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First-year teacher recognized for excellence in teaching

Glen Avon School teacher Lisa Ference has been nominated for the Edwin Parr award.
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ST. PAUL - St. Paul Education has submitted first-year teacher Lisa Ference as this year's Edwin Parr nominee. With roots growing up in Elk Point and Bonnyville, Ference is now making her mark at a St. Paul school.

Ference, who teaches at Glen Avon School, was nominated by Principal Kandy Songer, who says, “Lisa is a phenomenal first year teacher who stands out amongst those new to the profession. Her abilities as a teacher would usually be seen in someone who had many more years of experience.” She has shown great instructional strategies and skills, and has been able to establish positive and meaningful relationships with her students.

Ference says the main goal that leads her in teaching is "ensuring success for my students through an equitable learning environment and building positive relationships."

When asked what her most memorable moment has been during her first year teaching, she says it is "an accumulation of small moments."

She explains, "It is getting to see a student that has been facing a challenge or adversity succeed, celebrating with your sports teams after a good game, or getting to have meaningful conversations before class with students and staff."

Ference credits the positive learning and work environment at Glen Avon School for helping her achieve success as a first year teacher. She says it's because of her peers and the administrators at the school that she was able to be at her best for her students and the school community. The environment at the kindergarten to Grade 9 school has given her confidence and has allowed her to take risks and build relationships.

Attending preschool in Elk Point, then moving on to complete the majority of her primary and secondary schooling in Bonnyville, Ference is a graduate of Bonnyville Centralized High School. She completed her Bachelor of Secondary Education with Distinction from the University of Alberta in 2021, majoring in social studies. She also has a minor in physical education. 

She says it was a yearning to support others to be the best they could be and achieve their goals that lead her to pursuing a career as a teacher.

"I knew the way I could positively influence others was through teaching and coaching. I want to meet students where they are at and help inspire them to stay positive as they achieve their goals," says Ference.

Along with teaching, also Ference took on the role of the school's athletic director this year. 

Considering the level of planning required for this position, Ference's organizational skills have been an asset. “Her work in this regard has been amazing," said Songer.

The Edwin Parr Awards will be announced on May 18 in Taber. Ference says she was humbled when she found out her name was put forward as a nominee. 



Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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