Chinook's Edge honours employees at annual staff recognition celebration

Chinook’s Edge School Division acknowledged dozens of long-serving staff and welcomed 14 new teachers at its annual Celebrations event on October 27.

Co-hosted by the Board of Education and the Alberta Teachers’ Association Local #17, the evening honoured every employee group at every level across the division. It began with an acknowledgement of 14 new teachers into the Alberta Teachers’ Association and ended with a tribute to 26 retirees, many of whom had spent their entire careers in Chinook’s Edge.

“We are always pleased to honour our staff in this way,” said Colleen Butler, Board of Education Chair. “Each of the people we are paying tribute to have reached a career milestone with Chinook’s Edge and our Board is very grateful to them. The Celebrations event allows us to thank each of them for the commitment and personal contribution they provide to our school division each day. Whatever their role, our staff serve students and families extremely well.”

As well as long service awards, this year the Board presented a Roy E. Cope Award, which recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the educational well-being of students in the division. This year’s recipient was Lee Tipman, who is retiring from a distinguished 39 year career in education. Most recently, Lee held the position of Principal of H.J. Cody High School in Sylvan Lake and, in the last few years, was Division Principal with key responsibilities of evaluating and mentoring new teachers in Chinook’s Edge.

“I was nervous about his evaluations, because I didn’t know what to expect, but he made the whole experience so comfortable,” one of the division’s new teachers commented. “He mirrors the personality of the division – down to earth and approachable, resourceful, reliable and caring, all while maintaining high expectations.”

For four decades, Lee Tipman has been driven by his personal commitment to enjoy coming to work each day, ready to care for and respect every single student, parent and colleague.

“Teaching is not a job, it is a passion,” Lee told the audience at Celebrations. “My dad told me long ago that any job worth doing is worth doing well – and that he expected I would give my all in everything that I did. I can proudly say that I have always worked hard and have always played hard, all my life. I want to thank our Superintendent and the entire Central Office Leadership Team for allowing me to finish off my career in the best working environment I could imagine. Their commitment to students and passion for everything they do is second to none, and as a result my last few years in Chinook’s Edge have been incredible. I would like to thank them and the Board for all of these opportunities.”