Annual awards recognize valuable contributions

It is the beginning of awards season not only in Hollywood, but also at the P.E.I. Home and School Federation as January is the first in a series of deadlines for nominations for the provincial awards that the federation uses to recognize excellence in public education.

The Extra Mile Award recognizes teachers and staff who exemplify going the extra mile, going above and beyond the call of duty to support the total well-being of the Island’s youth.  Two awards are given annually, one in the east and one in the west (last year Kate MacSwain at Souris Regional and Barbie MacQuarrie at Spring Park Elementary were recognized).  The deadline for nominations for the Extra Mile award is January 15; nomination forms and criteria are online at The awards are presented during Teacher-Staff Appreciation Week in February.

At the federation’s Annual General Meeting in April the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Life Membership Award are presented. The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to a Home and School member who has made an exceptional contribution to the work of their local association or to the Federation. One award is presented annually; in 2015, Tara Hill Burke and Shelly Keenan of Souris Regional were the co-recipients. The nomination form and details are online at

Life Membership in the P.E.I. Home and School Federation may be conferred on any person for outstanding service to the federation. There is no limit to the number of life memberships that may be presented, and no requirement to make an annual award. Criteria for nomination and the nomination form are online at  Nominations for both the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Life Membership Award are due on March 4.

Later in the spring, nominations for the School Bus Driver of the Year award (details at and the new School Crossing Guard of the Year award (details to be announced) will be accepted; nominations for both will be due on May 15. Members are encouraged to discuss bus drivers and crossing guards worthy of recognition over their winter meetings.

The Family of Schools District Advisory Councils will be holding their first meetings early in the new year.  If your school has not selected a representative yet, read the guidelines at and work to select someone from your school immediately so that your school can be represented.

Teacher-Staff Appreciation Week, happening this year February 14 – 20, is the week each year when home and schools recognize the contributions that administrators, teachers, and staff make to the lives of our children. Local associations are encouraged to find ways of saying thank you during this week. Contact the federation office if you need inspiration.

A reminder that the deadline for policy resolutions to be considered at the 2016 Annual Meeting in April is January 31.

Assistance with writing resolutions is available online at, from the Federation office at or by telephone at (902) 620-3186 or, toll-free, 1-800-916-0664.


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Peter Rukavina, president of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation, lives in Charlottetown with his partner and their son.  His column appears in The Guardian during the school year on the first Wednesday of the month.  He welcomes comments from readers and information for the column. He can be reached at or 902-620-3186.