Excellence in Public Education November 2020

At its meeting on October 27, 2020 the Excellence in Public Education Committee decided to courier Golden Star Award trophies and certificates to 2020’s recipients, Tecumseh and Thetis Island Elementary schools.  We know that in-person presentations and celebrations will resume in the future but for now it is necessary to take a different approach.  Congratulations to all teachers, students and seniors involved!

We will continue to promote the Golden Star Awards program this year.  Some BC public school teachers of established intergenerational programs were in the midst of last year’s programs when COVID-19 caused school closures and strict visiting restrictions at seniors’ residences and care facilities.  Since then, it may be that those teachers have found creative, safe ways to resume their programs.  If so, we look forward to receiving their Golden Star Award applications in April.

Submitted by Caroline Malm, Chair

Golden Star Awards BCRTA Conference 2020

Excellence in Public Education Committee Chair Caroline Malm created a presentation for the 2020 BCRTA Conference celebrating this year’s winners of the Golden Star Awards.

This year’s winners hail from Thetis Island Elementary School and Tecumseh Elementary School. Feature articles on the winners will appear in the Winter 2020 PostScript Magazine.

View the 2020 Golden Star Awards Presentation here:


Education Advocacy 2018 2019



Excellence in Public Education Activities in 2018- 2019.

The Committee objectives for the 2018/19 year were to:

1. Coordinate the administration and adjudication of the (intergenerational) Golden Star Award Program on behalf of the BCRTA.

The Golden Star Awards are made to public school programs that feature the interaction between students and seniors, in the belief that such programs connect the generations and add to the learning, understanding and appreciation of the skills and experiences of both groups. The BCRTA also works with the Royal Canadian Legion to recognize the work that students do with Legion members and veterans and to provide a BCRTA/Legion Award to a deserving school.

The Committee is pleased to announce that five Golden Star Awards plus one award sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion have been awarded to the following in 2019:

Arthur Stevenson Elementary School, Kamloops, Teacher, Sharon Parker, Grade 4.
Program name: Arthur Stevenson Elementary School and Crib at The Hamlets at Westsyde.

Muheim Memorial Elementary School, Smithers, Teacher, Liliana Pesce, Grade 4 – 5.
Program name: Buddies at The Meadows.

Qualicum Beach Elementary School, Teacher, Lynne Murray, Grade 6 and Grade 1 – 2.
Program name: The Real Toy Story.

Strawberry Vale Elementary School, Victoria, Teacher, Marjorie Ireton Roach, Grade 1.
Program name: Strawberry Vale/ Berwick Royal Oak Grandparent Program.

Westcott Elementary School, West Vancouver, Teacher, Sandy Kwan, Grade 4 and 5.
Program name: Intergenerational studies at La Maison Seniors’ Residence, West Vancouver.

Legion/Golden Star winner is: L.V. Rogers Secondary School, Nelson, Teacher, Carla Wilson, Grade 10- 11
Program name: Growing Together/Rising Strong.

Presentations of the trophies and the cheques have been made to all six recipients. Pictures and articles for all six winners will be published throughout the coming year in “PostScript”. A summary of each program will be posted on the BCRTA website. A power point presentation celebrating the winners will be shown at the 2019 BCRTA AGM and then will be available on the BCRTA website. Branch presidents are thanked for their participation in the presentations

BCRTA Golden Star Award 2019/2020 application forms will be on the website in September. Branch presidents are asked to again promote the Golden Star Awards with the active teachers in their areas.

2. Continue to write articles that celebrate the excellence of the contributions made to the BCRTA and/or ACER-CART by living past presidents.

Articles for both Bob Taverner (BCRTA) and JoAnn Lauber (ACER-CART) were published in this year’s editions of PostScript magazine as their terms of office as past-presidents were recently completed.

3. Explore ways to identify and recognize the activities of teachers, administrators and others who promote excellence in public education.

Work is on-going with the Communications Committee to accomplish this goal.

4. Continue to attend monthly meetings of our affiliate First Call and to support their initiatives as appropriate.
Committee members Margaret Sutton and Charan Gill as our representatives to First Call have kept us informed of issues and initiatives. The BCRTA has provided letters of support for changes in legislation governing employment standards which protect children and youth from work-related exploitation and injury. Our combined advocacy efforts have paid off. Thanks to recent changes in legislation, BC no longer has the lowest child employment standards in N. America.

5. Encourage retired teachers to exercise their franchise in the best interest of public education.

6. Continue monitoring the funding of public education in BC and to advocate for a fully funded public education system.

The Excellence in Public Education Committee was successful in lobbying the BCRTA Board to modify our Education Sector Policy 2.4.1 by adding a part (b):
The BCRTA believes that public funding of private schools be eliminated.

Respectfully submitted: Stefan Cieslik (chair), Val Dyer, Lynne Farquharson, Charan Gill, Caroline Malm, Floyd Smith, Margaret Sutton.

BC Retired Teachers message of support for active teachers

Message of Support for Active Teachers During the Pandemic

A special message of support to active school staff from Gerry Tiede, President of the BC Retired Teacher’s Association:

Dear Teachers, Administrators and Support Staff across British Columbia,

On April 22, the Executive of the BC Retired Teachers’ Association took time to reflect on the unprecedented circumstances faced by our friends and active colleagues in the school system.

I am writing on behalf of our 17,000 members to express our concern for your well-being and to express our confidence in all of you. We know that however challenging it is to work with students in the new ways that the COVID-19 pandemic demands, that you bring the characteristics always shown by teachers, support staff and school and district administrators. When faced with challenges great or small, you have always stepped forward to meet the needs of students through creative problem-solving and good-will. Your students know it now more than ever, and so do we.

We are so very proud to be part of the same history and fraternity as you. Although we are required to be physically separated right now, we want you to know that we are cheering you on from the sidelines!

We wish you good health. Your work is appreciated by your retired colleagues.

Thank you and stay well,

Gerry Tiede
BC Retired Teachers’ Association