The Canadian Education Foundation presented the second Pam Spencer Passion Award to Andy Cavalier, a veteran with 20 years in education, five of which have been at CISD.
The award was established in 2018 as a way to honor the late Pam Spencer, who exhibited a high degree of passion for teaching, students, and loyalty to Canadian ISD. Winners are chosen (not nominated) exclusively by board members of CEF based on compelling observation and performance in and out of the classroom.
Awardees exhibit a strong connection to students, innovative teaching techniques, and a strong capacity to bring out the best in students as well as themselves. Each winner receives a $1,000 cash award to be spent at their discretion.
CEF board member Heath Mitchell made the following comments about Cavalier:
“Andy Cavalier is the 2018-19 Canadian High School Teacher of the Year, an honor for which he is very deserving,” said Mitchell. “In his Algebra I role, Andy teaches bell-to-bell with rarely a day passing that he isn’t teaching new concepts and skills or reviewing previously taught content. That combination of a caring approach, high expectations, and proven instructional practices has provided a strong math foundation for CHS students.”
Cavalier’s students say:
“He understands how kids learn.”
“He knows what interests us. He doesn’t judge us by what he’s heard from other teachers. He tries to understand you and doesn’t just see one version of you. He believes in what he is teaching and that makes learners want to be in his class learning. He ALWAYS has a good attitude—I don’t remember a day all year when he wasn’t happy. He has high expectations of us and the confidence we will meet them. He doesn’t put stress on us to be perfect. Any student would be lucky to have him as a teacher.”