This year, this Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians is pleased to announce TWO winners of the Barbara Koffman Scholarship Award. We remember Barbara fondly as a born educator and leader who inspired both teachers and students alike.
Congratulations to Valdine Bjornson and Stephanie Kaethler for becoming the 2016-2017 recipients of this special scholarship. The MCRC wishes you continued success on your journey!
Valdine Bjornson received her B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba as well as two Post-Baccalaureates focussing upon Counselling and Early Years Education. She has obtained both her Special Education Certificate as well as C-TESL from the University of Manitoba. She also has completed a Graduate Certificate (M. A. Program) in International Education through the Graduate School for Intercultural Training (SIT) in Vermont, USA. Valdine is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education (Leading Language and Literacy) with the University of Calgary. She began her career with international schools in Japan, Finland and later on, Egypt. She has worked in several Manitoba school divisions in both rural and urban settings. She has taught music (en français), EAL as well as worked in early years classrooms. Over the last few years, she has had the honour of serving as a Reading Clinician in both public and private practice settings. She is completing training to become a Certified member with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. She has served as Secretary for MCRC since 2014 and is a current Board Member for the Dyslexia Champions of Manitoba. She has a loving husband and three incredible daughters who inspire her every day.
Stephanie Kaethler received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg in 2007 and her Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba in 2010. After spending four months as a substitute teacher in both urban and rural school divisions, Stephanie started her teaching career with a term in Winnipeg School Division in January 2011. Two years later, Stephanie moved Fort Rouge School where she continues to teach today.
Stephanie’s interest in language and literacy began when she started teaching Grade 1 in the inner city; she was uncertain how to support students as they moved from oral language to beginning reading and writing. With the help of her Learning Support Teacher and Reading Clinician, she began an earnest journey to become an effective literacy instructor. Stephanie is thankful for the many educational mentors who introduced and modelled effective literacy resources and strategies which has strengthened and shaped her current instructional practices.
In September 2016, Stephanie started her Masters of Education in Language and Literacy. This last year has been filled with many moments of enlightenment, particularly in understanding the connection between diagnostic and intervention strategies. She is looking forward to continuing her studies this summer and preparing for her new role as an Associate Reading Clinician with Winnipeg School Division in the fall where she is eager to both support and learn beside students and colleagues. Stephanie would like to thank the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians and the Koffman family for their support as she works towards obtaining her Reading Clinician Certification.