Lloydminster Comprehensive High School Educational Assistant Ellen Birch has been named the ‘Inclusion Educator of the Year’ by the Saskatchewan Association of Community Living.
Birch has been with the Lloydminster Public School Division for seven years, working primarily with intellectually-disabled students. Her work ensures that students with disabilities feel valued and supported, and have opportunities in all aspects of life.
“There are a lot of people here at LCHS that also deserve that award and I am honoured to have been chosen as the Inclusion Educator of the Year,” Birch said. “It was a nice surprise.”
LCHS Vice-Principal Janice Wouters said she wasn’t surprised with Birch being named Educator of the Year. She explained Birch lives up to LPSD’s philosophy that all students should feel included and valued in its schools.
“Ellen’s skillset and philosophy of making sure all students feel included, as well as the belief that all students are willing and able to learn, shows the dedication she has for the job. The difference she makes in the lives of our students is immeasurable,” Wouters said. “Our Educational Assistants work with many students and help them all strive for personal excellence.”
LPSD Student Services Superintendent Brent Thomas added that to win an Inclusive Education Award, one must demonstrate the ability to be welcoming, supportive and provide opportunities for students to be included.
“In LPSD, we take pride in how our professional and support staff offer inclusive educational environments for all of our students,” Thomas said. “Ellen has exemplified these characteristics and we couldn’t be more proud that she is part of the LPSD team.”