Kelly Loukes, a resource teacher at George Street Middle School, was among eight recipients of a national inclusive education award presented April 11 during a ceremony at Old Government House in Fredericton. The awards were presented to leaders in inclusion who work in all levels of the province's education system.
Loukes was recognized as an "outstanding champion of inclusion" and a leader in her school and community, going the extra mile to ensure all students are engaged and enjoy a sense of belonging at their school.
"Those we are recognizing today are an impressive group of leaders in inclusive education," said Suzanne Desrosiers, president of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living. "We hold you up as the hallmark of inclusion."
Joy Bacon, president of the Canadian Association for Community Living, said she was "awestruck" by what people are doing and accomplishing in the province to help and support those dealing with physical, intellectual or emotional challenges.
"There are many people doing wonderful work across this province," Bacon said. "Nationally and internationally, New Brunswick is a beacon for inclusion and that tradition is continuing."
Sarah Wagner, executive director of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, said students, educators, parents, families and communities are all part of the success stories celebrated each year during the annual awards.
"The examples of inclusive education in our province are absolutely amazing," Wagner stated.
Other recipients of the awards were Melissa LeBlanc, owner of My School in Notre-Dame, Anna Buckley, school intervention worker at Fairvale Elementary School in Rothesay, Linda Leblanc, accepting the super class award for Ecole Abbey-Landry in Memramcook, David Taylor, educator at St. Stephen High School, Jenny Shea, educator at Rothesay High School, Brigitte LaPointe from L'Agence Famille et petite enfance Nord-Quest in Grand Falls, and Denise Carroll, an instructor at NBCC Miramichi.
Shown below is teacher Kelly Loukes from George Street Middle School, centre, accepting her award from Suzanne Desrosiers, left, president of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, and Joy Bacon, right, president of the Canadian Association.