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2 N.S. educators get national recognition, receive PM Awards of Excellence

Two Nova Scotia educators have been honoured with a Prime Minister's Award. Ashley Field has the details.

Two Nova Scotia educators are getting some national recognition, as each were awarded a Prime Minister’s Award — the highest honour for Canadian educators.

Melanie Kennedy, a Grade 10-12 drama teacher at Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbour, won the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

“The lesson that Ms. Kennedy’s students learn is that who you are is important and worth sharing — within the classroom and in the greater sense out in the world,” said a parent of one of her students.

“What [they realize] is that it takes each one in all their differences to create the perfect storm of creativity.”

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Halifax’s Jessica Landry also picked up a Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education.

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The 29-year-old said she was “speechless” when she found out she was nominated for the award back in January.

“Being able to do what I love every single day and then being able to get this recognition was a huge honour,” said Landry.

“When I was able to look back at the package, obviously you feel all the feels, right? I was laughing and I was crying, and just being so proud of everything that I’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time, but knowing where this is going to take me and how much learning and growing I’m going to continue to do in the future.”

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Landry has been an early childhood educator at the Leeds St. Child Care Centre for the past nine years.  She works with children as young as four months old to five years old.

“For the children, Jessica is a friend, a caregiver and someone that they can trust implicitly,” said a parent who nominated Landry for the award.

“Someone who truly sees and hears them and enables them to become the best versions of themselves each and every day.”

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Much of Landry’s work has focused on creating inclusive, diverse programming that she co-creates with the children. She also likes to get the children outdoors to learn from their environments.

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“To know that I have impacted so many lives, worked with so many amazing coworkers — the organization and the centre director. It’s really special to know that I’m one of Nova Scotia’s recipients of this award,” she said.

Each year, up to 15 Prime Minister’s Awards are handed out to early childhood educators nationwide, and up to 25 teachers receive a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.