Big Valley kindergarten teacher in contention for provincial award

Big Valley kindergarten teacher Erin Stauffer has long wanted to be in the teaching profession.

Erin Stauffer

Big Valley kindergarten teacher Erin Stauffer has long wanted to be in the teaching profession.

“It was always in me,” she said last week after the Clearview School Division nominated her for the Edwin Parr award.

The award recognizes teaching proficiency among first-year teachers across the province. The nomination caught Stauffer off guard.

“I was surprised — I wasn’t expecting this, at all,” she said.

“I just go to school and do my job. I work with a great team. They are very easy to work with.”

Big Valley principal Corry Raugust nominated Stauffer.

He was a nominee for the same award in 2008.

“Erin is grounded and humble,” Raugust said. “She has created a kind and caring atmosphere in her classroom.”

He said Stauffer has the ability to direct kindergarten students to work together in a quiet and calm manner.

“She has an upbeat personality with a positive attitude. She sees the potential in her students.”

Raugust described Stauffer as a well-rounded teacher.

He said she played a big role in organizing the Big Valley Christmas concert.

“Another thing I am impressed with is that she can fill in for me when I am away. She can walk in and teach the junior high students with no issues.”

Although Stauffer had longtime aspirations to be a teacher, her career took another turn before reaching that goal.

She obtained a degree in travel and tourism and worked in that field for a year after graduation.

She soon discovered that career choice wasn’t a fit for her.

Stauffer enrolled in the University of Calgary, where she graduated with two degrees — education and communications and culture.

Stauffer said she has “enjoyed lots of things” about her new profession.

She said she had no experience in a kindergarten classroom, and liked the challenges it presented.

Along with teaching kindergarten three days a week at Big Valley, Stauffer spends the balance of the week co-ordinating the Early Childhood Mapping project for the town and County of Stettler.

The program focuses on children up to age five and connects parents and community members to resources to enhance development of skills in children.

Stauffer is the daughter of Scott and Sherry Pfeiffer of Stettler. She graduated from William E. Hay Composite High School in 2003.

As the Clearview nominee of the Edwin Parr award, Stauffer will participate in the selection process for a zone representative in late May at Red Deer.

The successful candidate advances to the provincial competition.

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