NHL honours Red Deer teacher with $10,000 technology grant 

Jeremy Spink is now a finalist in the NHL and NHLPA's Most Valuable Teacher of the Year competition. He could win an additional $20,000 to support technology in his school.

Hockey, math and science teacher Jeremy Spink has been teaching at Eastview Middle School for 25 years

Jeremy Spink teaches a science class at Eastview Middle School in Red Deer. He also teaches hockey and math. (Heather Marcoux/CBC)

CBC Edmonton and CBC Calgary have teamed up to launch a pop-up Red Deer bureau to help us tell your stories from central Alberta. Reporter Heather Marcoux will bring you the news from Red Deer and the surrounding area. Story ideas and tips can be sent to heather.marcoux@cbc.ca.

A Red Deer teacher is among the NHL and the NHL Players' Association Most Valuable Teachers this school year, meaning his school's technology budget is $10,000 richer. 

Jeremy Spink has been teaching at Eastview Middle School in Red Deer for 25 years. 

He teaches math, science and hockey — and combines his subjects with help from the Edmonton Oilers and a program called Future Goals. 

"It looks at STEM in the classroom, so the science, technology, engineering and math," Spink said to CBC News. "I've used this program for years with my hockey class, teaching them the science of hockey." 

Spink was nominated for the NHL's Most Valuable Teacher Award for the month of February. In an online vote, he beat out 20 other teachers from Canada and the U.S. to win for his school the $10,000 technology grant from NHL partner SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing). 

Eastview Middle School now has 30 much-needed Chromebooks for its students. 

Spink says he couldn't have done it without the Albertans who made sure to vote for him. 

"It went viral and went everywhere. We had people voting all over North America, really. But Edmonton, Calgary — the whole province really — went together and won the award for us. So we want to thank the whole province." 

'He makes class fun'

While Spink is thanking the province, his students are thankful for him. 

Grade 8 student Jamie Purse describes Spink as "awesome." 

"He makes me want to come to school; he makes me laugh all the time. He's played hockey and I play hockey so we've got a bond through hockey." 

Barrett Clark, 14, says his homeroom teacher makes science and math classes "super fun." 

"He also teaches me hockey. That's probably the best part of my day." 

Alyssa Vollmin, 13, says Spink "is very deserving" of the award. "He teaches me hockey class and it's so amazing to be in any of his classes. He makes class fun." 

Makenna Anderson, also 13, says Spink has taught her a lot about math and science. 

"It's really great for him," she said of the Most Valuable Teacher title. "We're really appreciative of the prizes." 

Spink now competes as a finalist in the program and could win an additional $20,000 if Albertans vote for him again. 

Edmonton teacher Joyce Fung of Sweet Grass School is the Oilers' nominee for March.