Head of Graduating Class, Allie Siegmann

Each year, UBC Okanagan faculties award a student with the University of BC Medal for the Head of Graduating Class. This award is presented to the top student based on their academic performance throughout their program. In the Bachelor of Education (BEd) program, this award is provided to the student not only based on their academic performance, but also the individual that exemplifies being a scholar-practitioner.

The Okanagan School of Education is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient is Allie Siegmann!

Allie was eager to take on additional responsibilities, contribute to school life, and support the work of colleagues. She supported Golf Academy with her mentor and made connections with student leadership teachers to become involved in school leadership activities, and participated in the Provincial Leadership Conference held in the Okanagan Valley. Allie worked diligently to integrate the history of First Peoples in Canada, and Indigenous ways of knowing, as well as raise awareness of “reconcili-action.” Allie has an inspiring ability to situate herself as a settler working within an Indigenous context that was dedicated to developing her own understanding of the First Peoples Principles of Learning. She was also a leader in her cohort, organizing intramurals and social events to foster connectedness amongst peers.

“Learning about how the award represents being a holistic learning, made receiving it that much more special,” says Siegmann. “I went into the teaching program with an open heart and open mind, and I feel like I took all the opportunities that I could to learn. I feel like that represents well, now as a teacher, because I can provide a lot for my students to learn.”

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Raised in Lake Country, Allie Siegmann’s path to becoming an educator was not marked by a single defining moment but rather a culmination of experiences. From a young age, she knew that education was her calling — coaching children’s curling and dance for several years. She experienced the gift of a positive learning environment firsthand and it inspired her to pay it forward.

“I have always loved school and was one of the very lucky people to be able to have a positive school experience,” she says. “Even as a kid I understood I was in this fortunate position, and it quickly became a goal that I wanted to create a positive experience for all kids.”

Now, as a teacher, Siegmann finds herself immersed in a vibrant community of learners, where every day presents new opportunities for growth and discovery. In her courses, she strives to create a learning environment that honors diversity, celebrates Indigenous heritage, and fosters a deep connection to the land.

One of her greatest joys is witnessing the transformative power of education. Through experiential learning and engagement, she instills in them a sense of responsibility to be agents of change in their own lives and communities.

“We had a lesson where we analyzed the Calls to Action and looked at how we could see them being applied within today’s society. It was really interesting to see the kids read the calls and make the connections with actions like Truth and Reconciliation Day or hearing a land acknowledgement at a hockey game. I explained that it’s good that they get to learn from this primary source, apply it, and see actual change in society, because they are the change. I think in social studies, they often read things and think well it’s in the past, but this activity really allowed them to connect with the now, and see how we are the now.”

But Siegmann’s journey isn’t just about imparting knowledge; it’s about embracing the joy of learning. For her, education isn’t just about academics; it’s about fostering a love of learning that extends beyond the classroom walls.

“Starting in my current position was challenging, and I was feeling a little down until a colleague reminded me that if I’m not having fun, the students aren’t having fun,” she says. “It caused me to reflect on my school experience and my classroom experience. Learning is so much more fun when you let it be.”

As Siegmann reflects on her journey, she is grateful for the experiences that have shaped her into the educator she is today. From her Community Field Experience in Germany, where she was able to share her knowledge of the BC curriculum with her host school’s principal and teacher, to being part of the Body Break team with Chris Luff and Scott Konkin.

For future teacher candidates, Siegmann encourages them to embrace the journey, cherish every opportunity, and above all, be kind.

“Allow the learning to happen and take absolutely every opportunity you can to challenge yourself (even the juggling, and learning the ukulele). Get to know everyone in your program. Go in with an open mind and be kind to everyone. Take on all experiences, and especially as a teacher, plan with pencil, because you have to be adaptable.”

2 responses to “Head of Graduating Class, Allie Siegmann”

  1. Christine Elliott

    This is our niece and we are over the moon proud of Allie and who she has become. From a shy, quiet little girl to the outgoing, enthusiastic educator we envy those that will both work with her and learn with her.
    You go girl, shoot for the moon.
    Love you big time ♥️ AC & UB

  2. Karen Hollis

    We are so proud of you Allie, keep reaching for the stars.
    Love you ♥️ Uncle Barney and Auntie Karen

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