Scholarship Awards 2019-20

In these unprecedented and often stressful times, The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians is pleased so share some good news! This year the Barbara Koffman Scholarship was awarded to three incredibly deserving recipients. We remember Barbara fondly as a born educator and leader who inspired both teachers and students alike. We know that in her memory, these awards will support our recipients as they move toward gaining knowledge and understanding to also inspire and support the literacy community. Sincerest congratulations goes to the following recipients:

Lori-Anne Busch

Lori-Anne grew up in a small town in southeastern Manitoba, and knew she wanted to be a teacher ever since Kindergarten.  She went away to university at the age of 18, and studied Elementary Education at McGill University.  Worried that she had chosen the wrong career, as she had found that the job of a classroom teacher was not a good match for someone as introverted and highly sensitive as herself, she returned to Manitoba.  She worked at a coffee shop for a few months, feeling that she had made the wrong choice to be a teacher, and wondering what to do next.

She soon returned to teaching, after having been invited to work at a school in northern Manitoba, by one of the customers at the coffee shop.  This customer came in for coffee everyday, and when she learned that Lori-Anne was a certified teacher, suggested she try a position at Little Grand Rapids School.  Lori-Anne thought that working on a reserve might be a good match, since the style of teaching and learning that honoured the cultural ways of Aboriginal students, was appealing to her. 

One day Lori-Anne found a book written by a reading clinician, who described her work with struggling readers, teaching phonological awareness and phonics, through games, in a one to one therapy setting.  She knew that teaching in that way would be a better match to her skills and personality.  However, she also knew that returning to university at that point in time was impossible, due to student loan debt.

Lori-Anne slowly moved away from classroom teaching toward a more supportive role eventually finding a position as a resource teacher in the Interlake School Division.  She worked at a Grade 8 – 12 school for 10 years, supporting students with special needs and their teachers.  She finally found her niche, working directly with teachers and classes part of the time, writing funding applications and Individual Education Plans, and meeting with people in small groups, the rest.  It was a perfect mix of extroversion and introversion for her, a very rewarding career, that was a good fit!

Nancy Jacobson

Nancy is a current Master of Education student in the department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning with a specialization in Language and Literacy. It is her intention to complete the coursework required for certification as a Reading Clinician in Manitoba.

For as long as she can remember, Nancy has been passionate about literacy. Even as a child, when others were striving to learn how to read, she resolved to take matters into her own hands. Gathering her favourite Frog and Toad books, she would find a cozy spot to read with these children, hoping that before long, they too would able to dive into independent reading and all the wonder and joy that a literate life brings.

Nancy’s life-long passion for the written word led her inevitably to a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on English Literature. She then earned a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education, and a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Educational Psychology. Last year, she completed the course, “Diagnostic and Remedial Techniques in English Language Arts”. As she immersed herself in the study of diagnostic teaching, data collection and analysis, as well as report writing, she revelled in every aspect of the work, which confirmed both her affinity and her passion for her chosen profession.

In her current position, Nancy is a resource teacher serving a grade five to eight middle school in the North End, as well as a kindergarten to grade four school located in Winnipeg’s inner-city. A large part of her work consists of conducting reading assessments and facilitating reading, writing and language remediation with a diverse population, including students with (dis)abilities, students of indigenous heritage, newcomers to Canada, and resilient families living in neighborhoods too often stereotyped by addictions, violence, and low socioeconomic status. 

The important work of advancing power and agency within these communities has provided a sense of urgency and motivation, compelling Nancy to learn and implement research-proven teaching practices to responsively meet her students’ individual needs. Nancy believes that as the threads of literacy are woven into each child’s life, the fabric of the entire community is strengthened. To her, literacy truly is a matter of equity and social justice.

As she continues along this journey, Nancy is grateful for the love and encouragement of her son Nicholas. Nancy also wishes to thank the Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians and the Koffman family for their kind support. In addition, Nancy would like to extend sincere appreciation to Tracie McDonald, Carrie Laurenzo and Valdine Bjornson for their inspiring passion and wisdom.

Nicole L Normandeau

Nicole’s love of reading started early. While she certainly had many rich literacy experiences at home, it was at school where the magic of reading took hold. Nicole attended Crane School from Kindergarten to Grade Four, and it was here she learned from so many wonderful teachers that reading was a gift. The creative exploration of language was encouraged, new worlds opened for her, and she was profoundly impacted.

 These transformative experiences with literacy inspired Nicole to become a teacher. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Education in 1993 and began her career teaching Grade One in a small country school.  She has taught many grades in many schools over the years, and a consistent theme, no matter what she is teaching, has been to share her love of language and literacy with her students.

Recently, Nicole’s role as a teacher has been in resource in the Winnipeg School Division. In this role she has had the privilege of working with students who are dealing with multiple challenges both at school and at home, including struggling with reading. Because she knows how empowering being an engaged reader is and because she see so many of our most vulnerable students disengaged, Nicole is inspired to continue to learn more. Her desire to become a Reading Clinician will enable her to better help students become empowered through reading.

