2020 Award Recipients

Distinguished Leadership Award

Congratulations to Joanne Higgins, Principal of Heritage Heights School!

Foothills School Division is pleased to announce that Joanne Higgins has been nominated for the 2019/2020 Distinguished Leadership Award presented by the Council for School Leadership of the Alberta Teachers' Association.

Joanne is a most deserving candidate for this Nomination. Joanne joined the Foothills School Division, in January 2014, as the Principal of Heritage Heights School. Prior to joining Foothills Joanne held various roles within Calgary Board of Education.

During her six years as Principal, Joanne has provided outstanding leadership which has resulted in optimal student learning and quality innovative teaching across k-9 at Heritage Heights. Joanne has led by example and from a strong values base. She has created a strong and shared vision for student success which has resulted in learning environments for her students that are welcoming, engaging, and key in building foundations for learners. Her ability to recognize the unique strengths and abilities of all students and to champion and cultivate strong programs are evident at Heritage Heights and will endure as part of her leadership legacy.

Joanne has become a trusted voice among her Foothills School Division School Leadership colleagues. She willingly shares her experience and insight with Principals, Vice-Principals, aspiring leaders who seek her out for advice, mentorship, and collaboration.

The Board of Trustees heralded Ms. Higgins’ nomination and looks forward to celebrating this honour with Joanne when regular operations resume and their recognition events can continue. 


Edwin Parr Teacher Award

Congratulations to Sam Spangler, teacher at École Foothills Composite High School!

We are pleased to announce that Sam Spangler, a teacher at École Foothills Composite High School / Alberta High School of Fine Arts (ÉFCHS/AHSFA), is the Board of Trustees nominee for the 2020 Edwin Parr Award.

Mr. Spangler is a first-year Humanities teacher with a primary teaching assignment in English Language Arts. Sam was lauded by principal Vince Hunter as an “an amazing beginning teacher who connects well with students, colleagues, and families.”

Sam has engaged with students both in the classroom and beyond. It is important to him that the classroom environment and learning he designs is welcoming, dynamic, engaging, and reflective of student voice. This same passion extends into extra-curricular activities where Mr. Spangler supports Student Council, the Student Union Gay Straight Alliance, and JV Basketball. In these contexts Mr. Spangler sees opportunity for supporting student leadership.

Mr. Spangler was truly grateful for the honour of being nominated for the Edwin Parr Award. In his interview with Trustees, he praised his colleagues at ÉFCHS/AHSFA, sharing that the collaborative culture and purposeful structures at the school that support professional growth have contributed to his successful beginning as a novice teacher. Mr. Spangler also offered gratitude to the exceptional teachers who supported him as a student in Foothills School Division during his own k-12 journey.

The Edwin Parr Teacher Award is given annually to a novice teacher who demonstrates initial teaching proficiency. If he is selected as the zone 5 nominee, he will be recognized along with the five other zone nominees from across Alberta at a ceremony this fall.

Mr. Hunter shared: “The bedrock of his practice and motivation is driven by deep care for the well-being and growth of students as learners and human beings.”