2016 Final Results


Engaging Students' Imaginations in Learning

Dr. Kieran Egan’s work focuses on the role of the imagination in learning, and explores how teachers might make their work more effective by engaging students’ imaginations with the content of the curriculum.

He achieves this aim by a number of routes: the development of a new general theory of education; giving talks and workshops in B.C. about this theory and practices to Ministry of Education, School District personnel, and to numerous groups of teachers and parents around the world; and, the development of new ways to apply the theory in everyday classrooms. These practices have become known generally as the “Imaginative Education” (IE) approach.

New programs have been developed that elaborate on the principles and practices of IE and are designed to engage students’ imaginations in effective learning. Some of these programs have focused IE principles on specific curriculum areas, others are somewhat disruptive of the usual routines of schooling, such as the Learning in Depth program, and the Whole School Projects program. The Imaginative Education Research Group to research has been founded to develop implementation strategies, and create networks of co-researchers and teachers across the province and world. To assist teachers in using Imaginative Education practice, Dr. Egan and his colleagues, have developed curriculum-specific websites that include implementation strategies and lesson plans.


Dr. Kieran Egan, Professor Emerti, SFU Faculty of Education 



Healthy Buddies™, Children Teaching Children

Healthy Buddies™, a 21-week, comprehensive, school-based health education and promotion program, empowers school children to live healthier lives by providing them with information about, and encouraging positive attitudes and behaviours toward, physical activity, nutrition and body image. Healthy Buddies™  uses the innovative approach of children teaching children. Children in grades 4–7 teach their younger buddies, kindergarten to grade 3.

Through focusing on health and physical activity Healthy Buddies™ addresses social responsibility. Specific outcomes supported are “Contributing to the Classroom” and “Community and Solving Problems in Peaceful Ways”. The buddy relationships, used to help teach the curriculum (both in the classroom and in the gym), foster a greater sense of shared purpose with the school.

In 2003 a randomized, controlled, pilot study was conducted in 2 schools (Kindergarten to grade 7) in British Columbia (Sunshine Coast) (Stock et al, Pediatrics, 2007). The study found that healthy living knowledge improved in both the older and younger “buddies. The team observed a significantly lower body mass index and blood pressure increase compared to students in the control school.

In 2006 the program was implemented in 45 BC schools, reaching approximately 10,000 children. The resource was modified to reflect First Nation and Inuit cultures. Initial results have been replicated and published in BC and Manitoba. Healthy Buddies™ was implemented in two regions in Alberta and has been implemented in Manitoba for three years.


David Barnum, Teacher, Sunshine Coast 
Jean-Pierre Chanoine, Pediatric Endocrinologist BC Children's Hospital
Sue Stock, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Lion's Gate Hospital
Valerie Ryden, Teacher
Charmaine Miranda, Registered Psychologist, Compass Clinic


Through a Different Lens

Through a Different Lens is a teacher-led project looking at innovative teaching and assessment strategies that capitalize on student strengths by allowing them to choose a method of both learning and representing that is aligned with their interests, cultural background, talents and strengths. The focus of the project is on engagement, strength-based teaching and assessment, and teacher collaboration.

Through a Different Lens is for all students, with a particular focus on students at risk of not completing school, especially those students of Aboriginal ancestry and those with behavioural challenges. Vulnerable learners have successfully completed more classes with an increased knowledge of the course, and with more knowledge of their personal strengths and how these can be used to help them learn.  Teachers as well are more engaged in collaboration, sharing and implementing meaningful strategies for building student relationships and an engaging curriculum, and have increased from 27 to over 100 in number. 

Now in its fifth year, the project has impacted student success, teacher practice, and school and district culture, and continues to show an increase in academic confidence, and intellectual and social engagement for students of all levels.


Todd Manuel 
Judith King
Naryn Searcy
Jeff Fitton
Myron Dueck
Dr. Leyton Schnellert
Don MacIntyre



K12: Free Educational Resource Platform

Cogcentric Labs Inc. wanted to do for the public school textbook what Wikipedia did for the encyclopedia, so they set up an instance for public school teachers that is completely free to schools and includes all the tools teachers need to create assignments and assessments, along with a powerful gradebook. 

Nominees: Ken MacAllister, Seth Tee, Adam Creelman

Student-Hosted Videos to Communicate New Curriculum Competencies to Families (Dormick Park Elementary School Video Team)

A seven-part series, each video summarizes a new curricular Core Competency, describing its applications in the classroom. Starred in and hosted by the students, the project is unique because our videos impact every member of our school and district community and beyond, using a contemporary accessible medium.

