Honouring Excellence

Former student formally thanks outstanding teachers

Former Nor’wester View Public School and Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute student Meghan Payment returned to her elementary and secondary schools to honour and show her gratitude to two very special teachers.   At ceremonies at both schools, Meghan presented Loran Teachers Building Leaders Awards to Pat Towel (retired) of Nor’wester View Public School and Catherine Forbes of Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute.  Meghan recently graduated from the University of Manitoba with an Advanced Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and was a recipient of a coveted Loran Award.

“The Loran Scholarship is a very prestigious award for a student to receive,” says Coral Charlton, Principal of Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute. “Each year, the Loran Scholars Foundation selects up to 33 Canadian students annually from a pool of thousands of applicants.  The scholarships are valued at $100,000 each.”

In addition to the monetary scholarship, the Loran Scholars Foundation has provided Meghan with opportunities to pursue and explore various work experiences and volunteer opportunities.  Through the program, she has also had the opportunity to learn from mentors while developing her interpersonal and professional skills.  Ms. Payment now has the opportunity to formally recognize two teachers who made profound impacts on her life, both academically and personally.

“I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to present Loran Teachers Building Leaders Awards to two very special teachers who played significant roles in helping me get to where I am today,” says Meghan Payment, former Lakehead Public Schools student and Loran Scholar.  “I am thankful that the Loran Scholars Foundation has this award to recognize two very important people in my life.”

The Loran Teachers Building Leaders Award recognizes elementary and secondary school teachers who provide early inspiration, guidance and growth opportunities for Loran scholars.  Each year, graduating Loran Scholars are invited to show gratitude to the teachers who impacted their lives by nominating them for a Loran Teachers Building Leaders Award. Each teacher recipient is recognized by the nominating Loran Scholar at a local certificate presentation. The teacher is also presented with a congratulatory letter from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

A ceremony was held at Nor’wester View Public School on Friday, June 2 at 9:30 to recognize the powerful and positive influence that retired Teacher Pat Towel had on Meghan.  Mrs. Towel taught Meghan in Grades 4 and 5 and was instrumental in helping her to develop her confidence and public speaking skills by encouraging her to sing in the choir and participate in drama productions. With Mrs. Towel as a positive influence, Meghan developed a passion for leadership and began to volunteer in various fashions.  Meghan has stated that Mrs. Towel changed her life.

A similar ceremony was held at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute on Friday, June 2 at 1:00 p.m. to recognize Catherine Forbes, Student Services Chair.   Meghan worked with Ms. Forbes on the first We Stand Up Executive Council and was taught important skills necessary for organizing a large event.  Ms. Forbes encouraged Meghan to continue to participate in student led leadership endeavours and to volunteer and follow through with her passion for helping others. Ms. Forbes also offered guidance for Meghan’s academic and personal growth. Meghan viewed her as a positive female role model and always wanted to thank her.

“Along with honouring these special teachers at the ceremonies, I also hope to encourage the attending students at both schools to volunteer, get involved in their community, and be to be future leaders,” says Payment.  “I will also take the opportunity to encourage students to apply for scholarships and to remind teachers of what an important role they play in the education and lives of our future leaders.”

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