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National nod for Surrey teacher

Stefan Stipp given Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence.
Stefan Stipp
Surrey teacher Stefan Stipp has received a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence for 2013.

He's impressed colleagues, earned the respect and admiration of students, and now Surrey teacher Stefan Stipp has garnered the attention of Canada's top dog.

Stipp, a Grade 9 English, social studies and psychology teacher at Guildford Park Secondary, has been chosen to receive a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. He is one of seven teachers in B.C. to receive the accolade this year, and among 42 nationwide.

Stipp, who also teaches career education and skills development, is credited with teaching his students to become self-regulated learners capable of taking increasing ownership of their learning. He coordinates a group of teachers working towards a more inquiry-based approach, while integrating tools such as electronic tablets which teens use to create videos and blogs to stimulate peer discussion.

Stipp also ensures his students are engaged citizens through raising funds for various charitable organizations, volunteering at seniors homes, organizing a Christmas meal for the homeless and leading school tours for parents.

“Mr. Stipp taught us about real issues and always made learning relevant to our lives by connecting us to the global community through lessons, fundraisers, and life stories," said one student. "He made us want to come to school, want to learn, and want to strive for better. Students admire him, are inspired by him, and reach new limits because of him.”

A colleague pointed to the number of students, past and present, who are always in Stipp's classroom at lunch and after school.

"It is on this foundation of genuine trust that (Stipp) has built his practice and is at the core of what teaching is about – the developing of understanding to improve the way that we relate to each other."

Intended to honour Canada's outstanding and innovative teachers, the annual national awards recognize elementary and secondary instructors who instill a love of learning in their students and use information and technology to better equip kids to meet future challenges.

The certificate of achievement that Stipp received includes a $1,000 award to be used for professional development, website development or the purchase of equipment or other teaching resources.

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