For the second year in a row a parent serving on a school council for Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools has been honoured with the provincial Parent of Distinction Award.
Last week the Alberta School Councils Association presented the award to Serena Shaw, a parent serving on the council for Vital Grandin Catholic School. The honour comes a year after Charlene Heavener received the award for her work on the Parent Council for St. Albert high.
“We are fortunate to have great parental support in our schools,” said Carol Bruineman, communications manager for Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools.
In addition to serving as chair on the Vital Grandin Parent Council, Shaw is also co-chair of the Council of Councils for all Greater St. Albert Catholic schools. She is chair of the Vital Grandin playground committee, a member at large on the Richard S. Fowler Junior High School parent council and vice-chair of city council’s community services advisory board.
“I quit my day job so I could be more active in my children’s education,” said Shaw, who took time out Thursday for an interview, even though she was outside at Vital Grandin School helping to get the new playground built.
Shaw, who has one youngster attending Vital Grandin and another in junior high stressed that parent councils work to improve the educational experience for all students, but more than that, she believes there is evidence to show that children of parents serving on parent councils fare better in school.
“There are studies to show that children whose parents are engaged in their education tend to do better in school. I think that may be because their parents are leading by example,” she said, adding that in her own case, serving on parent councils has strengthened her understanding of what happens in school.
Principal Sandy Kordyback, who recommended Shaw for the award, said having a strong parent council has helped make Vital Grandin school more inviting and welcoming for students.
“Serena Shaw believes passionately in school learning. The parent council adds to the school community making it more meaningful and it has become an integral part of our school,” she said.