Audri Kowalyk Science Labs
Ms. Kowalyk was a dedicated and inspirational teacher and mentor at Morinville Public School before her untimely death in December 2017. Her colleagues celebrate her for helping, supporting, guiding and encouraging them in weaving inquiry-based learning throughout their science curriculum. As a hands-on and inquiry-focused teacher herself, Ms. Kowalyk ensured her lessons were exciting and engaging for students. She often took real life situations and encouraged students to see the science inherent in them. When Fort McMurray was struck with devastating wild fires, she turned her students’ attention to not only the human side of the tragedy, but also the related scientific concepts included in their curriculum. In addition, through her creative and focused approach to teaching, the inclusion of numerous projects, experiments, audio-visual supports, demonstrations and captivating challenges, to name but a few, Ms. Kowalyk brought science to life and modeled what great teaching is all about. Her contributions as a teacher representative in the design consultations for Four Winds Public School are reflected in the science labs that students will enjoy and the goal Ms. Kowalyk set was that students should be active partners in their own learning and that the spaces in which they learned would be welcoming and exciting for all students, conducive to exploration and inquiry and connected to life and nature.
During her last years of life, Ms. Kowalyk demonstrated a spirit of strength and optimism even in the face of personal adversity. Despite her illness and associated treatments, she faced every day with a positive spirit and a sense of humour. She continued to work with her students developing a sense of wonder and curiosity that will carry them forward throughout their educational experience. Ms. Kowalyk’s name has been put forward by her school colleagues who describe her as an example of the type of educator they would aspire to be and an individual whose qualities and characteristics will be inspirational to the students at Four Winds School.