A Learning community dedicated to educating all students for personal excellence

News Release: FMPSD ​Student and Staff Win Heart of WB Excellence Awards

News Release: FMPSD ​Student and Staff Win Heart of WB Excellence Awards

(Fort McMurray, AB, July 28, 2021) Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) congratulates our student Manorama Joshi, and staff members Danny Tulk and Shirley-Ann Oldnall (photos in order below) on winning the prestigious Heart of Wood Buffalo Excellence Awards held on July 21, 2021 at the Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre. 



“The Awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of the social profit sector through leadership, capacity building and community innovation. Being the Heart of Wood Buffalo means dedication and passion to improving the quality of life for Wood Buffalo and nominees demonstrate these values.”

Manorama won the Youth Award. She is heading into grade 12 at Westwood Community High School, and was nominated by a number of people. An avid community volunteer, she is on the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MACOY), the Financial Director for YouthComputing, a student-led group connecting students with technology. A poet, dancer, and a painter, Manorama also participates in Robotics as the Engineer Designer, and is the Marketing Director for Queens in Code, an all-girls STEM Westwood group, to name a few highlights. This year, she was selected to be on Shad - a month-long STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and entrepreneurship program, hosted in partnership with 16 Canadian universities.

“I am incredibly honoured to be this year's recipient of the Heart of Wood Buffalo Council's Excellence - Youth Award 2021. It is truly overwhelming and I am so thrilled to be seen as a youth leader in the community.”

“This award is a tremendous milestone for me in my journey of volunteerism and community impact. Being born and brought up in our diverse region has made an impact on me and on who I am today. My family, peers, mentors, teachers, and inspirations in this community truly have led me to this stage. I am immensely overjoyed to be recognized as a youth leader in a place I call my hometown and to know my involvement in giving back does not go unnoticed. I look forward to continuing volunteering and being involved in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and beyond. I cannot wait for what more is in store!”

Dan Tulk, Principal, Fort McMurray Composite High School, was nominated by the Some Other Solutions (SOS) Board for the Board Chair Award. He was delighted by the award.

“To be nominated and receive a Heart of Wood Buffalo award is an amazing honour and I am humbled to be in such great company in our wonderful region. The people of Wood Buffalo are hard working and continually strive to assist and better our community. I was nominated by Some Other Solutions’ Executive Director, Jason King; and have served as a member of the board since 2018 and the chair since 2019. I am so thankful for the work SOS does in the community and how I can assist in helping the organization. It was great to be back with people and see everyone after such a long time. I would like to thank SOS, Fuse Social, FMPSD, and my amazing family for being supportive in all of this.”

Thickwood Heights grade 4 teacher, Shirley-Ann Oldnall won the Indigenous Advocate Award. She was nominated by the school Principal, Dave Parsons.

“I am honoured and gratified to receive this award because it means that we, as a society, are heading in the right direction and as this generation learns to honour the truth of Canada’s history, we are learning to bridge the gap between truth and reconciliation. This award raises awareness of the need to understand Indigenous history and acknowledges the truth and consequences of that history; therefore furthering both Indigenous and non-Indigenous aspirations for restorative justice. I have been privileged to enjoy the collaboration of my Principal, students, colleagues, Indigenous role models and FMPSD Indigenous Education initiatives. I thank you all.”

Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD congratulated all the winners. 

“Manorama, Danny and Shirley-Ann are what makes FMPSD so very special. We are so proud of all of them as they give back to both their Division and the region. Thank you for choosing to be of service to others, and strengthening both FMPSD and our social profit sector. We are deeply appreciative of all you do.”

Congratulations all!

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager          

Fort McMurray Public School Division