A Maple Ridge elementary school teacher is being awarded the Teachers Building Leaders Award through the Loran Scholars Foundation.
Caleb Chiu, a teacher at Alouette elementary, was nominated by Joanne Banh, a 2015 Loran Scholar and former Alouette elementary student.
The Teachers Building Leaders Award, sponsored by the McCall MacBain Foundation, recognizes primary and secondary school teachers who go above and beyond to develop character, service and leadership in their students.
They can only be nominated by a former student who has gone on to be a Loran Scholar.
Banh had Chiu in grades 6 and 7 and said her teacher never failed to go beyond the curriculum to teach good values. Banh said Chiu always stressed that hard work will always be recognized.
“He made school fun, not only because he was able to fit in jokes every now and then, but the highlight of each day would be when we’d do ‘brain breakfast’ each morning, which was essentially a riddle that would require critical thinking, but would often have some sort of underlying moral lesson,” said Banh.
“He’d usually link these lessons by sharing his own personal stories of the types of service he was doing within the community, some of which still stick in my mind today, including preparing and giving sandwiches out in east Vancouver.”
Banh added that Chiu also rewarded effort more than any teacher she has ever encountered.
In physical education class, Chiu didn’t care how fast one ran, only that students tried their best. And he always gave second chances to students to put their best foot forward.
The aim of the award is to acknowledge the significant impact teachers have on the development of young leaders and offer scholars an opportunity to show their gratitude to individuals who have impacted their lives, according to the foundation.
Every year, up to 35 Loran Scholars are selected from more than 5,000 applicants from across Canada based on their character, service and leadership.
The Loran Scholars Foundation was founded in 1988 and was the first national organization in Canada to grant undergraduate awards based on a mix of academic achievement, extracurricular activity and leadership potential.
Until 2007, the Loran Awards were known as Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation National Awards. The name was changed to emphasize the long-term impact of the recipients’ work.
The Loran award is valued at about $100,000 over four years of undergraduate study.
Chiu is to be presented the award in June.