A popular physics teacher at Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary has received a prestigious award from the University of British Columbia’s engineering department.
Susan Hunter-Jivung is this year’s recipient of the McEwen Family Teacher Recognition Award. The distinction celebrates teachers who go above and beyond the school curriculum to make sure their students are successful personally – as well as academically.
When she’s not teaching class, Hunter-Jivung organizes – and leads – several extra curricular activities that help students develop their potential.
She oversees the Science Challenge teams, the school’s Environment Club, and is involved with the Me to We club, which organizes fundraising activities and donates the profits to charities, including Free the Children.
She also heads up the school’s Duke of Edinburgh Club, a self-directed development program for youth.
The McEwen Family Teacher Recognition Award was established to highlight the contributions high school teachers make to students and communities through their mentorship.
This year’s selection committee – comprised of three UBC Killam Prize-winning senior Engineering instructors – selected Hunter-Jivung out of three finalists.
She was nominated by first-year UBC engineering student Wyatt Gronnemose, a Lord Tweedsmuir grad, and five of her former students supported the nomination.
“Ms. Hunter links leadership, science, humanitarian endeavours and environmental stewardship,” former student and recent LTS grad Stephanie Blain said.
“She encourages students to follow their own interests, develop their own passions, and through that, do something to better themselves and the world.”
Hunter-Jivung has also accompanied students on learning experiences throughout B.C. and to Hawaii, Galapagos, Scotland, and Kenya.
As the 2013 winning teacher, Hunter-Jivung receives $5,000 to spend on school enrichment activities, programs or development.
She will also be asked to nominate a current high school student to receive a $5,000 scholarship to study engineering at UBC.
The award was presented April 10 at the UBC Engineering Excellence Celebration.
The award was established through a donation by Vancouver biomedical engineer Jim McEwen, who believes in the importance of celebrating teachers. It’s only the third year the award has been given out.
Two finalists were also recognized: Okanagan-area finalist Steven MacKenzie of George Elliot Secondary, and North Surrey High School teacher Jeanne Tang, who – along with Hunter-Jivung – has worked tirelessly on environmental programming with Alasdair MacKinnon, director of education of the Surrey School District.