2021 Edwin Parr Teacher Award Nominee Announced

Mar. 09, 2021

​When students enter John Barrett’s classroom, they are greeted by a welcoming message on the white board: “I am here for you!” It’s a simple phrase that reflects Barrett’s visible commitment to student success.

In recognition of his dedication to putting students first, Barrett has been named the 2021 Board of Trustees’ nominee for the prestigious Edwin Parr Teacher Award.

Barrett — a first-year teacher at Crescent Heights High School — was officially recognized as the Calgary Board of Education’s nominee at a public Board meeting on March 9.


“John Barrett demonstrates expertise beyond his years. He is strength-based, creative and innovative,” said Crescent Heights High School Assistant Principal Jennifer Edmondson-Neily, who spearheaded Barrett’s nomination. “He creates a warm and welcoming learning environment in his classroom.  His positivity is infectious and he amazes us with the novel ways he connects with students.”

At Crescent Heights High School, Barrett teaches Grade 10 Science and Grade 11 Social Studies, as well as Literacy, English and Academic Development (LEAD) classes for English Language Learners (ELL), as well as The Bridges and The Class.

Students at the school agree that Barrett cares about their learning and personal success. He’s known to students for his fondness for dad jokes.

In the nomination process, Barrett was credited with exceling at creating safe and inclusive learning environments. His teaching practices observe the themes of resiliency and perseverance, and he draws connections to the experiences of Indigenous peoples, as well as all students living through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barrett’s teaching practices are informed by his educational and professional experience. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science, and later earned his Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary.

Prior to teaching with the CBE, Barrett ran an organic berry and produce farm outside of Calgary. Today, he continues to sit on the board of directors of YYC Growers.

Additionally, Barrett is the founder of The Good Life Community Cycle Shop, a not-for-profit social enterprise focused on the principles of social justice and inclusion. He has also held roles with Two Wheel View and the Enviros Wilderness School Association.

The Edwin Parr Teacher award was created by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) in 1964 to recognize outstanding teaching performance by a beginning teacher. If Barrett is selected as the zone winner, he will be recognized along with five other zone winners from across Alberta at an ASBA meeting this fall.