Crescent School faculty member Natalie Vera has been honoured with a Certificate of Achievement in the 2020 Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence in STEM. Honourees are recognized for their leadership, exemplary teaching practices, and their commitment to help the next generation gain the knowledge and skills they need for future success in a world inspired by ideas and driven by innovation. She is one of 16 recipients of this award in Canada this year.
Vera has been teaching in Crescent’s Lower School (Grades 3-6) since 2005. She has a master's degree in curriculum, teaching and learning and is a Google- and Microsoft-certified instructor. Vera uses technology extensively to engage her students, improve their digital and creative literacy, and assess their learning.
“In addition to being an exceptional educator, peer collaborator and positive driver of school culture, Natalie exemplifies our Crescent values. She is well loved and respected for her intelligence, kindness and innovation by staff, students and parents alike,” says Dr. Sandra Boyes, Crescent School’s Executive Director, Professional Learning & Research and Head of Lower School.
“As a master teacher, Natalie demonstrates innovative teaching practices that enrich both the education of our boys and the professional development of her colleagues,” says Crescent School Headmaster Michael Fellin. “We are delighted that her skills and dedication have been honoured with such a prestigious award.”
“I am thrilled and honoured to be recognized with this Certificate of Achievement,” says Vera. “I feel very fortunate to work in a school where I feel supported and encouraged to follow my interest and passion in technology and STEM endeavours. Even though this year looks and feels different due to COVID-19, I am excited to use technology to help the boys ‘virtually’ collaborate and continue to build relationships, both online and in person.”
This is the fourth time that a Crescent faculty member has been honoured by the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Lower School French teacher Sylvia Duckworth (who retired in 2017) received a Certificate of Excellence in 2014. Dean of Studies David Grant and Upper School science teacher Michael Jansen received Certificates of Achievement in 2015 and 2018 respectively.