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- Casey Brown Video Profile
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Year: 2009 – Province: Alberta
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Fort McKay School
Fort McKay AB T0P 1C0
Superintendent: Pier DePaola
School Tel.: 780-828-4222
School Fax: 780-828-4254
School Email: Casey.Brown@northland61.ab.ca
Subjects and Grades Taught: Kindergarten to Grade 8
Beginning her teaching career in 1992, Casey Brown had worked her way up to being a principal by 1999. She was a good principal but she missed teaching, and in August 2002 she went back to the classroom. There was just something about teaching that was right for her. She continues to make many contributions outside the classroom, including once again being a principal, but she knows that teaching young people is the thing she was made for.
"Kids First" is Miss Brown's teaching maxim. For her, it means that it is the teacher's responsibility to make sure students are ready to learn and to meet their educational, emotional and physical needs. Miss Brown works closely with the Fort McKay First Nation and local industry to raise funds for Fort McKay School. She puts these funds to good use, providing equipment and services for special needs students, installing new technology, creating and augmenting the library, and hiring staff to provide counselling and other special programs.
- Miss Brown ensures that all classrooms in the school are equipped with up-to-date computer technology, high-speed Internet access and SMART boards. This is particularly important because many students in this remote community only have access to computers and the Internet at school.
- She set up a Snoozelen room to provide controlled and multi-sensory stimulation so special needs students can explore and express themselves in a safe, fun and nurturing space. She also enlivened the whole school building, incorporating "medicine wheel" colours (white, yellow, red, and black) into all aspects of the décor, including the walls, desks, chairs and bulletin boards. She has also ensured that the traditional teachings of First Nation elders are prominently displayed throughout the school.
- Students have benefited from programs Miss Brown has developed to encourage healthy living. For example, she allows students to turn in junk food in exchange for something more healthful to eat, such as fruit, and teaches children about nutrition.
- The very popular "Proud to be a McKay Kid" movement was Miss Brown's brainchild. Many students wear T-shirts and caps, and carry canvas bags and pens adorned with the slogan.
- Instilling pride among her colleagues is another important goal for Miss Brown. She branded clothing and other items for staff with the slogan "Proud to Work with McKay Kids." She also ensures there is housing for teachers to help keep them in the community and encourages her colleagues to become involved in extra-curricular activities to broaden their experience, interests and connections in the community.
"It seems to me that no effort is too great to make for Casey, if the children of Fort McKay will benefit." Parent
"Casey is a dedicated educator who is committed to providing quality education for her students. For Casey, the students are at the centre and it is the educator's responsibility to ensure that 'kids come first.'" Former school administrator