In her final year of teaching, École St. Anne Student Support Services Teacher Louise Kirzinger was astonished when she was named one of the two recipients of the 2019-2020 Catholic Education Service Award as announced by the Prince Albert Roman Catholic School Division.
“This was quite a surprise and I feel very honoured and I’m sure there are many other worthy recipients but I feel very honoured that I was chosen along with Mark Phaneuf for this award and as it is my last year of teaching and I think it is kind of nice way to go out,” Kirzinger said.
Recipients were chosen thanks to their significant contributions to Catholic education, and their faith community.
“I guess they see me as someone who has lived out the philosophy of Catholic education and looking for the face of Christ in the people you work with, in the face of your students and their parents and hoping that they can see Christ back when they look at you,” she added.
Kirzinger has been with the division for nearly 24 years and she has worked at St. Michael, St. Francis, St. Catherine Catholic School (then known as W.F.A. Turgeon) and then her current school Ecole St. Anne.
Kirzinger has been part of the Catholic education system her entire life as a student and a teacher and explained that Christ is one of the greatest teachers
“We want to show that love to our families, to our children, to our coworkers along with giving them a good academic education as well and that there is a faith component in their lives that helps us through our lives,” she said.
Part of the recognition is for work in the parish community. She explained that in the Catholic school community you are charged to try and use your talents in the parish community and they are part of the whole.
“It is both because we see the church as part of our education community as well. Every school has to find a parish priest and we have connection to a parish as a school and we try and do things with a parish, it could be singing at mass or a tour of the church there are many things,” she said.
Her job as a Student Support Services Teacher is all about service.
“Our job is to support classroom teachers with needs in their classroom and create programming for children that may have special needs in their classroom. It could be someone with exceptional needs or some help with reading. In Student Support Services we are someone to support the students but we are also there to support the teachers and help them as much as we can in any way we can,” Krizinger explained.
The Prince Albert Roman Catholic Board of Education established the Catholic Education Service Award in 1998 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to Catholic education in Prince Albert. Both recipients have been nominated due to their significant contributions to Catholic education, and their faith community.
For more on the award, including school division reaction, please see Thursday’s Daily Herald.