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James Allum, MLA Fort Garry - Riverview
April 3, 2017

Margje Barter-Cook

On February 23, Margje Barter-Cook of Pembina Trails School Division received the “Outstanding Educator of the Year Award” from the Manitoba Council for Exceptional Children. Having attended a number of MCEC ceremonies, I can attest to the fact that this is an event that not only recognizes truly exceptional students and their families but extraordinary educators as well.

The Outstanding Educator of the Year is given to those in our education system who consistently create a caring and inclusive environment for students to learn and grow. In nominating Margje, Dale Christiuk of Vincent Massey Collegiate says there is no one more deserving because her “work has provided students with special needs a starting point towards finding meaningful and sustained employment after graduation. The impact that she has had on the lives of exceptional youth is immeasurable.”

Margje is a Career and Community Experience Teacher for the Pembina Trails School Division and I have had the pleasure of observing her in action! Several years ago she asked me if I would be interested in supporting a student at Vincent Massey who needed experience to help him transition from school to the working world. Given that the student was passionately interested in the environment and politics, I was more than willing to offer him a work experience opportunity in my constituency o ffice. Learning from Margje about what she does for her students has been one of the benefits of my job.

Margje has spent twenty-nine years in the school system, the last six of which have been as a Career and Community Experiences Teacher. Along with her Pembina Trails colleagues Rick House and Justin Lawson, Margje is a part of larger team devoted to ensuring that every student, regardless of the challenges they may face, has an opportunity to live full and productive lives. Allowing students to explore careers this way is a fine example of community participation in education.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating Marjge for receiving the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award and for her incredible contribution to her students, her community, and her province.