District Highlights

Thomas Haney Secondary teachers receive Premier’s Award for Excellence

Two teachers at Thomas Haney Secondary are being recognized by the premier for their collaborative approach to education.

Mark Biggar and Todd Goodman have taught several classes together: Law, human geography, computer programming, film production, media design, 3D modelling, architecture, and the list goes on.

“We collaborate on everything we do, all of our marking, all of our assessments, all of our planning and our creation, everything is together,” Goodman explained.

“And we’ve learned to be really efficient with the way we plan as well,” added Biggar.

It’s this sort of work that led to the two teachers winning the 2023 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education in outstanding team collaboration.

During class, both teachers are in the room. One of them may lead the lesson, while the other circulates the room to check for understanding and answer questions.

But the collaboration doesn’t end with the lesson.

“It’s very common that we’re here until 5 p.m. every single day, five days a week, and there are always still students in our room,” Goodman said.

Goodman and Biggar run the video game club on Mondays, board game club on Thursdays, and run a role-playing game club with another teacher as well. Throughout the year, they put on special events for the clubs, including LAN parties, long board game nights, and a live action role-playing game (LARP).

“We try to foster a very healthy, welcoming, inclusive culture here at Thomas Haney,” Goodman said. “We do a lot of that through our clubs and our after-school activities.”

Grade 11 student Quinn Callander has taken several classes with the pair of teachers and participates in all the after-school clubs they put on. He spends a couple hours every day after school taking part.

“I like the atmosphere they bring to the room,” Callander said. “They go above and beyond for their work.”

After often hearing about his time in class and how much he enjoys tech lab, Callander’s parents decided to nominate Goodman and Biggar for the award earlier this year.

The two were grateful to be nominated, and when they found out they had won, they were stunned.

“I kind of sat there for a minute, just trying to understand. I didn’t think I was going to win, there are so many amazing teachers and educators in this province,” said Goodman.

“It’s too bad in some ways that this award does go to the two of us when we work with so many other people as well,” added Biggar. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for everyone else that helped us along the way and also works with us.”

What makes the win even more special was that it was a student who had put their names forward, the two teachers said.

“It feels great,” Callander said, of them being chosen for the award. “It’s nice to know that they’re being recognized for the work they do.”

Goodman and Biggar were two of 34 education professionals across the province who received the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education this year. The award recipients were celebrated at a ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 26.

Thomas Haney teachers Todd Goodman and Mark Biggar receive the award from Premier David Eby in a ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 26.

Thomas Haney teachers Todd Goodman and Mark Biggar receive the award from Premier David Eby in a ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 26.

Our vision
Our vision is for every individual to feel valued and for all learners to reach their potential.
Our mission
Our mission is to support all individuals in their development as successful learners, and as respectful, caring and responsible members of society.