CBE biology teacher wins international award


Henry Wise Wood student Tessa Meadows and biology teacher Rebecca McEvoy-Halston
What started out as a thoughtful act by a Grade 11 student at Henry Wise Wood High School, ended with a Calgary Board of Education biology teacher winning an international award.

A poster in a biology lab, informing students to choose a commendable teacher, caught the eye of Grade 11 student Tessa Meadows earlier this year. She took the time to fill out the application and wrote an essay nominating her favourite biology teacher, Rebecca McEvoy-Halston. That started a ball rolling that led to McEvoy-Halston earning a 2012 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award. She is the Canadian winner of the international prize.

When asked why she nominated her Biology 20 teacher, Tessa Meadows replied, “I wanted to nominate her because she is an amazing teacher and she made Biology 20 awesome. She is a great person to be around and she makes her classes fun. I learned so much and she cares about our learning.”

This honour, given annually since 1961 by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), identifies teachers from the United States, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, and Canada who have made valuable contributions to the profession and students.  Criteria for the award include teaching ability, experience, inventiveness, initiative, inherent teaching strengths, and cooperativeness in the school and community. 

Excitement shines in McEvoy-Halston’s eyes as she talks about her dedication as a veteran teacher of 20 years that lead to the award. “There are so many good teachers, to get a pat on the back, it feels really really good.”

“Teaching is not my job – it is my life. I am thankful for the ‘ah ha’ moments, when a student finally understands a difficult concept or ‘I never liked/understood science until now.’ This is what keeps me coming to work every day.”

Henry Wise Wood High School is also proud of the achievement. “We are very honoured and proud of Rebecca McEvoy-Halston,” said Principal Monty Slim. “She embodies the caliber of teaching at our building. She enriches the students by giving the kids real life experiences in learning.”

McEvoy-Halston will be recognized at the NABT convention in Dallas in the fall.

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Last Modified: September 19, 2012