the school, called "Le Cercle Français". Their main focus has been to promote French in a positive way at the school and to fundraise for a possible trip to the Port-au-Port Peninsula, where a Francophone population exists on Newfoundland’s west coast.
Mr. William Carter, vice principal of St. James Regional High School, said of Ms. Spurrell, “Shalane is the best new teacher that I have seen in a long time and I currently have 26 years in the teaching profession. Her teaching abilities are superior and her desire to learn matches her personality. She has been a bright sun in an extraordinary winter in which we have been buried with snow.”
The Faculty of Education proudly congratulates Shalane on her achievements. We are happy to see this talented young teacher working with the students in our province and undoubtedly instilling in them the love of the French language and culture that has been so much a part of her life.