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The Association of B.C. Deans of Education recently granted Sandy Hill with the 2017 Teacher Educator Award. Hill is a program coordinator at UFV who has been recognized for his contribution to teacher education programs (TEP).

Hill is responsible for placing teacher candidates in schools where they’ll complete their practicum. Him and Janet Carroll, program coordinator and instructor in teacher education, coordinate a group of sessional faculty called faculty mentors, who support the students when they’re in their practica in the schools. They communicate with the schools, particularly their principals, about finding the right placements for the teacher candidates.

Beginning in 1969, Hill spent 29 years teaching, 26 of which were in the same classroom, teaching junior high science. In 1999 he filled a position at Simon Fraser University as a faculty associate, and became a program coordinator three years later.

“Part of my duties at SFU was to help support a group of UFV professors that were trying to start a teacher ed. program. I was kind of a consultant to those people. After the program was approved, the department head at the time asked if I’d be interested in being a coordinator at UFV. And that was 10 years ago,” he explained.

Despite his own long-term contributions to the program, Hill said that there are a lot of people who do a similar job as him and he likes to recognize that the success of these programs is due to the fact that the coordinators work well together, sharing similar strengths and problem solving strategies.

“People in my position don’t usually receive awards like that. I guess it’s because I’ve been around a long time. I think they may have based it on the good letters of reference I had from people. I appreciate very much the letters from my own department, from Vandy Britton, our department head, and Awneet Sivia, one of our profs,” Hill said. “I think they kind of initiated it. I was resistant when they first mentioned it but they said ‘No, no, you should get it.’ So I was surprised that I was nominated and even more surprised that I won it.”

His nominators had their own explanations of why Hill won the award.

Awneet Sivia, assistant professor, teaching and learning said, “I co-nominated Sandy for the award because he is uniquely gifted in developing teacher education programs that are, by design, reflective, inquiry-driven, and responsive to the needs of communities.”

“He was instrumental in developing the TEP at UFV and he continues to build strong partnerships with local school districts in his role as coordinator — everyone knows Sandy Hill in the world of teacher education and in K-12 in B.C.”

Teacher education department head, Vandy Britton, said, “When I think of Sandy, I think of a dedicated and deeply reflective educator who makes it his mission to build strong, healthy, lasting relationships with others. He is thoughtful, articulate, and compassionate; he puts the needs of others first; he is highly ethical in his interactions with others; and, he has a way of viewing life that challenges others’ perceptions — but not in a way that makes them feel threatened. Rather, he inspires.”

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