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Gold medal winners announced

October 15, 2019 ATA News Staff


Each year, the Alberta Teachers’ Association awards a gold medal to the student who attains the highest general proficiency in the final two years of a bachelor of education program at each of the four faculties of education.

These awards are administered by the student awards office affiliated with each institution and are generally awarded at convocation ceremonies in the spring.

Amber Baker
Clarence Sansom Gold Medal
University of Calgary

Amber Baker was born and raised in Calgary and is the mother of three children. She has a lifelong passion for learning and is an active volunteer in her community.

Her experience volunteering at her children’s schools reinforced her long-term goal of pursuing a career in education. Amber received a bachelor of education with a concentration in elementary mathematics from the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary in June 2019. She also holds a bachelor of arts in economics and a certificate in visual design with a specialization in art theory and practice from the University of Calgary.

Amber is thrilled to begin her teaching career with the Calgary Board of Education for the 2019–20 school year.

Hal Friesen
Milton Ezra LaZerte Gold Medal
University of Alberta

Hal Friesen holds a BSc in chemistry and physics (2008), an MSc in electrical engineering (2011) and a BEd with a general science major and a French minor (2019). In his career he’s developed laser-based gas detectors and shot lasers for fusion energy research. He is currently conducting research on smart lighting. In his spare time, Friesen also writes science fiction and fantasy stories, one of which is a finalist for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award.

Amel Guezguez
Marie-Louise Grugeyroux Gold Medal
Campus Saint-Jean

Amel Guezguez was born in the French city of Nice but grew up in Tunisia. At the age of 20, she returned to France to study at the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, where she earned a PhD in science in June 2009.

Guezguez subsequently spent five years pursuing postdoctoral studies at the Université de Sherbrooke, in Quebec. She taught science to secondary students in France as well as to university students in Montreal. In 2017, a desire to reorient her career in a way that would allow her to continue teaching motivated her to undertake studies toward a bachelor of education in the After-Degree program at Campus Saint-Jean.

Amel Guezguez est née dans la ville française de Nice et a grandi en Tunisie. À l’âge de 20 ans, elle retourne en France pour poursuivre des études à l’Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, où elle obtient un doctorat en sciences en juin 2009.

Par la suite, Guezguez poursuit pendant cinq ans une formation postdoctorale à l’Université de Sherbrooke, au Québec. Elle a également l’occasion d’enseigner les sciences à des élèves du secondaire en France et à des étudiants universitaires à Montréal. En 2017, le désir de donner une nouvelle orientation à sa carrière tout en continuant d’enseigner la pousse à s’inscrire au programme d’après-diplôme menant au baccalauréat en éducation offert par le Campus Saint-Jean.

Jacqueline Halase
William Aberhart Gold Medal
University of Lethbridge

Jacqueline Halase completed her combined bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of education degree in spring 2019 with a major in drama education. She excelled both academically and in her field experience placements. Halase’s talent and dedication in directing and producing a highly successful school drama production, as well as her investment in developing relationships with her students, their parents and the staff at her school, left a deep and lasting impression on all with whom she worked. One of the teachers in her school stated, “It’s easy to forget she’s a new teacher! She has enabled us to grow as well by demonstrating and discussing new and creative teaching ideas that we can use in our own practice.” Said another: “We have had parents and students approach our principal demanding that we hire this young woman right now.” ❚

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