The Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines.
HUDSON BAY — Hudson Bay Community School teacher Kara Fidelack was awarded with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
The award recognizes exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines, with over 1,800 teachers honoured since 1994. Award recipients are honoured for their remarkable achievements in education and for their commitment to preparing youth for a digital and innovation-based economy. It is considered the most prestigious prize award to a teacher in Canada.
“During a time when teaching is very challenging, it gives me great hope that amazing young teachers like Kara Fidelack exist,” said Louise Gel, principal of Hudson Bay Community School, in her nomination submission. “She is the face of the future. Her leadership skills are valued in every educational setting where she graciously gives her time.
“Kara reminds all of us that play is important. Children can and will learn while having fun.”
Fidelack currently teaches Pre-Kindergarten (three- and four-year-olds) and Grade 2 science, social studies, health and arts education.
“I am incredibly humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious recognition,” Fidelack said. “This award has inspired me to continue to learn and grow as an educator in hopes of bringing my best to students in the classroom each day.”
Fidelack completed her bachelor of education at University of Regina, convocating in spring 2016. She began her first master’s degree specializing in early childhood education (taken online through University of British Columbia) in fall 2018 and convocated in spring 2021. In fall 2021, she began her second master’s degree at the University of Regina, and finishing her courses in spring 2023. The program she took was a master’s of teaching, learning, and leadership. Fidelack will convocate this coming Friday, Oct. 20.
Fidelack has developed her own digital citizenship and media literacy curriculum after noticing the lack of resources in this area. The teaching of online concepts and lessons begins at the Kindergarten level. It introduces children to the digital world through a hands-on, play-based, exploratory process. This learning tool goes beyond simple usage. While it asks questions like “How do we use devices?” and “How do we use the Internet in a smart way?”, it also emphasizes “How to Stay Safe on the Internet” and “How to Show Kindness on the Internet.” For her, citizenry is just as important as literacy.
In November 2021, Fidelack accepted the role of Early Childhood Education Care (ECEC) president.
Fidelack grew up in Watrous with her parents Rodney and Patti, and her younger sister Kyla, who is also a teacher.
She thanked and gave credit to her colleagues at Hudson Bay Community School, who she said have always supported her in all of my endeavours.
“I don’t think any teacher could strive for excellence if they didn’t work in an excellent environment with supportive staff.”
When asked why she loves teaching, Kara said, “I enjoy being around children and getting to experience the joy that they approach life with.”
Fidelack has taught for eight years, all of which have been at Hudson Bay Community School and has achieved many milestones early in her career.
Gel said she is an avid learner, an avid traveller and a true advocate for young children. She is a mentor to parents, a support for colleagues and an inspiration to others in her field.
“Ms. Fidelack takes every challenge thrown her way and turns it into a learning experience. Her passion for her children and her profession is evident. She is a voice and a cheerleader for some of the most vulnerable and beautiful little Pre-K students in the community of Hudson Bay, Sask.
“Ms. Fidelack is an exceptional colleague, community member and child advocate. There is nothing that she is involved in that does not benefit our community. What a gift we have in this amazing young educator.”
If you walk past her classroom, Gel said, you will always see some amazing “Learning Stories” hanging on the bulletin board to showcase growth in learning. Every child is celebrated with pictures, text, quotes and focus areas. Fidelack utilizes each learning story as a tool for documenting learning through play in Pre-K. Fidelack adapted the template to fit the needs of her Pre-K program, learners and families. Areas in the classroom are dedicated to social-emotional, spiritual, language and literacy, intellectual and physical goals. One example of this is the “Walking Curriculum” that she engaged her students in. Her daily walks in the community, despite the weather, impacted all of the Essential Learning Experiences listed above.
Gel said Fidelack is an avid traveller. She has been to China, Alaska, Egypt, Jordan, India, Nepal, Costa Rica and Churchill, Man. The learning environment in her room reveals this passion of hers. Her experiences with new cultures, religious customs, foods music and art create a classroom where all children from all backgrounds are celebrated. Kara loves the real-life learning that travel brings while seeing interesting places and meeting amazing people along the way. To encourage a sense of community and caring, Ms. Fidelack purchased a bearded dragon that is cared for by the students
The principal said Fidelack involves and engages parents, families and the community in children’s education and care. Once monthly she plans family days to provide opportunities for children and their families to spend time together and to build a community as a Pre-K program.