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Teacher receives Prime Minister’s Award

Chris Dube received a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence on June 12.
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Lake Superior High School science teacher Chris Dube received the Prime Minister’s Award regional certificate of achievement for teaching excellence on June 12.

TERRACE BAY – Chris Dube has been honoured for his work with students.

The science teacher at Lake Superior High School in Terrace Bay received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence on June 12.

Dube, who teaches students from Grades 9-12, found out a couple of weeks ago that he would be receiving the accolade.

He was nominated for the award earlier this year by a former student.

“Quite frankly, I was very emotional when I found out that I had received the award,” Dube said.

“Any professional would like to be recognized in their field and to be recognized by the highest award in Canada for your profession is an absolute honour.

“I didn’t really think I had a chance because I know there’s so many great teachers out there and so many people that are dedicated in their field. This is very humbling.”

While Dube teaches a variety of subjects, he is specifically involved in a class called outdoor environmental science, which is an outdoor-based science class that has elements of land-based learning embedded within it.

He started the class as an opportunity for students to do hands-on, project-based learning, but over time it started to involve different parts of the community.

One of those projects came shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic when students were involved with a community building and powwow revitalization project.

The students camped together on the Pays Plat First Nation powwow grounds and participated in cultural teachings with Elders and knowledge keepers.

They then raised almost $30,000 to buy new bleachers for the grounds, which they helped to install.

“It was a beautiful moment,” Dube said. “It’s great that everybody was out there learning about cultural teachings on the land by the Elders and to work with them on their land.

“We were making food together, which was something that many kids hadn’t done outside of their homes. We had a painter come in and talk to them about woodland art and things like that."

In addition to that project, students have also done campsite development on the Casque Isles Trail and they just completed work with the township of Terrace Bay on raised garden beds, including ones for those who have accessibility challenges.

“My teaching philosophy is kids learning through experiential education,” Dube said.

“Land-based learning is a massive component of that, but there’s also community development, global citizenry and local activism that are important aspects of that as well.”