Longtime English teacher Audra Lotoski has been honoured as the recipient of the English Language Arts Council of Alberta Teacher Merit Award for her excellence in education.
Currently the English team leader at William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler, she has taught English for 23 years for students from grades 7 to 12.
“I am very honoured to receive this award,” said Lotoski, who accepted the award in Red Deer earlier this month during the council’s annual conference.
Her passion for literacy and learning has reached far into local schools.
“I enjoy teaching literature that challenges my students to think beyond their own personal perspective,” said Lotoski, who is in her eighth year at William E. Hay after seven years at Stettler Middle School.
In her first seven years in Stettler, she taught at Waverly School.
“I have always loved reading and writing, and I like to inspire students to reach for their potential,” Lotoski said.
She also appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with well-qualified colleagues.
“I have watched Audra become a seasoned and thoughtful professional who considers her work to be the greatest profession on earth,” said the nomination letter from teacher Hayley Leschert.
“She is an amazingly creative teacher who incorporates games and humour into her daily plans.”
Lotoski served as secretary for the central ELAC in 2008-09 and is a strong advocate of the work that ELAC does, the citation reads.
“The award-winning teacher served as the school professional development representative to Clearview School Division from 2007 to 2010, striving to support English teachers across the region and encouraging collaborative teamwork.
“This passionate teacher has mentored two beginning student-teachers and one advanced student teacher who have raved about her energy and enthusiasm with students.”
Lotoski has presented workshops for the Central East Alberta Teachers’ Convention, for Clearview teachers and for the teaching staff at William. E. Hay, ranging from technology in the classroom and high school flexibility projects to literacy across the curriculum.
She has published an article in Legion Magazine about her ELA war unit.
Besides being involved with in-school activities, Lotoski volunteers her time to extracurricular committees, including graduation, cheerleading, School Reach, Students Against Drunk Driving, Be the Change Team and school trips to France. She also teaches French.
RICHARD FROESE, Independent reporter