Russ and Ellen Cmolik.


$100,000 Cmolik prize hopes to recognize K–12 educational innovators in B.C.

October 04, 2016

By Wan Yee Lok

The Cmolik Prize for the Enhancement of Public Education in B.C. doubles its value from $50,000 to $100,000 this year and becomes the largest of its kind in Canada. Awarded biennially, the prize is currently seeking nominations for those who have developed an invention, innovation, concept, process or procedure that enhances educational practice in the K–12 public school system in B.C.

The call for nominations is now open to all Canadian citizens who reside in B.C. and closes on Nov. 30, 2016. 

"The Cmolik prize is unquestionably the premier award for recognizing innovation in K–12 education in Canada,” says Kris Magnusson, SFU’s dean of education. "In updating its terms, we continue to celebrate the remarkable contributions that B.C. educators have made to one of the finest educational systems in the world." 

The prize is established through Russ and Ellen Cmolik's $1.3-million endowment to SFU's Faculty of Education. The Cmoliks are both passionate about education, and have been inspired by visits to schools around the world. They wish to encourage practitioners, researchers, administrators and policy makers to enrich teaching and learning, particularly to stimulate a desire to learn and to develop life skills to become productive and responsible members of our community.

“We wanted to do something to speed up the changes in education and SFU offered us a vehicle to do this with the Cmolik prize,” says Ellen. 

The Cmoliks hope ideas from the prize will be adopted across schools and districts in the future. 

Previous winners include SFU education professor Kieran Egan and the Surrey School District