It is clear there are some incredibly passionate teachers in the Grande Prairie region. Of the five winners of the Passionate Heart Exceptional Service Awards at this year’s 2022 Passionate Heart Awards, four work in education, including three from the Peace Wapiti Public School Division and one from the Grande Prairie Public School Division.
Passionate Heart Exceptional Service Awards are awarded by the County of Grande Prairie to individuals who demonstrate exceptional frontline service for two or more years in policing services, child and family services, youth services, social prevention, education, and social services. Sheila Payeur, an elementary school teacher with Clairmont Community School, says it is a huge honour to be recognized.
“Just to be nominated was an amazing feeling. It was very humbling and I can’t say I expected to hear my name when the rest of the nominees were announced. I know Debbie Hammel personally and she is very deserving too, so that was awesome to hear,” she says.
Librarian and Educational Assistant at Beaverlodge Elementary School Alpha Dawn-Campbell, who also serves on the Beaverlodge Library Board of Trustees says she shares this award with many people who helped her earn the accomplishment.
“It was totally unexpected, but I’d like to thank my team community. The people I work with, including parents, kids, and faculty. I appreciate all of them,” she says.
Debbie Hammel, a junior kindergarten instructor at Robert W. Zahara School, says winning the award was amazing, but seeing two of her colleagues accomplish the feat made it all the better.
“It is great to share this award with my colleagues. I know Sheila Payeur personally and I taught her children. I would like to thank Stacy Vorem, the vice principal for nominating me and the community of Sexsmith for their support.”
Also recognized was École Montrose Grade 6 Teacher Janine Gummesen, as well as Sexsmith Wellness Coordinator Melody Sample. The other awards handed out February 14th were the Passionate Heart Exceptional Team Award to the Grande Prairie Public Library and United Way Alberta Northwest, the Passionate Heart Business Award to Aztec Engineering Inc., and the Chris Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award to Katherine Schmidt of the City of Grande Prairie.
Those eligible for the awards are in Sexsmith, Beaverlodge, Wembley, the City of Grande Prairie, and the County of Grande Prairie.