Nominees: Shane Hipwell, Amanda Pelley, Cale Stanage, Shannon Francis, Reena Nahal, Sheri Leonard

Take a Stand: Youth for Conservation

Developed to share and treasure the natural beauty of British Columbia with youth, the aim of Take a Stand is to inspire, motivate and empower youth to protect and conserve the environment through art, film, and youth-driven actions. 

Nominees: Allison Kermode, Norm Hann, Nicolas Teichrob, Anthony Bonello

Tool Kit for High End Differentiation and Possibilities for Learning

The Tool Kit offers a comprehensive, free, flexible, set of tools for finding high ability learners (HAL) and differentiating curriculum for them (K–12).  Students, their teachers and parents can use other tools and strategies in the Tool Kit to construct or co-construct personalized, challenging learning experiences for HAL and their peers. 

Nominee: Lannie Kanevsky and


Big Canoe Project (École Shoreline Community Middle School)

Beginning in grade six, the Big Canoe Project provides students with the opportunity to safely experience our amazing location on dragon boats and big canoes. With a focus on the local environment, history, the water and the importance of this area, all students will have at least one unit as part of their course of study at Shoreline.

Nominees: Brenda Pohl, Tim Marks, Jane Spies, Dawn Christy, Hilary Braid-Skolski

Dream Big: A 7-step graphic framework for initiating service projects and social justice initiatives

The Dream Big 7 Step process enables any teacher with a road map on how to encourage social justice service projects. The interactions with various environments, groups, parents, and communities can provide students with a sense that they can help others. By beginning with their own wishes and dreams and following a simple sequence, they can begin to support any cause, improve lives and bring about change. 

Nominee: Sharon D'Souza 

Encompass K-12: Personalized Learning to Meet Diverse Needs

Encompass K-9 is a distributed learning program that offers students from Kindergarten to Grade Nine unique full-time educational options tailored to the needs of each student and family. Encompass 10-12 is an Alternate Education setting that guides students towards meeting their graduation requirements through a small group setting support, self-paced learning and flexible scheduling. 

Nominees: Anita Do, Wendy Hawkin, Scott Romano, Ruth Cheng, Nicole McKenzie, Jeremy Baerg, Christine Abbot, Tanya Walton, Krisztine Trumley

Learning Without Limits – Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning

Students learn face-to-face in a blended learning model at SAIL that is enhanced by online experiences at home. Through inquiry and project based learning, students reflect on their learning and deepen their understanding of big ideas. 

Nominees: Sabrina Symons, Lisa Domeier de Suarez, Jaswinder Uppal, Karen Addie, Karen Lirenman, Ashley Clackson

Math Inquiry

Math Inquiry is the only project in School District 64 that works at bringing together teachers from all schools, rather than just focusing on one level of instruction; it is a different kind of conversation, one where instead of focusing on what is wrong with student learning, teachers can discuss possibilities and strengths, and work at making changes in their own practices and support one another.

Nominees: Susan Robinson, Jessica Willows


outside45 is a West Vancouver Schools Academy based on Bowen Island. It is an environmental education program for Grade 6 and 7 students that blends learning in the classroom with frequent experiences in natural and built environments on and off the island.

Nominees: Scott Slater, Jennifer Pardee, Laura Magrath

Start UP Your Class Program

The Start UP! series is a unique ‘missing link’ providing subject guides for beginning elementary teachers on what to do in a new job. In two Start UP! workshops, experienced teachers share how they would teach a particular assignment, providing relevant resources, lesson sequences, and effective strategies for the grade and time of year.

Nominee: Raymond Myrtle 

YELL Canada

The Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL) is a hands-on, experiential accelerator for high school students interested in gaining knowledge and developing experience in all areas of business and entrepreneurship. YELL helps students interact with like-minded individuals,  build a community based framework to enhance innovation, and provides a learning structure to foster innovation and advancement for future generations.

Nominees: Amit Sandhu, Rattan Bagga, Punit Dhillon, David Cameron

Improving Student Learning Through Self-Regulation

The Self-Regulation Team has worked together for 4 years to implement self-regulation strategies following a visit by Stuart Shanker and clinicians from the MEHRIT Centre in Toronto. Each professional brings their own expert lens to help understand the self-regulation from different perspectives. These differences in view first shaped the team’s own understanding of student need in a more comprehensive way. they used it as a framework to help schools first understand how it could be applied to understanding the teacher’s own self-regulation needs.  

Nominees: Maureen Lee, Leslie Burgess, Moray McLean, Sydney Hook, Sandra-Lynn Shortall, David Platt


Please enjoy some images celebrating the prize winning educator!