Red Deer Public Schools (RDPS) Gateway Christian School Grade 4 teacher, Rachel Baong, has been nominated for the Edwin Parr award. 

Baong always knew she wanted to be a teacher.  

“I’ve always loved learning, and I love school. I grew up as a child of educators - my dad is a principal and my mom was an education assistant,” Baong said. “As I did my undergrad degree in English and History, I spent a lot of time tutoring and I really loved it. Then I pursued an after degree in education.”  

Within her first year of teaching, Baong has had many highlights.   

“I have really loved forming relationships with my students,” she said. “It’s unlike any opportunity I’ve had before because tutoring is typically done for a short time, as well as our practicums are shorter in length, so it’s been nice to be able to grow with students over a longer period of time.”  

Being named this year’s RDPS Edwin Parr nominee was a big surprise for Baong.  

“I am very honoured,” she said. “I was not expecting it, and it was a total shock, but I definitely feel honoured. Red Deer Public is a great school division to work for, it’s been such a blessing.”  

Geannette Lehman, Principal at Gateway Christian School, said Baong has been a fantastic addition to the school.  

“Rachel is a valued member of our school community, who builds positive relationships with her students, parents, and colleagues,” Lehman said. “Her dedication and passion as a teacher is evident, as she creates fun and engaging learning opportunities for her students. Rachel is gifted at ensuring individual student learning interests and styles are accommodated and celebrated within her classroom. We are truly grateful to have her as a member of our staff at Gateway.”  

Corrine Thorsteinsen, Associate Superintendent of People Services, said RDPS is thrilled to nominate Baong.   

“Rachel is an outstanding teacher who is dedicated to creating an excellent learning environment in her classroom, where all students can flourish,” she said. “We are proud of all she has accomplished in her first year of teaching. She is most deserving of our nomination for this prestigious recognition.”