On Friday, April 24, Canadian Parents for French (CPF) held its Annual Awards Ceremony at Government House. Faculty of Education alumni Heather Kenny and Scott Tobin were both presented with the CPF Teacher Graduate of the Year Award. It was not possible to give just one award this year, with the excellence shown by Ms. Kenny and Mr. Tobin in their studies and in the first year of their careers as French teachers. In attendance and presenting the various awards were Chief Justice Green and Mrs. Susan Green.
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.
Ms. Kenny has a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in French and German. She completed this degree while working full time in a bilingual government position which not only allowed her to improve her French but also inspired her decision to teach the language. While completing her bachelor of education, Ms. Kenny participated in all professional learning sessions offered in the area of French second language education, displaying her passion to learn, as well as teach. She was one of the students chosen by the Faculty of Education to be featured in a promotional video on the faculty website.
Ms. Kenny is currently teaching at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts and received a glowing recommendation by the French Department Head, Mr. David Butt. She is recognized for having a very demanding teaching assignment and still bringing great energy and enthusiasm to the classroom. Her students and colleagues have quickly developed a rapport with her and she is constantly learning from them. Her level of French is admired as it creates an excellent model for her students. She has worked hard to perfect her expertise and has achieved level B2, the fourth of six levels of the diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) certification, the official French language diploma awarded by France’s Ministry of National Education.
Ms. Kenny has also volunteered in the school to organize French events and activities such as the regional “concours d'art oratoire” and “la semaine de la francophonie”. Outside of the school, she teaches a night course with the Association Francophone de Saint Jean and is a freelance tutor. She has been a volunteer with the CPF since September 2013 and has been a great asset to the organization.
Mr. Tobin has a bachelor of arts degree with a major in French as well as a bachelor of education, intermediate/secondary degree. The cooperating teacher from his time as an intern demonstrated many different approaches which Mr. Tobin has valued and now uses in his own classroom at Holy Heart High School. His school wrote him a glowing nomination for this award, ranking his oral French among the top of the French teachers known to the school. They also expressed their appreciation for his willingness to volunteer his time outside of school hours with programs including the school’s theatrical group and the competitive public speaking group. He is also a regular volunteer for the school's breakfast program. Mr. Tobin is viewed as a wonderful contributor to the school and the Department of French in particular. These are only some of the reasons the Faculty of Education chose to feature Scott in a promotional video on the faculty website.
Mr. Tobin has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his university career, some of which include the PTA Scholarship, Poole Family Scholarship, Leslie Thoms Convocation Award and Memorial Student Leadership Conference. Mr. Tobin has also achieved level B2 of the DELF certification. He has been a valued volunteer with CPF since September 2012. He is a now a member of the CPF Board of Directors and has offered great insight as both a student and a teacher.
The Faculty of Education proudly congratulates Ms. Kenny and Mr. Tobin on their achievements.