Thursday, May 18 marked World Catholic Education Day, and the Prince Albert Catholic School Division board celebrated the occasion by announcing the 2022-2023 Catholic Education Service Award winners.
Student Support Services Teacher Connie Regnier of St. John Community School was one of two winners announced. Regnier has been a teacher for 34 years, but was taken aback by the selection since she’s only worked in the Catholic Division since 2016.
“I was really surprised, but honoured,” Regnier said.
Regnier said that she thought the award focused on her service to the students and her service to the church community.
The division said in a release that Regnier supports students with intensive needs in a special school division program. She attends the Paroisse St. Louis Parish and is an active member of the Catholic Women’s League.
Regnier received the award at her parish on May 21. She credited her friends, family, and colleagues in the school division for helping her be a better teacher.
“It makes your job a whole lot easier when you’ve got a group of supportive, coworkers, the school division, friends, family, the community,” Regnier said. “It’s a lot easier to be of service to people when you’re working with a great bunch of people.”
In the press release, the division called Regnier a master teacher who builds program plans for students based on their individual needs. They noted said compassion and joy for working with students are gifts she shares with staff and students.
Regnier said faith is emphasized throughout the year, but during Catholic Education Week they had added discussions on the role of faith, as well as prayers to start every school day.
“It’s the togetherness, the connectedness that you’re doing it together as a community in the classroom,” Regnier said. “Not everybody goes to church every Sunday but my kids when they come in on Monday morning, they know that we have the prayer.”
Along with a prayer, they also do a sharing circle every Monday morning and a closing sharing circle every Friday morning to share the week.
“We do religion daily,” Regnier said. “I try to connect religion to my social skills because my classroom is set up for behavior and social skills.”
She emphasizes that students should treat people how they themselves want to be treated. This includes having a poster emphasizing the message of humility and empathy.
“That’s the one rule in our classroom: you treat people the way you want to be treated,” she said. “How would that feel if that happened to you?”
The other winner was Remi Joncas of Ecole St Mary High School St. John Community School.
The 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.
The Prince Albert Roman Catholic Separate School Division celebrates Catholic Education Week from May 14-21. The week recognizes the richness and inclusivity of Catholic education with the theme
“We are Many, We are One / L’éducation catholique: À plusieurs, nous sommes un”. The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board said this annual event highlights the strength of unity in diversity within the Catholic educational community.
“Our Board is truly grateful to this year’s recipients of the Prince Albert Catholic Service Awards.,” board chair Suzanne Stubbs said in a press release. “Their involvement in our schools, parishes and greater Catholic community is exemplary and we are blessed to have these individuals working with our staff and students.
“Our Catholic faith informs us that we are to live out our faith with Jesus as model. We are proud that Connie Regnier and Remi Joncas call our school division and Catholic education community home.”