Jason Harding-Doherty Named 2024 Edwin Parr Teacher Award Nominee

Mar. 06, 2024


​​​​Jason Harding-Doherty, a first-year teacher at Valley Creek School, has been nominated for the 2024 Edwin Parr Teacher Award. 

Known for his caring teaching style, Harding-Doherty helps students who need extra support with learning and communication. Those who know Harding-Doherty say that he teaches and leads with joy and kindness in everything that he does.

“Jason really gets to know every student,” said Helen Colbourne, Principal, Valley Creek School. “He learns what they like, what they need and how they learn best.

“His classroom is a place where every student feels welcome and important. He's great at making both kids and parents feel comfortable and included. Jason's way of teaching makes a big difference.” 

Harding-Doherty completed his Bachelor of Education at the University of Calgary in 2023, along with a Bachelor of Arts focusing on Sociology and Psychology in 2021. After gaining experience working with complex learners at Emily Follensbee School and the Adapted Learning Program at MidSun School, he joined Valley Creek School at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year.

In his role, Harding-Doherty teaches the TASC class (Teaching of Adaptive, Social, and Communication Skills), where he applies his deep understanding of complex learning needs. 

Harding-Doherty's philosophy centres on age-appropriate material, ensuring that his students engage with curriculum content that reflects their grade level. His innovative use of technology, including SMART boards, accessible switches and eye-gaze devices ensures that each student can learn in their own way.

His commitment to inclusion is also reflected in his approach to Indigenous education. His class has created its own Land Acknowledgment, fostering a deeper understanding and commitment to Truth and Reconciliation principles.

Harding-Doherty's involvement doesn't stop at the classroom door. He has coached soccer and volleyball teams and actively engages with the school council, advocating for a greater understanding of students with complex needs and the importance of inclusivity in education.

Laura Hack, Chair of the Board of Trustees and the school’s ward representative, praised Harding-Doherty's approach, emphasizing the profound impact he has had on the Valley Creek School community.

“Jason Harding-Doherty exemplifies what it means to be a dedicated educator,” said Hack. “His commitment to creating an inclusive and dynamic learning environment has not only transformed the lives of his students but also inspired his colleagues. We are incredibly proud to have him represent our district as the nominee for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award.”

Edwin Parr served as President of the Alberta School Trustees’ Association (now ASBA) from 1956 to 1962. To honour his memory and the profession he respected, the Alberta School Trustees’ Association established the Edwin Parr Teacher Award in 1964.

For almost 60 years, these awards have been presented to outstanding first-year teachers.