Year in Review: Award-winning

In Ottawa, on Nov. 12, the year became even more special for Chemainus Secondary School teacher Janet Ruest.

In Ottawa, on Nov. 12, the year became even more special for Chemainus Secondary School teacher Janet Ruest.

Her dynamic approach to helping geography students expand how they learn earned her The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s 2015 Innovation in Geography Teaching Award, Canada’s highest geography K-12 teaching award. “We are delighted that Janet’s community nominated her for this prestigious award,” says Connie Wyatt Anderson, chair of Canadian Geographic Education. “Janet teaches geography in a way that harnesses teen energy and curiosity to better appreciate the world we share. She deserves the recognition this award can bring.”

It was more than apparent to evaluators that Ruest’s teaching methods are achieving classroom results.

Today her students are working, for example, as urban planners, geographic information systems (GIS) consultants, hydrographers, and engineers.

For Jane Kaiser, now working as a GIS consultant, Ruest’s teaching style had a big impact, according to a RCGS release.

“Janet was one of those few teachers that you remember for the rest of your life. I feel she has always made an effort to go the extra mile by innovating and finding new ways for her students to connect with the geographic field of study.”

The Innovation in Geography Teaching Award is comprised of a medal and $2,500 prize, split evenly between the award winner and a donation in their name to support geographic education in Canada.

It recognizes an outstanding contribution to geographic education in Canada and was presented by Nellie Taptaqut Kusugak, Commissioner of Nunavut, at a medal ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 18.

Ruest joined such other honorees as celebrated authors Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson who will both be receiving the Society’s Gold Medal.

This is the third teaching award that Janet Ruest has won in 2015. Earlier this year, in addition to her Grosvenor fellowship, Ruest won a Government of Canada History Award for her lesson plan on Historical Dilemma: Who was the greatest Canadian Prime Minister?