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News Release: Westwood's Said El Mejdani Wins Prime Minister’s Teaching Award for Excellence!

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News Release: Westwood's Said El Mejdani Wins Prime Minister’s Teaching Award for Excellence!

(Fort McMurray, AB - May 21, 2019) Fort McMurray Public School District (FMSPD) congratulates Said El Mejdani, our Westwood Community High School computer science teacher, who has won the Prime Minister’s Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence! This is a well-deserved honour for El Mejdani, whose name is synonymous with computer science/technology, and coding excellence across the region, and the province.

El Mejdani, who has been with FMPSD for three years - will receive a National Certificate of Excellence from the Prime Minister's Award Program (PMA). “This national-level award is considered the highest honour for teachers and early childhood educators in Canada. The Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence have honoured exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines since 1993, with over 1,500 teachers honoured to date. Teaching Excellence Awards recipients are honoured for their remarkable achievements in education and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation-based economy,” as per the Government of Canada.

He is in Ottawa now to receive the award on May 28, and is excited.

“I am very honoured to receive this award, especially being nominated by this wonderful group of former students, colleagues and community members. It’s humbling to see our approach to teaching computer science and our student success highlighted by this award.  Students learn best when they are empowered by computational thinking and problem solving. Every student can thrive when they drive their own learning,” El Mejdani said.

Cynthia Shelley, Principal, Westwood Community High School dubs the honour “incredible.”

“Mr. Said is extraordinarily deserving of this dignified Prime Minister’s Excellence in Teaching Award! Every student that has ever worked with him loves to be mentored by him, every colleague loves to work beside him and every FMPSD student that has been impacted by his fortitude is in awe of him.”

“He finds ways to connect with our community (with our students, the littles. and even the seasoned learners); he plants the seed of community involvement in all of his students. They are truly inspired by him and students have actualized tremendous achievements because of his guidance and leadership as a teacher. Mr. Said is helping our students attain the skills to become trend-setters in an ever changing technically driven society. We are so very proud of his accomplishment and this well deserved accolade of distinction,” Shelley noted.

Doug Nicholls, Superintendent, FMPSD, congratulated El Mejdani.

“Said has been an amazing champion for our District’s students. He has influenced many other students and schools outside of Westwood supporting the integration of technology and the promotion of computer science. The students and staff I have spoken to about Said’s commitment to learning have all been totally impressed with his knowledge and his ability to motivate students, staff and community members. We are all proud of Said and thankful for what he brings to our community.”

Congratulations Said!

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager

Fort McMurray Public School District #2833

Cell: 780-880-7666

Work: 780-788-8009

kiran.malikkhan@fmpsd.ab.ca