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Barriere Secondary icon receives Owl Award

Glen Andrews, a champion of education in a rural setting

The Kamloops-Thompson school board has recognized an outstanding educator with long ties to the District with its 2020-2021 Owl Award.

“We are proud to recognize Glenn Andrews for his contributions to his school and local community and for being a champion of education in a rural setting,” said Board Chair Rhonda Kershaw. “He is a pillar of the community through his selflessness and is a role model for others, young and old.”

Glenn Andrews spent the majority of his 35-year teaching career at Barriere Secondary School (BSS). Since retiring in 2004 he has remained in the community and has continued his connection with the school in many ways, including as a volunteer instructor with the District Strings Program for the last 10 years.

A founder of the BSS Wall of Distinction, Andrews continues to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of alumni through the Wall, many of whom have made an undeniable impact in all facets of society.

“Glenn was passionate about his students processing a broad world knowledge, while remaining connected to their community and taking on service leadership roles that would contribute to strong citizenship skills,” said Cory Carmichael, principal at Twin Rivers Education Centre, who presented the Owl Award to Andrews, Monday, June 28, on behalf of the Board of Education.

“During my 35 years with Barriere Secondary, and all my years scouting I know of many who are more deserving of this honour,” Andrews said. “But when I think back on it all, it is humbling to know that former students, scouts and my peers have nominated me.”

Andrews takes a holistic approach to his volunteer service, contributing to school, to the community, to youth through music and sports, and to charities through his work at the local thrift store.

A Scout Leader at 15, Andrews says it was a natural transition to head into teaching as a career. His passion for history and social studies determined the subject area, and a chance encounter with a school board official on a train ride through the North Thompson Valley one January clinched his decision about the community.

“I had three job offers in 1964,” he said. “Fort St. John, Prince Rupert, and the North Thompson. I had met a school trustee on the train the previous winter. Raised in Greater Vancouver, I was fascinated by a school district where officials traveled to communities by train because there were no roads.”

“He has spent countless hours, if not years, volunteering for organizations that support youth, families and the community as a whole,” said Carmichael, who is also a former student of Andrews.

Carmichael said in his nominating letter that Andrews “…has never strayed from his dedication, hard work and service to community in an effort to create enriching opportunities for all residents, young and old.”

Jonathan Brady, principal at NorKam Secondary, has known Glenn Andrews for nearly 40 years as his Scout Leader and high school teacher. He describes his mentor as “kind, thoughtful, dedicated and supportive. He has been, and continues to be, an exemplary educator in the community of Barriere”.

During his tenure at BSS, Andrews is remembered for organizing the annual Memorial Day services, coaching Jr. Girls Basketball and volleyball and sponsoring the Debate and Chess Clubs.

The Owl Award was established in 2014 by then Superintendent Dr. Terry Sullivan. It recognizes individuals, groups or organizations for their significant, system-wide and outstanding contributions to public education in the District for five years or more, and their positive, significant impact on the development of students, parents, teachers, support staff and educational leaders.

The review team recommended Glenn Andrews as the 2020 – 2021 recipient of this Award for Excellence in Public Education. The team members are Rhonda Kershaw, Board Chair; Terry Sullivan, Superintendent; Rob Schoen, SD73 International Education; Michael Bowden, SD73 Aboriginal Education; and Sherri Lakusta, Chair of the District Parent Advisory Committee.

Past Owl Award Recipients:

2019 – 2020 — Robert Hogeveen, a long-standing advocate for music education.

2018 – 2019 — Fiona Clare, for her contributions to learning throughout the region.

2017 – 2018 — Nathan Matthew, for his work in developing and supporting Aboriginal Education in SD73

2016 – 2015 — Chris Rose, whose long career in Special Education had tremendous impact on the lives and learning experiences of generations of children, particularly those with autism.

2014 – 2015 — North Rotary Club, for more than 40 years of support and hard work at the McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre

Source: School District 73

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