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School Directoress Semi-Finalist
Provincial Teaching Excellence Award

Pamela Roth
Sun Times
For Zahra Foroud and Denis Potvin, there's no greater joy than teaching. Obviously, that joy is evident among their peers as the pair were among four teachers from Lethbridge who were semifinalists in the 2009 Provincial Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Although none of the local teachers wound up being one of the 23 award winners, just becoming a semi-finalist was a tremendous feather in Potvin's cap.
After majoring in educational problems from Concordia University, Foroud headed overseas and began her career as a high school teacher. Her interest in teaching stems back to her old school days where she said her teachers were model teachers, inspiring her to be just like them.
"I wanted to make a difference so I decided to go that route," said Foroud.
Foroud took a break from teaching to raise her family, but dove right back into it again upon her return to Alberta when she started teaching in 1986 at the Lethbridge Montessori School , which was founded in 1981 by Deana Arelis and a group of parents who wanted a Montessori education for their children.
Foroud is now a teacher and owner of the Montessori School, and is a firm believer in the Montessori philosophy of education all children carry within themselves the person they will become. In order to develop physical, intellectual, social, and emotional potential to the fullest, the child must have freedom, a freedom to be achieved through order and self-discipline.

Zahra Foroud helps one of her students count numbers at Lethbridge Montessori School. Foroud ws one of four Lethbridge teachers who were semifinalists in the 2009 Provincial Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Photo by Pamela Roth
"It's the best job ever. It can be challenging at times, but at the same time it's very rewarding because you can make a difference in a child's life," said Foroud. "There are no politics involved when you are with children. There is no stress. You are right there with them and that makes you a special teacher if you connect to a child and listen to them."
The 2009 Excellence in Teeaching Awards Program recognized 134 creative and innovative teachers as award semi-finalistsfor their exceptional work in Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms. The semifinalists were selected from 365 eligible nominations from across the province.
Nominees must show leadership, demonstrate creativity and innovation, work collaboratively with colleagues and create positive and stimulating learning environments that motivate students to exceed their own expectations. The program honours teachers across the province and encourages them to further develop their skills by providing funding for their professional development. ....
[excerpt from Sun Times, June 10, 2009]