Scholarship Recipient 2018-19

The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians is pleased to announce the winner 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 Ailsa Desender! Ailsa has always intended to become a teacher, having loved reading and learning so much as a child.  Since kindergarten, her path has involved as many opportunities to work with children and to teach as possible, including ballet instruction, tutoring, and working in a day care.  She graduated in 2011 from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) in Chemistry, then from the Faculty of Education in 2013 with a degree in Early Years Education with Honours.

She began her teaching career in September 2013 with a position teaching Grade One in River East Transcona School Division.  During this time, I participated in a professional development series with an aim to strengthen literacy instruction skills in Grade One teachers in the division.  This exposure to data driven programming peaked her interest in becoming a literacy specialist. Scholarship winner

In September of 2014, she began her permanent position in Louis Riel School Division as a Grade 1/2 teacher.  She spent three years at Frontenac School before transferring to her current position at Dr. D.W. Penner School.  She feels privileged to have encountered many literacy minded colleagues through her career so far and has participated in several professional learning networks regarding topics such as Regie Routman’s Writing Project and Reciprocal Teaching.

She decided to return to the university to begin her post-baccalaureate degree in 2017, and it was here that she discovered the position of Reading Clinician which appealed to her scientific, data driven nature as well as her love of teaching.  With the encouragement of classmates and professors, she switched to the Master’s program in the summer of 2018 with the goal of eventually becoming a Reading Clinician.  For her thesis, she is interested in researching inclusion and Universal Design as it pertains to literacy programming for students with severe auditory or communication deficits.

In her free time, she reads avidly, both professionally and for pleasure, bakes, and crochets.  She feels fortunate to have the support of her husband, Bryce, and her family as she pursues the next phase of her career.

Scholarship Recipient 2017-18

The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians is pleased to announce the winner of the Barbara Koffman Scholarship Award. We remember Barbara fondly as a born educator and leader who inspired both teachers and students alike.

Shona
Shona Kusyk

Congratulations to Shona Kusyk! Shona graduated with an Environmental degree from the University of Manitoba and began working for Manitoba Conservation.  During this time, she began volunteering at the Elmwood Bike Club on her days off.  She fell in love with connecting and working with students and sparked her deep passion for teaching.  Shona returned to University of Manitoba and subsequently received her B.Ed. in 2013. She started out in WSD1 for her first half year, then finished up at RETSD.  The following year she landed a 1 year term at Ecole Landsdowne where she taught a Nursery / Kindergarten morning class, and a Grade 7/8 Language Arts afternoon class.  It was here she fell in love with N / K, and was lucky enough to secure a term position at Norquay school working in a N / K classroom.  Along with the N / K class, Shona spent her other half day as the Leveled Literacy Intervention teacher, through which she decided to pursue her masters studies.

Through the current position of her diverse career, Shona has been extremely honoured to serve in the Point Douglas community through her roles at Norquay School.  The local community is currently seeking growth and change for their children, and a strong literacy foundation can be a critical step to tap into the potential of this new generation.  The desire to serve and help lift up the North End communities has driven Shona to seek excellence in her teaching practice by striving to learn  and implement research proven techniques.

The support provided by the Manitoba Council of Reading clinicians, most notably Kim Siwak, Jaymi Thiessen, Tracie McDonald, and Carrie Lorenzo has been invaluable, especially through some trying family tragedies in recent months.  The Point Douglass Community has also been immensely supportive as families place their trust in the education system.  It is a great honour to serve the community through Norquay School.  Finally, the Koffman family for their gracious support through this scholarship.

 

Scholarship Recipients 2016-2017

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 for scholarship
Valdine Bjornson

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.

 

 

Bio Pic Stephanie
Stephanie Kaethler

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.

 

Scholarship Recipient 2015-16

Meet  this year’s recipient of the Barbara Koffman Scholarship…..

Michelle McDonald received her B. Sc from the University of Manitoba in 1998 and her B. Ed from the University of Winnipeg in 2004. That same year, she began teaching in the Winnipeg School Division where she continues to teach today. In her various teaching positions, she was struck by the high numbers of struggling readers and English Language Learners that were in need of greater support in her classroom. Interested in learning how to better support her students, she began to volunteer at the Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba in their LINKS tutoring program in 2010. As well, she returned to school in 2012 to complete the English as a Second Language Teacher Certificate Program at the University of Winnipeg. In 2014, her love of learning and serving students drew her back to the University of Manitoba to pursue a M.Ed. in Language and Literacy.  She hopes to receive her certification as a Reading Clinician and to work with students to develop the literacy and language skills needed in order for them to achieve their goals.

Congratulations Michelle! The MCRC wishes you continued success on your journey.

 

Barbara Koffman Scholarship

The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians has up to three scholarships of $1000 available for the 2018-2019 academic year. Graduate students studying clinical reading  (at the Masters or Doctorate level) are encouraged to apply as soon as possible! Deadline for Applications is April 15, 2019.

For more information, interested applicants should contact sjanzen@wsd1.org

BarbaraKoffman
Barbara Koffman