Earlier this month, professors, teaching assistants and tutors who went above and beyond in 2017-18 were honoured at the 11th annual Teaching Awards Reception on UBC’s Okanagan campus.
One of the big awards for the night— the Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation— was presented to the Faculty of Education’s Leyton Schnellert.
Dr. Schnellert was recognized for his innovative and transformative initiatives in education. Since he joined UBC Okanagan in 2011, Dr. Schnellert has created numerous partnerships with school districts around the province, with a special focus on rural communities. His collaborative work has led to the establishment of in situ learning opportunities for teacher candidates in the Okanagan, Shuswap and in rural communities throughout the province. Of particular note, in partnership with the Central Okanagan School District he co-created a permanent field studies space at Pearson Road Elementary School dedicated to collaborative teaching, learning and research.
“Dr. Schnellert is viewed as a leader and a mentor by students, colleagues, and teachers alike,” said Provost and Vice-Principal Academic Dr. Cynthia Mathieson in handing out the award. “Leyton has transformed courses for the education program and provided an exceptional model of quality and pedagogy in BC, Canada and the United States.”
“It’s been such a privilege to collaborate with educators in their schools throughout the region as part of my courses,” says Dr. Schnellert. “I’ve had the opportunity to research and share the work in a variety of venues, from conferences and refereed journals, to book chapters and film.”
UBCO Faculty of Education members Stephen Berg, Scott Douglas and Sabre Cherkowski we’re also recognized as part of the Teaching Honour Roll— a list of UBCO educators who have achieved a top 10% score in student evaluations.
“In my teaching practice, I strive to collaborate with students on tasks that are grounded in authentic contexts and purposes in order to mirror and amplify the complex futures learners face outside the walls of the classroom,” said Dr. Scott Douglas.
Dr. Stephen Berg had a similar sentiment, pointing out that focusing on the students is the key to creating a quality learning experience:
“My overall philosophy with students is to personalize learning, so I adopt a student-centered strategy in which I take a leadership and a creative role in course and program development. For me, teaching is a passion and I am truly grateful for the students I have taught and what they have taught me!”
The Faculty of Education is both grateful and proud of the achievements of all of our dedicated and exceptional faculty, TAs and tutors.
Those who wish to cheer on Dr. Schnellert one more time will be given the chance at this year’s convocation ceremony on June 8, where he will be formally recognized with the Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation amongst the students whose lives and experience he’s touched with his work.