Former Castlegar resident and Smithers Secondary School teacher Rick Hubert received a certificate of excellence from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Teacher wins national award

Smithers Secondary School teacher Rick Hubert recently received a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Ottawa.

  • Jan. 15, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Chris Gareau

Black Press

Smithers Secondary School teacher Rick Hubert recently received a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Ottawa.

Hubert, a Castlegar native  who still has family in the area, now teaches metal work to Grade 8 to 12 students. He was recognized for his efforts in getting his students directly involved in the community with projects like building bike racks.

The award was handed out to 10 teachers and seven early childhood educators from across Canada. The events honouring the national recipients coincided with World Teachers’ Day.

Twenty-five teachers and 12 early childhood educators received a regional Certificate of Achievement award as well.

The prime minister’s office describes the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence as recognizing outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines who, through the innovative use of information and communications technologies, help Canadian students to meet the challenges of a 21st century society and economy.

The Prime Minister’s Awards are administered on behalf of the prime minister by Industry Canada with the support of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the RBC Foundation.

“The tireless dedication of our teachers inspires our children and encourages them to succeed. Today we celebrate the recipients of this year’s teaching awards for their outstanding achievements and thank them for continuously enriching the lives of their students,” said Prime Minister Harper at the announcement.

Hubert spoke about how he might get his chance to expand his initiatives to a much broader community on his way back home.

A federal official approached Hubert to possibly get engaged nationally.

“One of the branches of this board is all to do with health and food in the schools,” explained Hubert, who said he did not think he was much of a speaker but was surprised by a rousing ovation from the teachers and officials who heard his speech in Ottawa.

The teachers at the awards were asked to speak about their goals, which Hubert said for him was to instill confidence in students and promote healthy living.

“I went up there and thought I’m just going to talk right from my gut, from my heart and just say what I feel and believe’… It was the most incredible thing, I wasn’t finished my speech — I was about four minutes into it — the whole audience just started applauding. I had to stop my speech and wondered what the heck is going on?” said Hubert, whose wife’s battle with cancer for the last decade has in part inspired his passion.

Staff at the high school recommended Hubert for the award.

Principal Jaksun Grice showed off Hubert’s inventions at the high school including the geodome and a laser metal cutter hooked up to computer software for intricate designing.

“Rick is one of those quiet, unassuming teachers that you don’t hear a lot from, but if you actually go in his classroom you see amazing things happening,” said Grice, who added Hubert brings in people from the community to make things happen.

“Kids, if they come into Rick’s shop, if they have a dream he’s like ‘okay, well I’m going to work with you to figure out how to build it.’ It’s pretty unique that he has the talent where whatever a kid’s thinking, he can help them get there.”

Hubert had to keep the news of the award secret for two months. Now he is looking forward to making ideas like a website and application for Smithers and to be expanded later for other regions that would tell grocery shoppers the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables they are buying a reality. The key he said is for others to buy into the effort.

“The goal is to try and change the way agriculture is done throughout the world,” said the teacher who is not afraid to go big.

 

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Federal NDP challenges evident on Kootenay campaign trip

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tours the Kootenays in support of local MPs, proportional representation

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Castlegar pastors find life in wheelchair a challenge

The men found the obstacles were both physical and mental.

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Most Read