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Valley Teacher Receives Honour


On April 26, the Manitoba government honoured nine outstanding educators at the annual Excellence in Education Awards – one of which was the Swan Valley’s own Kari Goethe, who teaches Environmental Management in the SVRSS and who was one of three teachers to receive the Teaching Excellence Award.
Goethe’s program offers courses ranging from forest, fisheries and wildlife management to geographical information systems. She promotes hands-on and real-world learning opportunities by inviting students to investigate problems and develop solutions that inspire them.
“(This award) is very special since it was my students that nominated me for this award,” said Goethe. “It is so wonderful to work with appreciative students who care about others.
“It is a humbling experience to be one of three teachers in Manitoba to receive this award, and I am very honoured that I was chosen. There are so many educators that put in tremendous amounts of time and effort and they need to all be recognized for it. I encourage other students, parents and staff to submit applications for educators that they feel are deserving of this award.”
The province selects award recipients from nominations submitted by parents, students, school trustees, fellow teachers and school or division administrators.
All nominees must be educators who hold valid, permanent Manitoba teaching certificates and work directly with Kindergarten to Grade 12 students on a daily basis. Each award recipient receives $500 and a framed certificate.
Goethe started her career as a teacher in the Swan Valley School Division in 2005, and has taught in her current position for the past four years.
“My mom, Lorraine Goodman, was a teacher, and my former teacher, Rick Wowchuk, encouraged me to pursue a career in education,” said Goethe. “When Rick retired four years ago, the opportunity to teach Environmental Management was presented to me.
“I am still relatively new to this position, so I am still learning and making changes as I go. I am fortunate that this position allows me to provide opportunities to students that are not always in a typical classroom setting. Field trip planning and out of classroom experiences are often challenging, but provide meaningful memories for students.”
The background information accompanying the announcement of the awards describes Goethe’s diligence in providing different experiences to her students in light of the challenges that comes with teaching in a relatively remote region of the province.
Goethe has obtained a Class 2 driver’s licence in an effort to reduce the cost of field trips by driving the bus herself, and has been able to take as many as eight field trips in a semester to places like Oak Hammock Marsh, the Duck Mountain Interpretive Centre, local mills and the University College of the North.
This is in addition to coaching the school’s Envirothon teams, and extracurricular program for the study of environmental topics that incorporates field experts. She helps students prepare for and travel to competitions as far away as Churchill and Iowa.

Jeremy Bergen