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Photo Credit: Anne Hanna

By Mallorie Rast

Years of diligent effort have paid off for Kindersley’s Kent Hanna as he was just recently named a recipient of Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor Social Studies Education Student Award. Hanna received the award for displaying an aptitude for his chosen field of education and for exhibiting a passion to inspire his future students to appreciate history and culture.

Hanna has just recently graduated from the Medicine Hat College, obtaining his Bachelor of Education in collaboration with Mount Royal University. Hanna’s academic performance and passion for social studies prompted the facility to include him in their nominations towards the award. Hanna wrote an essay on an historical figure in Alberta, which was judged by a panel of judges before he moved on to the semi-finalists. In the semi-finals of the award winning process, Hanna then gave a 5-7 minute presentation on George Stanley, the designer of the Canadian Flag, exemplifying how he would break down into a school lesson that his students would be able to grasp and get excited about.

“I realized that with the times we live in, in person class time could be looking very different than usual, thus it will be very important to keep concepts simple and easy to take away and remember after your class is over,” Hanna said. He crafted his presentation with those concepts in mind, and the judging panel pronounced him the Medicine Hat College recipient of the award.

The award was originally started by Alberta’s 18th Lieutenant Governor, Her Honour Lois Mitchelle. One of Governor Mitchelle’s passions during her office (2015-2020) was on history and history education. Her Honour was a founding patron and the History and Heroes Foundation, and the Social Studies Education Award was founded in 2017. The Award itself is a crystal owl, crafted to represent knowledge and positive change in the world.

Hanna has been passionate about education ever since 9th grade, when one particular teacher made learning fun and engaging. “I would like to carry on their legacy of making my lessons fun and engaging, that when students come to my class that they would know that it would be welcoming they would be able to learn in its environment.”

Earning the Lieutenant Governor award has not only given Hanna well-deserved recognition, it has also empowered him as he looks ahead to his future. “It is exciting to look ahead and know that I am capable of teaching social studies and can give students knowledge so they can feel confident on what it is to be Canadian.”

Hanna has already accepted a teaching position with the Maple Creek Composite School, where he will be teaching the 8th and 9th grade Social Studies, Health and English.

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