Passionate drama teacher named Edwin Parr Teacher Award Nominee

Encouraging students to see the potential in themselves and allowing them the opportunity to want to learn is a passion for Kiel Fredrickson, Red Deer Public’s nominee for the prestigious Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

Each year the Alberta School Boards Association honours six outstanding first-year teachers with the Edwin Parr Teacher Award. School boards may nominate any first-year K to 12 teacher who has taught in an Alberta school jurisdiction which is a member of the ASBA.

Fredrickson, a Drama Teacher at Hunting Hills High School, knew early on that teaching was the career path he was going to take. When he was 12-years-old, he moved to Calgary and began going to the YMCA in hopes of meeting new people. Just before summer, they were recruiting volunteers for summer camp counselors.

“That year I started as a volunteer camp counselor and I was a camp counselor after that point for 15 years,” he said. “Even at 12 working with three-year-olds, I had a blast. But it also was very fulfilling for me. I felt like I was happy at the end of the day and I felt like I had done something. There was the sheer joy of working with other people and getting to see their growth. I think that is what really kept me in it.”

His love for drama was also ignited early on.

“I had limited social abilities and I was very shy, so I started to do drama camps in elementary school,” he said. “I stuck with them and I really loved them and it was something I was drawn to. I continued to do drama all the way through middle and high school.”

Fredrickson is accomplished in his craft as he is an award-winning playwright and performed musical theatre on a national stage.

As for the award nomination, Fredrickson said he feels honoured.

“It’s something that I know when I was in university it seemed like a pipe dream. Just knowing my peer group, especially, the other people that I teach with, they are all so talented,” he said. “I work with some really amazing first year teachers. I was blown away at the school level and at the district level because I know other first year teachers who are great. Even just to get to here, it’s a lot to process.”

Darwin Roscoe, Principal at Hunting Hills, said they are extremely privileged to have such an outstanding young teacher in the school.

“Kiel is an enthusiastic and dynamic teacher with great ideas,” he said. “His work in professional productions with the theatre community have grown him into a person of strong varied personal characteristics. Kiel brings these strengths into his classroom, which allows the students to be taught in a safe and caring environment.”

Nicola Golby, Associate Superintendent of Learning Services for Red Deer Public, said Fredrickson has a strong grasp on the assessment of his students. 

“He teaches as if he were a seasoned veteran, as opposed to a first year teacher,” she said.

Ron Eberts, Associate Superintendent of Technology and Information Services for Red Deer Public, added Fredrickson’s background as a professional actor has prepared him to be able to assess and determine the entry level knowledge and skills of his students.

“He demonstrated an exceptional skill in regards to developing a positive self-concept in his students,” he said. “His students loved being in the classroom, and their respect of Mr. Fredrickson was also clearly evident.”

Rob Moltzahn, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources for Red Deer Public, said the district is always fortunate to have a number of great first year teachers.

“Red Deer Public has fantastic teachers from our first years to our veterans, allowing students to benefit from this wealth and depth of knowledge,” he said. “Mr. Fredrickson is clearly passionate about teaching. His interactions with the students demonstrate a genuine mutual respect. The students love being in Mr. Fredrickson's classroom. Well done Kiel!”

The awards banquet is on May 28th.