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Fueling students for success

The Northern Lights Public Schools Board of Trustees celebrated TC Energy and its contributions to the division’s schools on Tuesday with the presentation of a 2020 Friends of Education Award.

“With this award, we are recognizing a true partnership between industry and our schools,” said Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk. “This is about more than a financial contribution made by a corporation, it is about celebrating a relationship and coming together as a community.”

TC Energy was nominated by Wandering River School, one of the division’s smallest schools. Several years ago, the company set up a work camp to house 800 workers in the small hamlet of 250 people. Representatives from the company approached the school and asked what they could do to help students. That was the start of the Fuel for Learning program at Wandering River School.

Once a week, employees from TC Energy delivered juice, granola bars, yogurt and cereal for students. When a wildfire swept through Fort McMurray, forcing the evacuation of 80,000 people, TC Energy offered the camp as housing for 500 people for six weeks. Wandering River School grew from approximately 20 students to 80 and TC ensured that all of the students received breakfast.

The company’s annual financial support has allowed the school to provide students with healthy options for breakfast including fresh fruit and yogurt, cereal and milk, juice, cereal bars, smoothies and even pancake breakfasts. Having breakfast together every morning has become part of everyone’s normal routine and staff and parents have enjoyed seeing the students try new things.

“We cannot thank TC Energy enough for the contributions they have made to the health and wellness of our students,” said Lisa Iversen, Principal of Wandering River School. “You are definitely a Friend of Education in our books.”

Wandering River School prepared a thank you for TC Energy that was shared at the Board meeting. The presentation can be viewed HERE.

TC Energy has also supported Caslan School by contributing to its community playground fundraising initiative and adding the project to its internal giving site, providing employees with the opportunity to donate to the project as well.

“Our students are really excited about the new playground and how much fun they are going to have playing on it,” said David Skoglund, Principal of Caslan School. “We are grateful to TC Energy for helping us move this project forward for our students and the community.”

TC Energy is one of four 2020 Friends of Education Award recipients the Board is recognizing with Friends of Education Awards this year. 

“For years, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with Northern Lights Public Schools and have seen for ourselves the incredible programming provided to students,” said Jeff Burke, TC Energy’s Director of Indigenous Relations. “Thank you for letting us play a part in making sure that your in your communities have what they need to learn, play and be active learners. We are honoured to accept the 2020 Friends of Education Award.”

“Community partners like TC Energy play a valuable role in supporting our students and our schools,” said Hrynyk. “They open doors to so many opportunities for our students that otherwise may not be available and they help us to address issues like health and wellness that impact students’ ability to learn. We are so appreciative of everything that they do for our students.”

The Board’s Friends of Education Awards are normally presented at an event at the beginning of the school year, but the presentation of the awards was delayed this year due to COVID-19. The other recipients for 2020 will be announced at future Board meetings. 

The Friends of Education Awards were introduced in 2010 to recognize individuals and organizations that make special contributions to education in Northern Lights Public Schools. Every year, the Board of Trustees asks staff, students , parents and the public to nominate people they feel are deserving of the award. A committee reviews the nominations and selects recipients from throughout the division each year.

Profiles of the recipients who have been honoured in previous years can be found on the Friends of Education Awards Recipients page on our website.