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STAR Catholic nominates Melissa Tschirren for Edwin Parr Teacher Award


STAR Catholic School Division is thrilled to nominate Father Lacombe Catholic School teacher Melissa Tschirren for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

Tschirren, who became a teacher at 30 years old, said her journey into the profession was shaped by experiences working with children in various capacities, which provided her with insight into the diverse needs and abilities of young learners.

“Through these experiences, I discovered my true passion for education and realized the profound impact I could have as a teacher,” she explains. “My journey was not just about acquiring knowledge but about understanding the complexities of child development, learning styles, and the importance of fostering a nurturing environment where every child can thrive.”

Tschirren said she was both honoured and surprised to learn she was this year’s Division nominee but, according to Father Lacombe Principal Maria Wagner, it just makes sense to recognize someone with such a God-given natural talent as an educator.

“Melissa lives and breathes for teaching,” Wagner says. “I have never met a more dedicated and passionate first year teacher. She tells me she is happiest when she is in her classroom with her students; you can see this daily.”

Asked if she has any advice to offer future first year teachers, Tschirren emphasizes the importance of seeking guidance from colleagues and embracing opportunities for growth every day.

“Your enthusiasm for teaching will inspire your students and empower them to reach their full potential,” she explains. “Embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, and remember that you are making a difference, one lesson at a time.

The Edwin Parr Teaching Award is presented annually by the Alberta School Boards Association to an exceptional first year teacher in recognition of their outstanding efforts. Learn more about the award at


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