ABCDE Award Winners

ABCDE recognizes exceptional individuals at the annual Teacher Education Roundtable with the Teacher Educator and Education Advocate Awards:

The TEACHER EDUCATOR is awarded to someone at the school or university level who has distinguished themselves in partnering with a teacher education program in B.C. For example, a nominee may have provided exceptional mentoring of pre-service teachers for a number of years and/or may have been actively involved in partnership discussions or leadership on improvements to a post-secondary teacher education program.

The EDUCATION ADVOCATE is awarded to someone who has distinguished themselves as an advocate for Education. A nominee for this award might be one who has written thoughtful analyses of education or teacher education and/or who has consistently provided strong support for BC Education.


2023 Teacher Educator Award Winners

Barbara Salingré, Associate Professor and Advisor, B.Ed. program, University of the Fraser Valley

“Barbara has been with UFV’s teacher education program since its inception. She was pivotal in working with the (then) BC College of Teachers to develop, what is now, the BEd Program.  In many ways, Barbara is seen as the “heart” of the program given her strong connections with students before, during, and after the program. She provides one-on-one support of students as they journey through becoming a teacher. More than focusing on students enrolled in a teacher education program, Barbara supports students in coming to understand their identity as teachers, counselling them as they work towards preparing for teacher education, supporting equity seeking students as they apply to programs, and supporting them within the program. She is an astounding instructor, mentor, and advocate for the success of her students. One alum writes, “Barbara is angelic and exemplifies love and compassion. She epitomizes what it means to be an anti-racist educator and a servant leader.”

Dr. Wendy Klassen, Director of Undergraduate Programs and Associate Professor with the Okanagan School of Education, University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus).

“Dr. Klassen has worked within UBC-O for almost 20 years.  Dr. Klassen demonstrated significant leadership in the redesign of the B.Ed. program and has been able to see it flourish since its inception in 2017. Dr. Klassen is a beacon in the field of numeracy instruction, sharing her passion for teaching math and developing a growth mindset for numeracy educators. She puts candidates at ease by teaching her courses, whenever possible, directly in the K-9 classrooms with her in-situ numeracy lessons. Dr. Klassen’s sense of humour, personal humility, and ability to connect with people make the classroom and boardroom a pleasurable experience for those who work with her or learn from her. Dr. Klassen has distinguished herself as an inspiring mentor, a respected partner in teacher education programs in B.C., and an innovative scholar-practitioner dedicated to professional development over the continuum of educators’ careers.”

2023 Education Advocate Award Winner

Dr. Lee Gunderson, Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED), University of British Columbia

“Throughout his 42-year career with UBC, Dr. Gunderson has been instrumental in developing assessment instruments and protocols and researching immigrant scholastic achievement. His prolific research and tireless work in the field has led to the development of standardized testing through the ESL Assessment Consortium and required ESL-focused courses for UBC’s Teacher Candidates. Under Dr. Gunderson’s guidance, seven English reading assessments were developed. He designed the norming studies, analyzed results, and wrote the technical manuals. A primary-level oral language assessment was developed in 2021. The assessments are being utilized in 12 lower-mainland school districts at both the beginning and end of academic years and when immigrants first enter the country. Approximately 100,000 assessments are administered every school year. Gunderson has received many awards throughout his career including the UBC President’s Award for Education Through the Media in March 2009 and he was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 2021.”


2022 Teacher Educator Award Winners

Mr. Glen Thielmann, Ph.D. student, Sessional and practicum instructor, University of Northern British Columbia

“Through his leadership as School District No.57 Professional Development Coordinator and his many years leading Learning Team Innovation Grant curriculum projects, Mr. Thielmann models by example taking real steps in his commitment to deepening understanding, knowledge, and skills to decolonize and indigenize education.  Mr. Thielmann supports professional growth for pre-service teachers and teacher education in the work to implement UNDRIP and TRC Calls to Action.   Mr. Thielmann exemplifies distinguished leadership in the service of post-secondary teacher education improvement.  He is dedicated to working in the service of strengthening teacher education in the areas of social justice, stewardship, and place-responsive learning.”

2022 Education Advocate Award Winner

Dr. Ralf St. Clair, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria

“Dr. St. Clair has distinguished himself as an advocate for Education due to his consistently strong support for BC Education via his role as Dean of Education at University of Victoria and as Chair of ABCDE for many years. Dr. Clair is a supporter of all things Indigenous, he has been an advocate for Teacher Education Programs as Dean of Education, as (Past) Chair of ABCDE, and as an active member of Western Association of Deans of Education, and the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE). He participates fully in various conference groups, is a positive thinker, a good critic, an advocate for Teacher Education, and a treasured colleague. His energy and insights have been incredibly important for the Deans of ABCDE over many years.”



Dr. Marianne McTavish, Associate Dean of Teacher Education, University of British Columbia

“Dr. Marianne McTavish has demonstrated outstanding commitment to teacher education throughout her career, but in her work as Associate Dean of Education at UBC-Vancouver has excelled and provided vital leadership during these unprecedented time of pandemic and social distancing when it was most needed. She is a tireless advocate for a socially just and responsible vision for the future, and she leads by example…”

Debbie Kaban, SD57 Prince George Education Educator

Ms. Kaban’s efforts exemplify excellence in mentorship and educational devotion, she has been an extraordinary partner, one to whom we give credit for much of our current success. She led in the creation of “host schools”, thus re-framing the way we think about and make practicum placements. She also was instrumental in creating excellence in student mentorship, whereby teacher candidates are supported both within the university and directly within the school district.”

Anne MacLean, Faculty Advisor and Field Experience Coordinator, Okanagan School of Education

“Anne possesses the rare gift of being an excellent educator and administrator. She seamlessly navigates the pedagogical nuances of teacher education and the practical considerations that guide our work. She is equally at ease discussing indigenization, inclusion and equity as she is with policy, guidelines and teacher certification questions.”


Ray Myrtle

“Ray Myrtle was “just” a classroom teacher at intermediate grades in Burnaby school district from 1991 until he retired in 2011. During these 20 years, he was not a department head, held no district position, was neither a vice-principal or a principal, and did not work for a University or the Ministry of Education. Yet he spent thousands of hours of his own time, year after year, in teacher education programs and projects. Not because it was his job, but because it was, and still is, his passion.”



Dr. Deborah Koehn, Lecturer and Coordinator in the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia

“Deb’s approach to teacher education has infused her faculty with her boundless energy, wise pedagogy and innovative thinking. She is a fierce advocate for young learners and has high expectations for her pre-service teachers. Debbie works tirelessly to provide powerful learning opportunities for her students, and they are consistent in their praise of her role in their learning…No matter how many hours a day it takes, she is consistently there as a source of support for them. Her current work is leading the way by seeking ways of infusing place-consciousness and culturally relevant pedagogy into the design of teacher.”

See past ABCDE award winners