Katy Leslie, Madeline Korfman Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Katy Leslie, one of our two Madeline Korfman Memorial Scholarship recipients!

Leslie has enjoyed living in the Okanagan for the last 14 years after moving here from Northern Ontario. Her and her husband have three rescue dogs that keep them busy. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, visiting hot springs and spending time at the lake with family.

As noted by her nominator, Leslie’s life-long passion for education is apparent in all that she does. She is an active participant in all classes, in-situs, and field experiences, demonstrating keen instincts, professionalism, and enthusiasm.  She is incredibly skilled at creating rich learning experiences for her students. She is able bring joy to students through carefully crafted lessons that feature multiple entry points, connections to the environment, and plenty of opportunities to share and learn from each other.

“This award encourages me to continue striving towards my goal of making a positive impact in the lives of students,” says Leslie. “It motivates me to uphold the values of care, support, and connection that were so important to me growing up. Ultimately, it strengthens my resolve to be the kind of educator who provides a stable and inspiring environment where every child feels valued and empowered to learn.”


Question and Answer with Leslie

Why did you decide to enter the field of teaching?

Growing up, I moved frequently, and amidst all the changes, school was my constant. It was a place where I always felt a strong sense of connection and safety. This stability was largely due to the exceptional care and support of my teachers, who went above and beyond to make me feel valued and understood. Their dedication left a profound impact on me and encouraged me to give back in the same way. I hope to create that same safe and nurturing environment for my future students, where they can feel secure, supported, inspired to learn and nurture their gifts.

What has been a favourite memory or experience so far in the program?

My favorite memory of the program is from the very first day when we gathered in circle for a cedar brushing ceremony from Syilx Elders and my friend tum. It was meaningful to begin our learning together in ceremony, to move forward as a collective of future educators in a good way.


What advice do you have for prospective Bachelor of Education students?

My advice for students entering the Bachelor of Education program is to take the time to nurture authentic relationships with your peers, mentor teachers, instructors and the children you will teach. Time in the program goes by quickly, but investing in these connections will make a lasting and impactful difference in your educational journey and professional growth.

We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to think and learn alongside Indigenous scholars from Syilx homelands and beyond. Embracing this collective knowledge has had the most profound impact on my evolving teaching pedagogy. It has taught me the importance of weaving together diverse perspectives and practices to create a more inclusive and holistic educational approach.

I believe building these authentic relationships and embracing collective knowledge will not only transform your learning experience, but will also prepare you to create meaningful and supportive learning environments for your future students.


About the Madeline Betty Korfman Scholarship

This scholarship has been endowed through a bequest by Madeline Betty Korfman to honour her love for teaching. Madeline Korfman taught school in southwestern Saskatchewan before relocating to the Okanagan in the mid-1900s. This scholarship is awarded to two teacher candidates who significantly demonstrate a “love for teaching” based on the recommendation of Okanagan School of Education faculty.