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Concordia Education Student Wins Award

Posted on: Feb 27, 2013

Faculty of Education student Mr. Clayton Campbell recently received the prestigious Education Society Edmonton award. The Education Society is comprised of a select membership of educators from Edmonton region school districts, universities, government, and the Alberta Teachers' Association and has been active for over 80 years. Each year it offers an award to the two top performing final-year Education students from Concordia University College of Alberta and the University of Alberta. Clayton received his award at the February meeting of the Society where he gave the following speech:

"Ladies and Gentleman, this truly is a privilege, not only to be the recipient of such an illustrious scholarship, but just to have an opportunity to speak to a room full of intellectuals with the same love for education and desire for student success as I do is truly the greatest honour.

I have been blessed with a family that values education, and supports me by always being there when I need them, encouraging me by telling me to always do my best. Those words held true to me throughout my lifetime, and I believe that value will drive me to be a successful educator.

My greatest influence and inspiration for becoming an educator was my grandmother, Octavie L'hirondelle-Callihoo. My grandmother was the kindest, most cheerful, and peaceful person I have ever known. She left a strong legacy, and I always believed what made her so happy and fulfilled with her life was her career as an elementary teacher. My grandmother was in fact the first Aboriginal woman to graduate from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education degree. I have always been proud of her legacy, and I wish to make my own legacy by being a positive influence on as many students as I possibly can within my lifetime.

My grandmother gave me the inspiration to be a teacher, but it was the post-secondary experiences in Concordia University College of Alberta that gave me the passion and drive to succeed. I have achieved my success over the past year and a half not because I have been driven by my GPA, but because each and every one of my professors became mentors who shared their passions through what they taught, made personal connections between myself and my peers, and became role models in my eyes. My peers also share this love for education, and I am honoured to work alongside each and every one of them, and to be entering a profession with up-and-coming teachers of such a high caliber. Day in and day out I see professionals at their finest, modeling the code of professional conduct that I too wish to embody with such professionalism. I have been lucky enough to come into education at a time when the new framework for student learning had been introduced. Just thinking of the implications and the endless opportunities that document inspires fills my heart with happiness, focus, and hope. I have been taught with the framework, and have been held accountable as a professional from day one. I have been challenged and encouraged to be my best and taught the fundamentals of what I need to know to be successful in this next journey in life.

Is that not the learning environment we all want Alberta students to learn within? I am truly blessed to have had my post-secondary career at Concordia, as I feel prepared for the challenges of establishing the classroom environment desirable for our 21st century learners.

Education requires a commitment to lifelong learning, and I’m already looking forward to what the future will bring. We have a diverse, strong, and hopeful generation of students coming into the classroom. The desire to change the world for the better can be seen in so many of the eyes of today’s students. Our future depends on these future citizens and their contributions to society. I have seen through my education that we can make this hope for our students to succeed come true, and I am proud that I will become of the many talented and hardworking educators that are making these changes on a daily basis, one lesson or one supporting gesture at a time. This has been a great honour, and I thank you all for seeing me worthy of such an award, and I thank you for welcoming me to this community focused on student success."

The entire Concordia Faculty of Education congratulates Clayton on his achievement and wishes him success in his future career.

Clayton Campbell