Sydney Moore, Palliser's nominee for the Edwin Parr Award

 page image
Posted on:

Watch the video here.

She’s the school’s wellness champion, was the junior high volleyball coach, a high school math teacher and she’s thrilled to be teaching a Grade 2 class where everyone loves to read. Did we mention she’s a first-year teacher?

Meet Sydney Moore, a teacher at Noble Central School and Palliser’s nominee for the Alberta School Boards Association Edwin Parr Award.

“I love telling people what I do. . . Grade 2 and Math 30,” she says. “The shocked looks I get are hilarious.”

Noble Central Principal Kathy Oviatt says Moore has taken on tasks that would challenge even veteran teachers, and not only has she thrived, but her students have as well.

“Sydney is a beginning teacher but if you went into her classroom you wouldn’t know that about her,” Oviatt says. “Her classroom practice is solid. You would think she’s been doing it for years.”

Oviatt and Moore’s mentor teacher, Melanie Nishikawa, both described their colleague with two words: “consummate professional.”

Nishikawa, who works across the hall from Moore’s Grade 2 classroom, said she admires how much this beginning teacher has been able to successfully take on this year, making a transition from elementary to high school teacher daily with a quick walk down the hall.

“She’s taken on a lot and she’s managed,” says Nishikawa, adding she has to sometimes remind Moore to “stop and take a breath.”

Along the way, Moore helped start a running club and planned a week-long, school-wide celebration of Unplug and Play Week.

She admits there have been moments when she felt overwhelmed.

“I’ve really grown to love it,” Moore says of her diverse job. “Now I feel like I have the dream position teaching elementary and high school. It’s really the best of both worlds.

“It pushed my limits in the fall. . . It was actually a really positive thing. I felt like I learned a lot about myself as a teacher and what I’m capable of and it’s made me believe I’m capable of even more.”

Oviatt says Moore is already an exceptional teacher, and her hunger for professional development means she grows by the day. If she makes a suggestion to Moore in the morning, she’s hearing feedback about how it worked out that afternoon.

“First of all, there’s her structures and organization and protocols and processes,” Oviatt says, listing Moore’s strengths. “There isn’t a moment that is left without some careful cautious planning. There’s her attention to her own pedagogy, lots of varied instruction, whole group, but then her strength is in her individual attention to what kids need.”

Moore says she appreciates Palliser’s literacy focus, the many supports she’s found in her school and in the division, including the new teacher induction and mentorship program. As part of the induction program, she worked with Literacy Coach Bev Smith which transformed her approach to reading and writing instruction.

“I can see that it’s working,” she says. “I can see the growth they’re making.”

Students throughout the school speak highly of Moore, the relationships she builds with students of all ages and the help she provides.

“She always has time for you. . . She’s there helping us all the way,” said Colten Gurr, a Math 30 student.

Moore did her final university practicum at Noble Central last year, so she wasn’t a stranger when she joined the staff full time.

“They adore her,” mentor teacher Nishikawa says of Moore’s students. “It’s somebody they know they can trust, that will help them, that cares for them and that truly wants to see them succeed. . . Whether it’s Grade 1 to Grade 12, it’s like she’s been here for years.”

Oviatt says Moore’s positive, can-do attitude has contributed greatly to the school environment.

“She doesn’t realize the impact she’s having,” Oviatt says. “We’re going to hear about Sydney for years and years to come and she’s going to bring gifts to kids beyond anyone’s expectations.”

Moore is Palliser’s nominee for the Zone 6 Edwin Parr Award. The zone winner will be announced at a banquet Wednesday, May 13 in Taber.