South Slave educator handed national awards

South Slave educator handed national awards
Brent Kaulback, assistant superintendant for the South Slave Divisional Education Council, was named both the NWT and Canadian superintendent of the year.Photo: Dali Carmichael.

According to SSDEC superintendent Curtis Brown, the CASSA board said it was one of the strongest applications they’d seen. He would know - Brown won the same award in 2011.

Kaulback has a strong record of running successful programs that have made him a recognized educational leader. His strongest initiative has been to develop and promote resources for Aboriginal students to learn in their own languages. Over the course of about seven years, Kaulback has helped organized the publication of over 250 Aboriginal language books, including dictionaries, children’s books, graphic novels and stories of legends as passed down by community elders.

“It’s a passion of mine,” Kaulback said. “This is my 40th year now in education and many of those years have been in Aboriginal schools or working in Aboriginal education in some way or another, and I’ve been in many different communities in many different provinces in the territories. I’ve seen some of the damaging effects that language loss has had on culture and people’s sense of well-being and sense of self and that.

“I’ve also seen on the flip side, the pride that comes when one starts to learn their language or is speaking their language,” he continued. “I personally think that it really is vitally important for an Aboriginal person to learn their mother tongue and learn their ancestral language and have that be part of them.”

Last October, Kaulback was invited to an educational conference in South Africa as a keynote speaker, to share his experience with organizations in the process of creating learning resources similar to his own.

Currently, Kaulback and his team are working on an iPad app called Bush Cree that acts as a First Nations storybook. The stories are written in Aboriginal languages with captions and audio narrations available to assist students in learning their languages.

Recognizing excellence at Inservice 

This week marks the 2014 in-service meeting for all teachers and education assistants in the South Slave region.

From Aug. 27 to 28, they will convene at the Princess Alexandra School in Hay River where the board will recognize excellence within the organization, including Kaulback’s awards.

The educational experts will also partake in professional development workshops with a strong focus on inquiry-based learning, which challenges students to ask questions, discover the answers through their own work and then communicate their learning to others.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Social Networks