Chinook’s Edge School Division welcomed a large group of new teachers at the New Teacher Orientation program this week.

The annual three-day orientation and mentorship program involves teachers who are either new to the profession or new to the division, and is broadly considered to be one of the most extensive programs of its kind in Alberta. It was developed to increase new teachers’ understanding of the culture and expectations in Chinook’s Edge.

Two new teachers who are already well versed in Chinook’s Edge culture are Jessie Notley and Cali Wright. They grew up together in Olds, attended all three Chinook’s Edge schools and are now launching their teaching careers in the division at the same time.

“We’ve been linked since Kindergarten - we played ball together, graduated together from École Olds High School in 2016, and took our undergrad degree at the same time at the University of Lethbridge,” said Cali, who continued on to obtain her Bachelor of Education from U of L last winter. “Now I’m teaching Band back in my former school – I’ve been working at École Deer Meadow in Olds since last semester. Some of my own teachers are still there, so they’ve known me for a long time! I even taught my younger sister last spring. It’s definitely like coming home for me.”

Both found it worthwhile to give up the last few days of summer to attend the session at division office.

“People are sharing their knowledge and resources, and everyone I meet is so willing to help,” said Jessie Notley, who graduated from the University of Calgary last spring and will be teaching French at Cremona School. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and I wanted to be a teacher in Chinook’s Edge. I am looking forward to having my own classroom and being able to finally meet my students! I really can’t wait.”

By all accounts, this year’s group of new teachers is more than ready. “There’s a level of competency among this group that I’m so thoroughly impressed with,” said Jason Drent, Associate Superintendent of Learning Services. “These are skilled professionals and we can’t wait to see all the great things they are going to do to support our students.

“We connect all new teachers with a mentor for a full two years, so there is strong support and sharing of expertise throughout our schools. It ensures the best learning for all Chinook’s Edge students. As always, I am inspired by their energy, enthusiasm and excitement as they begin their careers, and as we all begin a new school year together.”

The first day of school for Chinook’s Edge students is Thursday, September 1st.