Early educators in Saskatchewan honoured by PM Harper

Two early education teachers from Saskatchewan are being recognized for excellence.
Michelle Dizy is one of two Saskatchewan early childhood education teachers honoured by the Prime Minister. (Roxanna Woloshyn/CBC)

Two early education teachers from Saskatchewan are being recognized for excellence.

Lucille Gilliland, from Moose Jaw, and Michelle Dizy, from Regina, were recognized in the latest Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education.

"I think I was kind of in shock," Michelle Dizy, who has been teaching for 15 years, said about learning she was being honoured. "It just took me awhile to process it."

Dizy currently works at École St. Mary, where she was nominated by the school principal.

"She is a true gift," Sharlene Holliday said. "She brings out the best in everyone. And not just her classroom but as a role model and a leader in our school."

One of the reasons Dizy was honoured was for an innovation she introduced, dubbed a Smilebox. It's an electronic portfolio which shows a child's success through pictures and video, a sort of virtual report card.

"Using Smilebox is a good way to share with parents or colleagues how the children are learning," Dizy explained.

In Moose Jaw, at the Southwest Daycare and Early Learning Centre, Gilliland was noted as a highly respected educator by her peers who "creatively adapts her classroom, projects and technology to ensure that students have no shortage of ways to express themselves," according to the website for the Prime Minister's awards.

Dizy and Gilliland will each receive $1,000 for teaching supplies.

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