A teacher at Charles Hays Secondary School is being recognized across the country with the National Inclusive Education Award.
Sally Marr received the award in May for her 36 years of teaching and supporting students with special needs. She’s worked in many schools in Prince Rupert, where her career began in 1981 at Conrad Elementary. Marr went from being a teacher to a curriculum consultant and then got into learning services, the department she works in now.
“She’s very clearly a beloved teacher in Prince Rupert,” Faith Bodnar, the executive director of Inclusion BC, said.
Bodnar said the award committee was impressed with Marr’s nomination, which was written by Marr’s colleague, Raegan Sawka. When Bodnar called a parent she knows in Prince Rupert, her friend was ecstatic that Marr was being honoured.
“That speaks volumes,” Bodnar said of the woman’s response. “She said Sally has been an important part of her children’s lives.”
It’s weird to win an award in teaching, Marr said from her office in Charles Hays Secondary School.
When Marr heard of the nomination, she thought, “‘Oh my goodness, Raegan, what are you doing?’” she recalled with a laugh.
The two have worked together for many years, and Marr has also worked with some of Sawka’s foster children. So the nomination was written from both a professional and a personal perspective, and ultimately successful.
“At the high school, I really realized the power of relationship and working with young people,” Marr said. “I realized as I worked with these teenagers, if I reached out to them, they reached back. I really enjoy that relationship and I realized it could make a huge difference in their lives.”
The award, Bodnar said, “also provides hope and it provides an example that this can be done. By honouring the work of people like Sally, we say that it is possible to do this well. Sally is certainly a leading educator, but there are many like her around the province who might need the permission to dream and realize that they too can do it.”