Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education Celebrate the OWL Award Recipients for 2023

Posted On Friday June 23, 2023
OWL Awards 01
Ms. Tracy Clarke and Mr. Steve Powrie

Heather Grieve, Board Chair

The Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education is proud to celebrate the OWL Award recipients for 2023. The OWL Award for Excellence in Public Education has been a Board of Education award since 2016. This award was developed over a decade ago to recognize and honor such individuals, groups, and organizations that have enriched and advanced public education through their significant contributions. For an individual, group or organization to receive the award they need to have made significant, system-wide and outstanding accumulative contributions to public education in School District No.73 (Kamloops-Thompson) over five years or more, and have made a positive and major impact on the development of students, parents, teachers, support staff and educational leaders across the school district in any of the following areas:

• Student Learning/Teaching

• Athletics

• Fine Arts

• Community Well-being/Partnerships

• Extra or Co-Curricular Learning

• Administration and Support

• Governance

• Other Areas Determined by the Board

At the Board meeting on Monday, June 19, 2023, I was very proud to present these two groups this award:

  • Ms.Tracy Clarke and Mr. Steven Powrie and
  • Mr. Wayne Deptuck and Mr. Dan Sargent

Each submission was supported by letters or recommendation, and the recipients are long-standing and amazing professionals who have been long-serving in their roles.

The nomination package highlighted how Tracy and Steve have both demonstrated immense dedication, passion, and contributions to the betterment of students’ lives for over 40 years of service in Music Education, community service, and extracurricular commitments. This is an excerpt from Ms. Trista Hill’s nomination:

I am pleased to nominate Mr. Steven Powrie and Mrs. Tracy Clarke for the following: Excellence in Musical Instruction, Youth Engagement in Music, Impact on Community, Legacy of Love for Music, Demonstration of Collaboration + Teamwork, and Teaching Excellence. Mrs. Tracy Clarke and Mr. Steven Powrie are known throughout School District 73, Kamtoops, the region, and BC for their work in musical education. As professional musicians, this team has influenced and impacted thousands of children and their families with a lasting impact on those individuals and our community and they continue to actively participate. Mr. Powrie has taught in the district for over 42 years and with Thompson Rivers University (and its many iterations prior) for 21 years. Mrs. Clarke has taught in the district for 33 years. Both individuals have played for the Kamloops Symphony and encouraged interactions between the organization and their classrooms as well as ensuring their classes performed in music festivals, special performances, and participation in KISSM. Mrs. Clarke is planning on retiring at the end of this school year 2022/2023 and Mr. Powrie has stepped back from regular teaching due to medical concerns and a brief run at federal politics. At this point in both of their careers this award would mean so much and give them a wonderful recognition and reflection on all that they have accomplished together and individually.

The nomination package highlighted how Wayne and Dan have demonstrated dedication, passion, and extensive contributions to students in the community over 24 years (Wayne) and 27 years (Dan) of service in preparing and maintaining the grounds, facilities, and trails, working with partner agencies and multiple ministries to champion the needs of the McQueen Lake Education Centre. This is an excerpt from Ms. Kim Edstrom’s nomination package:

It gives me great pleasure to provide this group nomination for Wayne Deptuck and Dan Sargent. Together, Wayne and Dan operate and facilitate the outstanding outdoor education facility at McQueen Lake. For well over twenty years, they have worked collaboratively to create a unique and inclusive outdoor experience for all learners.Their dedication, expertise, and passion have led to the operation of a sustainable and experiential outdoor facility. Wayne has worked diligently to design unique outdoor education learning programs, while Dan has given everything to create and sustain an amazing outdoor facility. Wayne and Dan recently facilitated the 50th Anniversary celebration of McQueen Lake. They have been instrumental in establishing and maintaining partnerships with SD73 employees, students, and parents as well as various organizations such as Rotary, Conservation, TNRD, TRU, and Ministries of Forestry and Agriculture. These partnerships are essential to the flourishing of the McQueen Lake Centre. This combination of talent and commitment by both Dan and Wayne has provided Kamloops-Thompson SD73 with an outdoor education facility that is world renowned and irreplaceable. This nomination comes with a tremendous amount of support from countless students, teachers, and community members.

We could not be more pleased to have had the wonderful opportunity to see all of the supporters of these OWL Award recipients come to the Board meeting in support of these deserving professionals who make SD73 the best that it can be. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write letters of support and to submit the nominations. We are grateful to continue this tradition of honoring more deserving individuals and groups in the future.

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